Originally Posted by Durandal
Gah. I'm utterly incapable of staying away from a thread, even when I've announced I'm done with it.
My comment about dismissing the numbers wasn't directed at you -- but you're definitely right that analysts consider factors beyond straight-up sales and profits. No argument there.
And you're very right that lots of people feel MS is losing steam. That's kind of the point I was trying to make -- if you look at the numbers, they don't appear to be losing steam. According to the Gamespot article I linked to earlier in the thread, they're selling more 360s now than they were a year ago, and they're making significant profits -- way more than Sony, if the numbers Cayal posted are right.
So why this prevailing opinion that MS is in trouble?
Also, I don't see how this Final Fantasy thing is a sign of trouble, or desperation, or anything other than MS being typical MS. MS buys companies and games that they think they can use to their advantage. Hell, they've been doing that since before the first Xbox came out. It's business as usual for them, and doesn't look like any sort of grim portent to me.
So, I totally forgot about the thread, sorry!
Let me speak to the last point first, seeing as how it's fresh on the brain. Final Fantasy going to the 360 isn't necessarily a sign of trouble for Microsoft, as much as further evidence that the phrase multi-platform is beginning to define "third-party." As I said before, and will only reiterate briefly here, exclusivity drives the market and helps create a competitive environment which spurs creativity and innovation.
And that's an opinion many share, including industry execs, which is why they try as hard as they can to land exclusive titles and create new IP's of their own. If platforms lose what makes them unique, the industry will become diluted and the quality of the interactive experience will suffer as a result.
Therefore, something intrinsic to one platform moving to another is, in my humble opinion, an ill omen.
As for the opinion that Microsoft is in a heap load... It's hard to pinpoint exactly where it's coming from. There are many reasons, to be honest. The platform is a fair bit older than the Wii and PS3, and while it has some solid software on the horizon, there's nothing truly compelling in the way of first-party or exclusive titles that makes it a platform to own in the near future. It's beginning to show its age, and Microsoft's attempts at widening its demographic are going to be rendered moot when consumers see there's no gimmick to make that casual experience worthwhile. On top of that, for a system that has a few more years in the wild than its cohorts, its ticket price is still considerable. Sure, they're selling systems, but for how long?
There's much more I would've liked to go into, but alas I'm being called away again. I'll try and check back later.