Updates Wednesdays

Comic 483 - Competition

Posted on Wednesday, the 6th of October at 12:00 AM, 2021 in 2021

Author Notes:

DanVzare Wed, 6. Oct 12:00 AM, 2021 edit delete
Don't get me wrong. They are technically competing. They're in the same market, so of course they are. But on the whole, Nintendo isn't directly competing for most of Sony and Microsoft's customers.
Direct competition implies an "OR" relationship. You can choose this OR this. Burger King or McDonalds for your breakfast for example. What Nintendo has is closer to an "AND" relationship, such as going to Aldi AND Lidl so you can get the best prices from both (they're supermarkets).
Most people interpret direct competition to mean the "OR" type, hence why people say that Nintendo isn't directly competing with Sony and Microsoft. But they are indeed competing, just not directly, most of the time. (And by most of the time, I obviously mean anyone who's only willing or able to buy one console, as one possible example.)

But you don't have to take my word for it, just look at everything around you. Most big and popular things that are very similar, usually eventually fall into just two choices, IBM clones VS Macs, Republicans VS Democrats, Conservatives VS Labour, Team Mystic VS Team Valor, SNES VS MegaDrive/Genesis, PCs VS Consoles (apparently it's ok if the two similar things are different enough to be able to be further split into another two similar things each). I think it's got something to do with human psychology and how to best maximise your market. I think I did learn why once, but I don't fully remember.
So it should be clearly obvious to anyone that it's currently Playstation VS Xbox (at least in the West). They're both very similar, and there's little reason to choose both. And if you look at the history of consoles, when there were three companies going head-to-head in the same way, you'd always see one doing terribly (usually becoming obscure as a result). Hudson with the TurboGraFX-16 and Sega with the Saturn for example.
Nintendo found a way to circumvent that by finding their own not-entirely-separate audience with the Wii. They then failed completely with the Wii U for several reasons that I won't elaborate on. And then succeeded again with the Switch.
There's a very good reason why Nintendo's consoles have been far weaker than the "competition" since the Wii, and it's the exact same reason why people keep saying that Nintendo isn't directly competing with Sony and Microsoft.
I mean, you wouldn't say that Nintendo was competing with Nintendo back when the Wii and DS were both on the market at the same time. I mean, Nintendo technically WAS "competing" with itself. But actually saying it (especially in relation to those particular two consoles), highlights just how dumb of a statement it is. (Although that isn't to say that companies don't sometimes accidentally shoot themselves in the foot by competing with themselves. For example, what Atari did with the 2600 and 7800.)

It's all very simple and easy to figure out (so much so in fact, that most people already have). But unfortunately there's some people who notice that all three companies are in the video game industry, and that technically means they're competing against each other, and so highlighting that without any further thought must mean they're really smart. Because only smart people can correct others on a technicality. Sigh...
I think it goes without saying that someone annoyed me because of this.
But at least I got a decent comic out of it.

To further add to this, I've been hearing that the Steam Deck isn't competing with the Switch. And I agree with that... but only because it would be so completely one-sided. The only way the Steam Deck can get any kind of audience is by finding a different audience to that of the Switch. Which will be a niche audience, but probably enough to call it a below-expectations success. I'll eat my own hat if it somehow manages to sell over 30 million units. (I'll probably have to make an apology comic about how I was wrong.)