Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Holiday Season Strategies

From a business perspective the holiday season is the most important part of the year for gaming so it's vital that each of the big three have clear and sensible strategies at this time of year. 

So I thought it'd be the perfect time to have at look at what each company is up to and how well they're doing/are poised to do during the season. 

Microsoft

Love them or hate them, one thing is clear, Microsoft is the go to company for First Person Shooters. So their holiday lineup is basically centred around two main things: Halo: The Master Chief Collection and their Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare bundle. Essentially they are capitalising on over a decade of nostalgia and the biggest FPS series of all time. Not too bad a strategy really is it? 

Of course along side this they have an Assassin's Creed bundle with Unity and Black Flag and as Assassin's Creed is usually one of the best selling games each year this approach can't hurt. Top marks for them really, sure there's no big new exclusive entry like a Halo 5 but it wouldn't surprise me if The Master Chief Collection ends up doing better than that. 

Nintendo

I can't remember a time when Nintendo didn't have a good holiday strategy. This year they have Super Smash Bros. Wii U, Mario Kart 8 DLC featuring Link (!!!), Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Bayonetta 2, Captain Toad's Treasure Tracker (in the US) and, crucially I think, Amiibo. 

Essentially there are plenty of reasons to be handing your money to Nintendo and all of these reasons centre around Nintendo's tried and tested method of merging new ideas with nostalgia. Nintendo should have an excellent Christmas this year, God knows they've earnt it. 

Sony

Ah Sony. The PS4 is an amazing machine, in my opinion better than the Xbox One or the Wii U and yet due to Sony's poor handling of it I have played more on my Wii U and Xbox One in recent months. Sony really have little to offer this season. Drive Club is broken to the point where it's embarrassing and Little Big Planet 3 is available on PS3. They're reliant on third party bundles and indies at the moment and whilst those games are fantastic I think this could be Microsoft's season to lose. 

Of course next year looks set to rectify all of these issues with the steady pacing of The Order, Bloodborne, Uncharted 4 and their as yet unrevealed autumn/winter games but for the time being I think Sony could lose out over Christmas. But who knows, the PS4 manages to be on top simply by the console's strengths at the moment and the fact that the Wii U and Xbox One have better exclusives doesn't seem an issue so Sony might be fine after all. 

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