When the switch appeared in March 2017, Nintendo was in tense times. Of the Although 3DS went well, with the Wii U, the company just had a great flop behind them – the home console business was more or less on the ground. Since the launch of the new hybrid console at the end of 2016, many Nintendo fans have once again looked to the future with hope, but many were unsure whether the switch would be a success. Meanwhile, we know better and Nintendo is grown again to old success, because the switch sells consistently good and games for the platform as well. But what about the competition? Next-Gen, Game Flatrates, Game Streaming, 4K and HDR, Ray-Tracing … these are just a few keywords that are playing an increasingly important role in today's and soon-to-be gaming world, but barely (yet) at Nintendo , So let's take a look over the (Nintendo) side of the box – what's up with Sony, Microsoft, Google, Apple and Co.?
The Nintendo competition Sony is in contrast to the Mario company, although broader and not only in the gaming area bustling, but also offers many more products such as televisions or smartphones, but a considerable part of the annual sales comes now from the game sector , No wonder, Sony has with the Playstation but for several decades now very successfully running console with several generations and also handheld offshoots on offer. Speaking of handheld: The production of PS Vita was set in 2019 after "only" about 15 million units sold, making it the biggest flop in the Playstation area dar. Sony is therefore currently planning no further handheld console.
The better it works but with the Playstation 4. The published in November 2013 home console has exceeded the magic mark of 100 million units sold in the summer of 2019 and is thus a complete success. By the end of 2020, the next generation of PS5 is officially in the starting blocks and thanks to SSD storage and powerful hardware will make another big leap in performance. Last but not least, Sony has been using Playstation Now for several years in the games streaming and flatrate business. PS Now currently includes around 650 PS2, PS3 and PS4 games, including three-monthly rotating blockbusters such as GTA5 or God of War. The trick: All games can be streamed to the PS4 or partially download and enjoy offline, but also on Windows PCs running the service, which makes Playstation exclusive games beyond Sony's own hardware playable. By the way, the low price, which was only significantly reduced in October 2019, does not mean that it has the potential to become significantly more relevant in the future, together with the Playstation 5.
Microsoft: Xbox Scarlett & Game Pass
Also a big player in the game business is Microsoft. The US company has a key advantage over both Nintendo and Sony: it does not depend on its gaming business. Cloud services, operating systems, software, office, business customers and Co. continue to flush billions of dollars into the corporate treasuries quarter by quarter, so the games division does not necessarily have to be profitable, at least not yet. In fact, Microsoft is not as successful with the current Xbox One as Sony, about 45 million times, the console was previously on the shop counter, this value should soon overtake the switch. Like the PS4, the Xbox One was released in November 2013 and also like Sony brings Microsoft the end of 2020, the next generation of consoles out – currently under the project name "Xbox Scarlett" known.
But the company from Redmond also offers a gaming flatrate called Xbox Game Pass. For comparatively cheap price, Microsoft offers over 100 games, including many current titles and immediately to release new Microsoft games. The service can be used equally well on the Xbox One, on the PC with Windows or on both platforms. In contrast to Sony, streaming is not offered by Microsoft, so all games of the offer are downloaded to the respective device and executed by the hardware itself. For this, all the games are offline, which is possible with the Sony offer only for selected titles.
Google: Stadia & Play Pass
The Internet giant Google is also involved in the gaming market. What relevance is currently not foreseeable, but the company has big plans. On the one hand, Google has a game streaming service with Stadia, which calculates all games on servers in data centers. It's possible to play on different devices and does not require a lot of power: Chromecasts, TVs, smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs serve as gaming devices. You can use the mouse and keyboard, the special Stadia controller or any other gamepad. Stadia is not a flat-rate game like PS Now or Xbox Game Pass. Instead, you have to buy individual titles at full price. But no monthly fee is due to stream the games. There is a subscription for around ten euros, but this is optional and includes a few free titles, especially the ability to play with up to 4K, HDR and Dolby Surround 5.1. While the fee-based pro offer for pre-orderers of a special "Founder's Edition" will be launched in mid-November 2019, the release of the free basic version is planned for early 2020. As part of Stadia Google has also announced the development of its own video games, the first "Stadia Studio" was opened in October 2019 in Canada.
With the so-called Play Pass, Google also has a flatrate for Android games and apps on offer. Play Pass has been available in the US and other markets since October 2019, but not yet in Germany, and includes mobile games and apps as well as some indie titles such as Stardew Valley and older multiplatform games.
Not only Google is a relatively new player on the games market, Apple is also involved in the game. The iPhone company offers Apple Arcade a flatrate at a low price, the games run on iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple TV. Launched in September, the service includes mobile games, indie titles, exclusive games and multiplatform games. Apple has taken in advance a lot of money in the hand to buy some titles exclusively for their own service, these games may appear only after a specified period for other platforms. Quite similar to what Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite, does with its own Epic Games Store. Advantage for Developers: You get a set amount of money regardless of the actual success of the game. Apple promises to renounce in games in the Apple Arcade offer on in-game purchases, micro-transactions and Co. Offer mobile games, which usually rely on these monetization models, will be adjusted accordingly for Arcade.
Nvidia has been well-known among gamers for many years, especially among PC gamers, thanks to its powerful graphics cards. The heart of the Nintendo Switch, the Nvidia Tegra X1, as its name suggests, comes from the Californian company. But Nvidia also produces complete custom game consoles, which are marketed under the name Nvidia Shield. So a handheld console with this name and Android appeared as operating system a few years ago, in addition to their own games offer running on the device therefore also for Android and the Google Play Store available games. The handheld version is no longer supported by the manufacturer, but still offers Nvidia but with Shield TV a home console variant of the same concept. Nvidia TV also offers games for Android and the Google Play Store, as well as many indie titles or Fortnites, on the TV.
Neat competition for Nintendo, right? Yes and no. Of course, Nintendo's hybrid console automatically competes with all devices and services that are similar. On the one hand: with handhelds. Here, however, the competition is manageable insofar as that with the PS Vita the last direct handheld competition was already buried. In this regard, the switch has to compete with Apple Arcade and Google Stadia, as both services not only, but also run on mobile devices. It looks a little different with the switch as a home console. Of course, the device is in competition with (still) PS4 and Xbox One, from the end of 2020 with the successor models of the two consoles.
Little competition is likely Big N currently (still) have on game flat rates and streaming. So far, Nintendo is only venturing into this area with the NES and SNES titles for the Switch, while Streaming is currently not even active in the end customer market. But you should not forget: Probably like no other company owns Nintendo an extremely strong and popular franchise line-up with Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Pokémon, Donkey Kong, Kirby and Co. – here, the competition has actually hardly anything against to put. In addition, the games market today is significantly larger and more global than it was 20 years ago. The players are huge because there are a lot of people playing today, so the market is big enough for many (big) players at the same time. So Nintendo can continue to be successful, even as more and more flatrates and streaming services are launched and even when Sony and Microsoft release their next home consoles.
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