Impact of consumer preferences, brand loyalty, and prestige on Consoles [2019 edition] *spawn*

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by Shortbread, Nov 22, 2019.

  1. Shortbread

    Shortbread Island Hopper
    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2013
    Messages:
    4,782
    Likes Received:
    3,411
    Other than Sony coming out with a finicky and bloated price system (PS3), Sony has dominated the top positions in traditional standalone home systems for more than two decades now. I think Microsoft's Achilles heel with the Xbox brand has more do with global perception, not its hardware prowess. Simply having a power advantage isn’t going to overcome Xbox’s branding issues globally, or help cement it as the next-generation leader.

    PS2: >155M
    PS4: 102.8
    PS1: 102.49M
    Wii: 101.63M
    PS3: >87.4
     
    DSoup and egoless like this.
  2. Tkumpathenurpahl

    Tkumpathenurpahl Oil my grapes.
    Veteran Newcomer

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2016
    Messages:
    1,695
    Likes Received:
    1,631
    Maybe so, but they've managed to undo their monumental cockup of an announcement and cling onto relevance this generation, whilst building themselves a solid ecosystem. They've bought a bunch of studios, and are in a healthy position to hit the ground running next generation, with a steady stream of exclusive content.

    Ever since they got rid of Dong Twatprick, they've just made themselves an increasingly legitimate gaming company. That's been pretty widely noticed by anyone who pays attention. Any non-fanboy nerds anyway. So basically everyone here.

    Sony fucked up massively with the PS3, Microsoft fucked up massively with the X1. This might be the first fair fight we've seen in over a decade.
     
    Shortbread, milk, BRiT and 2 others like this.
  3. iroboto

    iroboto Daft Funk
    Legend Regular Subscriber

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2014
    Messages:
    12,435
    Likes Received:
    14,320
    Location:
    The North
    lol. This might be better worded as
    a fight where someone didn't cock up their starting line.

    No one made Sony use Cell likewise no one made MS choose Kinect.
    It was quite fair.

    This will be the first time they are aligned in their hardware strategies.
     
    Tkumpathenurpahl likes this.
  4. PSman1700

    Veteran Newcomer

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2019
    Messages:
    3,822
    Likes Received:
    1,589
    PS2 still stands tall over anything else so far, hardware specs sure don't gurantee a successful console. It's the software that does, and so far Sony has done better then MS so far.
     
  5. DSoup

    DSoup meh
    Legend Veteran Subscriber

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    14,157
    Likes Received:
    10,118
    Location:
    London, UK
    I agree, but I don't understand why this is the case.
     
  6. Shortbread

    Shortbread Island Hopper
    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2013
    Messages:
    4,782
    Likes Received:
    3,411
    I think some of it is cultural and maybe political to a certain extent. There are still parts of the world where American brands are still frowned upon as being less-than, even if they're manufactured outside of the United States. The places that I have traveled, some still have old perceptions of the Xbox brand being mostly an American or Western Society geared product, with very little diversity in gaming. And Microsoft's video game localization (globally) isn't quite as robust as Sony's. I have found PlayStation and Nintendo hardware/software being sold in some of the damnedest places in my travels. Certain parts of the Middle East has a large PC and PlayStation gaming culture. Xbox not so much.
     
    egoless and DSoup like this.
  7. Silent_Buddha

    Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Messages:
    17,443
    Likes Received:
    7,167
    IMO, it has more to do with the brand loyalty that the PlayStation brand has built up. Especially during the PS2 era when the PS2 was the ONLY way to play most console games. The amount of 2nd/3rd party exclusives on the PS2 was just ridiculous.

    And other than the PS3 launch and some launch issues with PS2 (which I didn't experience), Sony has done an excellent job with promoting and supporting the PlayStation consoles.

    Had Microsoft followed up the X360 with a solid launch and maybe more competitive hardware for XBO, I think it may have been able to solidify a reputation as a strong alternative to PlayStation. However, their launch stumbles basically made everyone once again question whether Microsoft was a company that could be trusted in the console space.

    Or to put it another way. PlayStation has now had basically 3 really good hardware generations with great support and 1 somewhat disappointing one which got better as the generation went on.

    Xbox basically had 1 really good hardware generation (X360) in terms of growing the brand, a rather lukewarm first generation, and one generation that started out disastrously but has recovered somewhat as the generation has gone on.

    So, it's a lot easier to trust that Sony is going to have a good console and console experience while many are questioning whether Microsoft will ever establish itself as a reliable console provider.

    Plus, Sony as a company has a lot less hatred directed towards them on the internet than Microsoft as a company. So Xbox always has to work against the current of thinking that Microsoft is a company geared towards businesses first. Whereas Sony is generally viewed (by the general public) as an entertainment company even though they have strong business arms in other areas.

    Regards,
    SB
     
    AzBat, goonergaz, Michellstar and 3 others like this.
  8. DSoup

    DSoup meh
    Legend Veteran Subscriber

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    14,157
    Likes Received:
    10,118
    Location:
    London, UK
    I think that "brand loyalty" is a fragile beast as demonstrated by PS3. It's clearly not about brand loyalty. :nope: Sales of consoles and games demonstrate a swing from PS2 to 360 to PS4. So where is the brand loyalty?

    Sony had no brand loyalty for the original PlayStation, most folks were moving from SEGA and Nintendo. If you're thinking Sony had brand loyalty from other consumer electronics then I'd like to see an explanation a to why Panasonic and other very popular CE manufacturers failed with their 3DO boxes.

    This is evidence disproving a concept of brand loyalty, this is people buying consoles based on their launch/features/price regardless of brand.

    Why can't Microsoft do what Sony did out of the gate? Microsoft avoided using the Microsoft brand with Xbox. What does Xbox not have the appeal of PlayStation?
     
  9. BRiT

    BRiT (>• •)>⌐■-■ (⌐■-■)
    Moderator Legend Alpha

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    Messages:
    18,030
    Likes Received:
    19,393
    Nostalgia. PS had been so ingrained into their lifestyles through the course of multiple years that I doubt most could envision gaming without it being PS.
     
    egoless likes this.
  10. DSoup

    DSoup meh
    Legend Veteran Subscriber

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    14,157
    Likes Received:
    10,118
    Location:
    London, UK
    In the realms of consoles PlayStation is a n00b. Xbox only slightly less so. If it's about Nostalgia, why is Nintendo not conquering all? Why did SEGA and Atari fall?
     
  11. Silent_Buddha

    Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Messages:
    17,443
    Likes Received:
    7,167
    I think PS3 is a perfect example of brand loyalty. Despite what most would consider a disastrous launch, it still ended up selling as well as the X360 despite being on the market for ~1 year less. Things were especially rough in that first 1-2 years as multi-platform games were a fair bit worse on PS3 than X360 as developers had a rough time finding out how to best develop games on the PS3. As well the library was significantly smaller. And despite all that it still managed to sell quite well in Europe (posts here allude to it selling out in Europe for months while in the US you had pallets just sitting in stores shortly after launch).

    Or to put it another way if the roles were reversed. Xbox as a brand would likely no longer exist. Just look at the XBO, it came very close to shutting down the Xbox brand. PS3 was never really in any danger of that happening despite it's stumbles at launch.

    Xbox doesn't command enough brand loyalty among enough people for it to stay afloat if they had a really disastrous launch. Imagine XBO having the launch it did AND coming out a year later than PS4 (making it similar to the PS3 launch), there would have been nothing for Phil Spencer to save.

    Also, while MS had to contend with RROD issues for the first year or two, they had plenty of content to make people want one. IE - in terms of gaming content the PS3 just couldn't compete for the first year or two of PS3's launch. And yet the PS3 still sold at a brisk clip.

    Also, note, I'm not saying all PS gamers are loyal to the brand. Just that there are a LOT of console gamers that are loyal to the PS brand.

    It may not be called the Microsoft Xbox on the box, but I'm doubtful there were many people that didn't know it was a Microsoft console.

    The first Xbox was executed really well, IMO. The only real knock against it was its size and the rather large controller. Multiplatform games generally looked better and it had a fair bit of critically acclaimed exclusives (KOTOR 1&2, for example). Despite that it was generally PC gamers that bought the console. The association with Microsoft was inescapable and worldwide disdain if not outright distrust and hatred of the company made it a tough sell.

    While Sony was an unknown when they launched the PS1, the company didn't have a tarnished reputation among the general populace as Microsoft did. Sony was generally viewed in high regard (the Walkman brand was still huge, for example) and trusted by most general consumers. Sony also were very aggressive in getting former Nintendo 3rd party developers to sign on for exclusive content on PS1. The CD-ROM certainly helped things along.

    Basically, outside of PC gaming Microsoft weren't looked at in the same way as Sony for general consumers. And even in the PC community there was some that distrusted MS due to the whole thing with Netscape along with Bill Gates reputation as being hard nosed. He wasn't quite the kind humanitarian back then as he is now.

    I can raise my hand as one of the ones that wasn't going to ever get an Xbox because it was made by Microsoft. But as I've previously noted on this forum, I eventually got one for the sole purpose of playing Blizzard's StarCraft Ghost. A title that never came out. :p And then I promptly hacked it and turned it into a budget HTPC.

    Regards,
    SB
     
    #11 Silent_Buddha, Nov 23, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2019
    AzBat, goonergaz, Picao84 and 2 others like this.
  12. BRiT

    BRiT (>• •)>⌐■-■ (⌐■-■)
    Moderator Legend Alpha

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    Messages:
    18,030
    Likes Received:
    19,393
    Not really. Playstation has been in their lives for almost 3 decades (25 years). That's a huge span of time and experiences for someone like Microsoft to overcome. Now those gaming folks are certainly adults, and those with kids have likely raised them with the Playstation series. Going against 25 years of cultural experiences is a tall order to overcome.

    Nintendo has been around for nearly as long, and they were mobile focused so they weren't having to compete at all with Sony. Now that Nintendo has a semi-competent software platform, if they would target similar spec hardware as Sony/MS, they just might be able to move into best of show.
     
    egoless likes this.
  13. JoeJ

    Veteran Newcomer

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2018
    Messages:
    1,008
    Likes Received:
    1,158
    How do you mean this? NES was 1983, so one decade longer than Sony.

    why is Nintendo not conquering all?
    They do, with family games?

    Why did SEGA and Atari fall?
    Atari missed to make new hardware on time - they were too busy with realizing almost all of 2600 games were crap? :)
    PS had better / fresher games than old school SEGA - Nintendo survived this because they had Mario, Pokemon... Sonic was not unique enough?
     
  14. BRiT

    BRiT (>• •)>⌐■-■ (⌐■-■)
    Moderator Legend Alpha

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    Messages:
    18,030
    Likes Received:
    19,393
    Yes, technically, but the current gaming landscape really started with Playstation 1 for actual 3D. For me, everything before that or the N64 is the prior era of 2D.
     
    goonergaz likes this.
  15. JoeJ

    Veteran Newcomer

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2018
    Messages:
    1,008
    Likes Received:
    1,158
    Respect the origins of gaming, or the downfall will come!
    Penalty: Finish Pitfall! three times in a row.
    :D
     
    milk likes this.
  16. iroboto

    iroboto Daft Funk
    Legend Regular Subscriber

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2014
    Messages:
    12,435
    Likes Received:
    14,320
    Location:
    The North
    X1 got trounced for some fair reasons; nostalgia and brand loyalty are a factor. I’ll explain.
    X1 had worse price; worse performance; game qty was there; game quality not so much. At least WRT what the market was demanding.

    the amount of brand loyalty coupled with an honest effort to redirect the ship towards success kept the product alive to be honest.

    without both I’m sure Xbox would have exited the industry.

    Moving into next gen; they will be matching Sony on all fronts except in the eyes of some gamers game quality. But there will always exist an incumbent of die hard gamers that will not leave the brand as long as they know there is a future there.

    I’ve seen diehards :). Personally watched all my diehard RIM blackberry guys fight tooth and nail until the company gave up on the product.

    in the grand scheme of things; I suspect that Sony and Nintendo have way more diehards than Xbox.
     
    milk likes this.
  17. chris1515

    Legend Regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Messages:
    5,633
    Likes Received:
    5,467
    Location:
    Barcelona Spain
    Brand loyalty exists and the best example is the PS3 out of the US and UK. Sony sold 87.4 million PS3. This is incredible for a console launch at 599 dollars/euros one year after the concurrent, inferior multiplatform games for the most part of the generation, inferior online services all generation, a major outage and hack of the online services.

    The Xbox One is the best example of brand loyalty in the US and UK. Launch for 100 dollars more than the competition for one year, less powerful, fewer exclusives games...

    Sony's problem with PS3 is the product same for MS with the Xbox One, brand loyalty lost of it forces when your product is sold 200 dollars/euros more than the competition or 100 dollars more in the case of Microsoft problem. But it exists if it was not the case, Microsoft would have sold 20 million Xbox One and Sony the same number of PS3.
     
  18. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
    Moderator Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Messages:
    43,576
    Likes Received:
    16,033
    Location:
    Under my bridge
    I don't think brand loyalty exists much in terms of 100% buy or die. However, it does maintain a strong preference that's hard to break. In the absence of any reasons NOT to buy, people will pick the preferred brand. Competition is about giving people other reasons to buy the rivals.
     
    goonergaz likes this.
  19. DSoup

    DSoup meh
    Legend Veteran Subscriber

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    14,157
    Likes Received:
    10,118
    Location:
    London, UK
    Again, I assert it's a demonstrattion that brand loyalty didn't matter. And don't forget PS3 had a staggered global launch, I could have bought a 360 in November 2015 but had to wait until March 2017 for a PS3.

    PS3 sold shite out of the gate when it was expensive, despite brand loyalty. It sold better when it was more affordable and had an appealing range of games - that took a few years, it's wasn't the launch sales blast that PlayStation, PS2 and PS4 were. So again, where was the inexplicable brand loyalty when PS3 launched or anywhere up until around late 2017, early 2008?

    Timing, pricing and the library were what changed PS3's fortune. Everything you see as signs of brand loyalty I see as signs of people buying a console that appeals. 360 captured the hearts and minds of gamers right up until RRoD, which took the sheen off a little but

    I'm sure there are as many people who will a PlayStation because it's a PlayStation as there are people who will buy an Xbox because it's an Xbox. Then there is a large swing market, the same folks who dropped Sony (PS3) for Microsoft (360) then returned to Sony (PS4). These are signs of a healthy market. Rabid fanboys just aren't a mass market.

    Why did Microsoft have a tarnished reputation? And not having a 'tarnished brand' does not explain why Sony dominated the fifth generation of consoles against beloved, well-respected, established competitors like Nintendo and SEGA.

    Saturn had a CD player, Xbox played DVDs as well as having the whole XBMC appeal.

    Now yes. Microsoft were a little over six years behind Sony in entering the market during the sixth generation of consoles. Again, remember PlayStation and PS2 - staggered worldwide launches.

    You may be right. Brand loyalty is still a concept marketing folks like to sell but which is very difficult to evidence in volume in any particular market. All thing being equal, the affordable option seems to do well regardless of brand; PS1, PS2, 360/Wii, PS4.
     
    Shortbread and BRiT like this.
  20. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
    Moderator Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Messages:
    43,576
    Likes Received:
    16,033
    Location:
    Under my bridge
    I think all things being equal, the preferred brand is bought. 360 sold because PS3 was too expensive (and less powerful!) for those who'd have preferred it. If the preferred brand is affordable, affordable being decided by degree of loyalty it commands, it'll sell better than rivals even if those rivals are cheaper.

    Or rather, loyalty isn't a binary on/off switch, but a sliding scale of preference towards sales and price products can command. Apple has crazy loyalty which doesn't mean Apple users won't swap to Android, but that they'll be willing to pay more for Apple when making choices. I think the gaming market prefers PlayStation and will, all things being equal, buy PS by default, and possible will be happy to spend a but more to get a PS than an XB (less so in US), but only so far. PS3 shows that even with a crap value proposition and an underperforming design, it was still just as popular as XB360, so that shows the contribution brand loyalty made. Had there been none, PS3 would have sold a few tens of millions and 360 would have run away with the generation, same way PS did.

    I guess 'loyalty' just mean high brand strength. The literal concept of loyalty doesn't exist for consumers apart from a few nut-jobs.
     
Loading...

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Beyond3D has been around for over a decade and prides itself on being the best place on the web for in-depth, technically-driven discussion and analysis of 3D graphics hardware. If you love pixels and transistors, you've come to the right place!

    Beyond3D is proudly published by GPU Tools Ltd.
Loading...