Which "Big Three" company will die first?

Nerdtendo

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Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. The biggest companies in gaming today. I've always had a "nothing lasts forever" mindset and believe that one day, one of these will have to go. The question is, which one? Sony is a powerhouse in more ways than one. They deliver the most powerful hardware, most advanced graphics, and some of the most enjoyable games on the market. However, they lean on the pricey side, especially with VR and online services which separates them more from the casual gaming audience.

Microsoft currently seems to be bringing up the rear. they're the youngest of the gaming company but they have money for days. They don't have a lot of exclusives either but they tread water well. To be honest, I know the least about XBOX and Microsoft so it's really up in the air.

Nintendo is a wild card. They never ever do the same thing twice and always take big, bold risks. This is a two-edged sword in the fact that a risk could be a huge hit or a huge flop (looking at you Wii U). They are also undeniably stubborn in not wanting to conform to any mold or other gaming norm, such as cloud saves and releasing the virtual console already.

If I had to choose one that I thought would die, it would be XBOX but it could honestly be anyone. What are your thoughts?
 
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Taleweaver

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Impossible to predict. Less than a year ago, Nintendo was considered dead because the wiiu want a success. Now they're back.
Sony and Microsoft both make profits of their gaming division. It's their other departments (especially Sony) that worry me more. Depending how that turns out in the long run (and I'm not saying it's likely), they might be forced to sell it.

Nintendo has a different problem: Miyamoto isn't immortal. Their system model is study, but I'm not convinced they can just produce top quality games forever like it's nothing.
 
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Atari and its new "Ataribox".

On a more serious note, its hard to say. Maybe Nintendo if they get two consoles that flop in a row.
 
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Tom Bombadildo

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If by "die" you mean just stop producing consoles, then Microsoft easily. With the way they're merging the Xbox brand with Windows recently, I can definitely see them abandon consoles altogether to focus solely on PC gaming instead. To be honest, I'm already half expecting Microsoft to just not participate in the "next gen" of consoles whatsoever. Maybe they'll toss together a range of pre-made PCs and slap an Xbox logo on the front, but I'm not seeing a whole new console at this point.

If by "die" you mean go bankrupt, collapse, and cease existing then D) None of the above. Nintendo would be the most likely of the big three, since Sony and Microsoft have their hand in dozens of other businesses so they'll never really "die", but even that would be extremely unlikely. At worst, if Nintendo got into such financial trouble that they'd be on the brink of existence, they'd just drop their console division, sell some IPs/"second party" devs they own and aren't doing anything with, and become a permanent game dev instead.
 

FAST6191

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I saw Sega go, commodore go, Amstrad, Atari, NEC and so on and so on. Sony, MS and Nintendo are then not permanent in the slightest, Sony and Microsoft indeed being upstarts after a fashion and Nintendo would have been were I older still. All have had serious blows to their bottom line and financial health over these last years, and while they may have the funds to cruise for some time to come I imagine their investors would shred them before that happened.

As far as consoles go some have wondered if changes are afoot -- locked down consoles a la what Nintendo brought to the world (compared to all the other non Sega Japanese and European stuff) are something of an anomaly or artificial construct. It made some sense in the arcade era and there were ways to do styles of computing with specialist hardware for it (scrolling games for one), today it is all much of a muchness. While it is always going to be nice to have more performance to give to overhead there could be a little plateau before we get some really really easy programming languages made.
Inventing the console as a concept today seems much like all those android tablets that have the android store absent and something else there instead -- technically possible but you will be questioned on why you would. Even more odd is Sony and MS seem content to do basically identical devices but keep them separate, though I will have to figure out what numbers they get from their cuts, release fees and online services before I go in too hard for that. Back when there might also have been a measure of creative control blocked but today you will be hard pressed there.

Nintendo have not really done anything interesting in hardware in many years at this point, and I will include controllers in that, and often have their poorer hardware hamstring them. Worse still is their hardware is seldom a great way to experience gaming as a whole these days -- I don't like exclusives as a concept but looking at Sony's and MS' PS360 and beyond offerings I could live without it and still experience what gaming has to offer, not so on Nintendo's hardware. To that end I would like to see them go pure software dev. After playing the switch at the press event I said not the path for Nintendo to go to the land of milk and honey, I stand by that remark. Once the infatuation wears off... we all enjoy winding fanboys up.

Sony. If their executives take too long to die or step down, their TV division underperforms a few more times (entirely possible as it seems nobody really cares about 4K, 120fps, curved TVs, 3d or HDR, and a few other makers made the "mistake" of having their 1080p screens go the distance a la the CRTs of the 80s and onwards) and they have some other of their bases shift underneath them I can see something interesting happening.

MS. As mentioned they are already doing some kind of exit after a fashion. With that said they have a serious gaming pedigree and will likely be a serious element of the games world for some time to come.

Going a bit more off topic. People seem to mention console makers as being something special, similar to how semiconductor companies do or do not build their own chips. To me that seems odd in a way. My such a list of gaming industry heads would have to include EA and Ubisoft, and maybe a few others too (Konami and Capcom might once have featured but they lessened themselves over the last decade or so to the point where I am not sure they need to be). A good start for such a list is probably anybody with a stage show/hour long show in E3 or their own conference of note. Some game dev running up to me and breathlessly saying they are releasing on Sony or MS seems much them saying we are putting out a blu ray (or DVD 15 years ago) and as much reason to be excited as such a thing, that is however without the perks of the DVD model. In a world where Disney can buy Fox I am hoping something silly like Sony and MS partner up to generate a console standard comes to pass, even better if it might offer some competition to android (something my lack of mentioning thus far will probably be an apparently massive oversight in 10 years*).

*before someone says "android will never", consider that such a sentence once ended "be the primary way many people access the internet". Consider also all that it can emulate. Someone, or enough someones, will stop milking kiddies for their quarters like grandpappy used to do in the arcades before too long.

To add on to the first paragraph I have seen the quasi breakup of IBM, AOL are nowhere near what they once were, nobody is quite sure what is happening to Dell, Microsoft themselves have taken an odd path (though one many can understand).
 

tbb043

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Won't be nintendoom. They haven't survived over 100 years to die because of a few years of less than stellar sales.
 

smileyhead

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Microsoft.
Sony has great games and great hardware. Like you said, Nintendo can be a wild card, but when they get it right, it's an enormous hit. The money piled up from a said hit can withstand multiple failures. I don't see either of them failing. Microsoft though, seems to become more and more rubbish as time goes on. If anything, maybe they'll start making pre-assembled PCs.
 

DiscostewSM

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If we're talking about "dying", like the company going under, I'd say Sony would be the first to go. The PS4 is doing well for them, but it can only keep them afloat for so long while much of the rest of the company is drowning them. Even then, their success is reliant on 3rd-parties rather than their own 1st-party titles, and those tides can turn. If they can't keep the success the PS4 has brought them in the future, then I'd say it's inevitable.

If however we're talking about "dropping gaming", then probably Microsoft first. They have plenty of money to keep them afloat, but gaming doesn't seem to be a good investment
 

fatsquirrel

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Nintendo is so rich that they can make all the poor asses in the world filthy rich.
Wait a minute...
*stalking Nintendo's secret cash bank*
I read their financial report a year or two back. Its unimaginable. They could but Sony and Microsofts console division and still have plenty of money
 
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Nintendo has a different problem: Miyamoto isn't immortal. Their system model is study, but I'm not convinced they can just produce top quality games forever like it's nothing.
Actually, Miyamoto and the Nintendo "Old Guard" have been taking a very hands-off approach for the last many years. They know that their higher-ups are getting older, and so they've begun conditioning a younger generation to take over the reigns. Both Super Mario Odyssey and Breath of the Wild were spearheaded by a new generation of Nintendo developers, with Miyamoto's gen taking a backseat. The success of both those games speaks for itself. Nintendo will be just fine for long after Miyamoto is gone, so long as their company culture is maintained.
 
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The Real Jdbye

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If you mean the company going under, that's not likely to ever happen to Sony or MS, since they make most of their money not from their gaming divisions, so even if their gaming divisions flop completely they can stay afloat and keep putting money into their gaming divisions hoping they will turn around. Nintendo however mostly make money from games, consoles and merchandise, and if they were to have several console flops in a row that would affect sales of all 3. That being said they are filthy rich so they would need to flop really bad in order to actually go bankrupt. I think if it came to it they would go software only before going bankrupt.

As for which one is most likely to quit the console market first, that would be MS. They are competing with themselves by having both a console gaming division and a PC gaming division, and having most releases be crossplatform between the two doesn't really help matters much. They wouldn't lose out on much by dropping their console gaming division entirely.
 
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As for which one is most likely to quit the console market first, that would be MS. They are competing with themselves by having both a console gaming division and a PC gaming division, and having most releases be crossplatform between the two doesn't really help matters much. They wouldn't lose out on much by dropping their console gaming division entirely.
Microsoft is just all kinds of confused as to what they want their console to be. At least now they have the "Most Powerful Console Ever" banner to rally behind. Previously, they were just wandering aimlessly, doing a 180 with their DRM plans, trying to hype up the Kinect then killing it, positioning the Xbone as a media device first, just all kinds of crazy. They barely have any exclusives to get behind, too. I can totally see them potentially exiting in the future.
 

RustInPeace

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Microsoft is more likely to give up on gaming, no way though that them and Sony would go totally under, as in all their divisions, impossible. I wish Sony Pictures stopped existing, but that's another story.
 
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