The last generation of devices has been bigger than any previous one. Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo combined have moved over 225 million home game consoles since their launches in 2005 and 2006. That’s a stunning success, especially when you consider the consoles were just a Trojan horse for the real business of selling billions of game titles at a wallet-thinning $40 to $60 a pop.
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In November, Nintendo will release Wii U, the first update to the groundbreaking motion-controlled gaming console that took the industry by storm in 2006. Pundits and developers presume Sony and Microsoft will quickly follow suit with their own updated game consoles — also the first in years — though neither have confirmed it.
Assuming all of these new machines arrive as predicted, they’ll hit store shelves at nearly the exact moment when the venerable game console, and the business model that sustained it, became obsolete.
In the history of videogames, devices designed primarily to play games have dominated more versatile machines by offering more software and a significantly better gaming experience.
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