"The Nintendo Wii U was already an unmitigated failure before the unmitigated failure that was the Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) Xbox One launch event. Only 3 million of the new consoles had been sold as of last month. Its monthly sales are running well below those of both the Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3, even though both of those are more than five years old.
"And where do we start with the Xbox One? Microsoft's now getting dinged by its "Xbox 180," as the company was forced to walk back a number of hated policies. Gone is the always-on Internet connection. Discs can be reused. Regional restrictions have been lifted. Still, this backtracking doesn't seem to have soothed the rabid outrage that poured forth against Microsoft after its launch event, which spent so little time talking about, you know, playing games that it's become just another running joke in the clown show that is the Xbox One.
"Don't expect the PS4 to be the savior of consoles, either. There's nothing revolutionary in Sony's entrant, and where the prior generation of consoles only had to be better than their predecessors, today's consoles compete with cloud-based gaming (in the form of Valve's Steam service and others), mobile gaming, and a renewed surge of smaller console makers like Ouya that prefer to build low-cost hardware to run the Android OS. Gaming is thriving on more platforms and in more diverse forms than it has in decades. Game consoles? Not so much."