PlayStation Move Doomed to Fail: History Says So

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

So is the case for Sony. The reviews for Sony’s PlayStation Move have been generally positive. There’s little doubt the technology is impressive, likely even better than the Wii. So be it, since that doesn’t matter. Comparisons to the Wii are actually off-base. The actual comparison is to console add-ons or game-specific accessories. Such as what you ask? Remember the Super Scope 6, Power Pad, Sega Activator, Vision Camera or N64 Expansion Pack?

What do those all have in common? They required special games to utilize them, games that needed to be created specially for them in order to work. They also all failed.

Simply put, not a single console add-on in the history of this industry has been a success. The closest anyone has ever come was the Sega CD, an add-on to the Genesis with a decent library, but one that never reached the penetration levels of the company’s other hardware. It’s never happened for a specific reason: Developers can’t take the financial risk of making a game exclusive to a segmented market. Even implementing a different feature or option to take advantage of some new gadget is risky. It takes time, money, and requires additional staff.

Think of it this way. Let’s say there are 30 million (random number) PlayStation 3 consoles in American households. Within a month of release, Sony sells 2 million Move units.

Knowing those numbers as a developer or publisher, are you willing to commit to spending $10 million to release a video game for only 2 million people, or will you focus on the 30 million who already have the needed hardware? This has nothing to do with motion controls or the Wii. Nintendo’s hardware began with motion control; Sony’s did too, but on a smaller scale. How did that work out?

This will undoubtedly be the case for Kinect as well, again establishing the dreaded fragmented market in an attempt to draw people in for a quick buck while software support slowly drifts away. It has happened every time, and will continue to do so, until consumers take a step back and actually realize they’re being duped into purchasing one-off units that down the road will serve little or no purpose.