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Sony Vs Microsoft In ‘Great War Of Web Games’

Posted April. 12, 2002 09:01,   


A fierce battle between Sony and Microsoft has begun to preoccupy the web-game market, in which video games are played online. The battle, which will be concluded by this year’s Fall, is unpredictable. Wall Street Journal (issue on the 10th) reported that such uncertain reality is not only because the two corporations’ prides are involved, but also because the two have chosen completely different strategies.

Sony’s strategy is about `free-charging, open service`. It will let private game-developers manage the website, and only focus on selling adaptors (approximately 40 dollars) that connect `Playstation II` on the Internet.

On contrary, Microsoft is about `charging, closed service`. It is to directly manage everything from subscribers-management to game contents. This is part of its ambition to expand the previous monopoly in the PC market through the 20 billion dollar-worth international game market and even through Internet software. Expected budget for such strategy is to be 5 – 20 dollars monthly per subscriber.

Sony’s authorities said, “We are interested in sales-demand for gaming devices, which will be created indirectly, rather than direct profits from online business. We are also to provide music and movies through the website from next year.” In response, Microsoft, which announced the development of a game website titled `XBox`, explained, “Our goal is to create an online Disney World. Once you become a paid subscriber, logging in one time will allow you to enjoy high-quality games without worrying about virus or hacking.”

Wall Street Journal analyzed, “Sony’s strategy has a difficulty that each game-developer has to invest tens of thousands of dollars, and Microsoft’s strategy is uncertain about being able to attract netizens, who are so used to free-access on the web. If Microsoft continues the same kind of offensive management it pursued in the PC market, the game market will be in danger of being monopolized.”

Park parkhyey@donga.com