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 Apr 26, 2005 - 03:00 PM - by Michael
* Xbox2's big advantage

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Xbox/Xbox Games
Businessweek thinks the Xbox's big advantage is the fact that it'll beat its competitors out the door by six months.

Next month, Microsoft (MSFT ) may tell the world when it'll unveil the next generation of its Xbox video-game console. The machine is expected to allow for the best surround sound yet and high-definition TV that could make gaming more realistic than ever. Say you're playing a next-generation Madden NFL game. When a 300-pound defensive lineman runs into your quarterback, the impact -- facial expressions of pain, the sound of breaking bones -- will be so real it'll make you cringe, boast game makers at Electronic Arts (ERTS ).

The next Xbox, code-named Xenon, is expected to hit stores in the fall. It will be the opening salvo in what could be a nasty fight in the coming year for dominance of the gaming market. Microsoft, a relatively late starter in the business, has scratched out a 17% share of the market for consoles since its 2001 debut, according to consultancy DFC Intelligence. And it's now a significant rival to Sony (SNE ) and Nintendo. At the moment, Sony is unquestionably the market leader with a 68% share, according to DFC. At the end of 2004, Nintendo's 15% share gave it the third position (see BW, 4/4/05, "Japanese Gamers: Tired of the Pummeling").
I'm honestly not sure who to root for, except praying that the consoles don't cost overly much.

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