Well, today is the big day! At midnight, stores across the country began selling Halo 3. Microsoft's head of gaming was quoted as saying that this should be the largest entertainment event in history. What does this mean? Their goal is to make more money in one week than the reigning champion, Harry Potter. For the record, the latest Harry Potter movie did $155 million in one week. It is not outrageous to think that Halo 3 could surpass that, especially at $59.99 a copy.
So what does this mean for the gaming console wars? Well, it helps to solidify Microsoft's XBox 360 as the one to beat. That is yet another example of how Microsoft can enter a mature market and simply take it over.
They did it with Windows and then Microsoft Office and then they did it again, beating out Netscape with Internet Explorer. While many argue that open source will hurt them in those markets (Firefox is gaining market share daily), the reality is that they have continued to innovate across the board. While point solutions like Firefox may take some market share, there is no other company that has the range of Microsoft, from personal computing to your living room and from there all the way up into the Fortune 100. Name me one company that can come close.
Google? - Sure, they may own search and they may be nipping at the heels of Microsoft Office, but they still don't have the breadth and depth.
Oracle? - Not even close. They are fully focused on the enterprise stack (Linux, 11g and their applications). I don't think Oracle will ever enter my house. (Notwithstanding the fact that I am an Oracle competitor and its in my DNA to dislike them.)
And, if Microsoft could spend some more time on the Media Center side of Vista to make it as easy to use as the Mac and brain dead simple for interoperability with cable and satellite boxes, etc, then that war will be over as well.
I have multiple Media Center PCs in my house, including my family room. Though I do not have the Vista version yet, I can tell you that it is great for a geek like me, but not yet ready for my wife who just wants to watch/record tv or play some music.
But, I digress. I am actually just wasting some time before Best Buy opens so I can go get my copy of Halo 3!