The following blog explains the logic of Nintendo and Sega in their designing of consoles later on in the Ohga Shrugs timeline. Or in other words, "Why are the Eclipse and Stream so much weaker than OTL's PlayStation 4?"
1. Neither Sega or Nintendo have traditionally released expensive consoles. Nintendo, of course, is famous for launching the Game Boy at half the price of its competitors, but this extends to the console sphere as well.
In both real life and Ohga Shrugs, the original NES launched for $200, the SNES for $200, the N64 for $200 ($250 in Ohga Shrugs), and the GameCube, again, for $200. Notice a trend? The main reason the real-life Wii cost $250 was because of the expensive motion controller plus, in most places, Wii Sports, while the Ohga Shrugs Revolution is simply an acknowledgement of the realities of inflation. If anything, inflation means the Revolution's upper model cost about the same amount as the NES did in 1986 or so. Seeing as inflation did not radically increase from 2006 to 2012, I saw no reason for Nintendo to raise the price dramatically, although I would imagine them pushing $350 and $400 models/bundles.
But what about Sega? They too traditionally make cheap consoles. The Master System launched at $200, and the Genesis at an even lower $189. The Saturn cost $399 at launch in real life, but this was due to the high initial cost of Saturns in early 1995. With the later release date of late 1995, the Saturn would drop to $299, just like it did in real life. This price plummeted further during the Saturn's life IRL, but regardless of timeline, the Dreamcast only cost $200 at launch. In Ohga Shrugs, the Pluto cost $300, for reasons similar to Nintendo's, and the Eclipse would have a $300 bottom price.
But consoles are so much more expensive in real life! After all, remember the PlayStation 3? FIVE HUNDRED AND NINETY NINE US DOLLARS and all of that?
Well, the thing is, Microsoft and Sony are different from Sega and Nintendo. For one thing, as electronic giants, they have more cash to burn early in a console's life, meaning they can afford to sell consoles at a loss. For another, Sony in particular likes to incorporate new tech into consoles to help them sell. Remember, a DVD player cost about $150 in 2000, and a blue ray player cost something like $1000 in 2006. These features undoubtedly increased the price of the PlayStation family. Meanwhile, the Xbox family has traditionally tried to emulate PC's, which requires particularly powerful (and expensive) hardware for a console.
It also is important to note that consoles in Ohga Shrugs are not the dumbed down PC's of consoles in our timeline; they are dedicated gaming machines first up until the eight generation, at which point Nintendo and Sega finally start recognizing the need for multimedia. Things like Netflix, Kinect, internet browsing, etc, are all inferior on the Pluto and Revolution compared to the 360 and PS3.
Another thing to remember is that the Xbox started a trend of PC games being ported to consoles. This encouraged Microsoft and Sony to invest in more powerful consoles to play those sorts of games. Once again, this doesn't happen in Ohga Shrugs. PC and Console markets are fairly segregated, with Console-to-PC ports being the rule. And with both Sega's and Nintnedo's emphasis on first party support, a lot of big games simply never leave the console sphere.
So, in short, after 22 years of divergence, the consoles of one timeline's 2012 are only about a quasrter as powerful as those of our 2013. There you go.
And now for a rough table showing how the growth of console power in Ohga Shrugs is actually reasonable.
Consoles by RAM
- Saturn (5 MB) vs Nintendo 64 (4 MB)
- Dreamcast (56 MB) vs GameCube (43 MB)
- Pluto/Revolution (256 MB)
- Both Consoles (2 GB)
As you can see, there is a rough multiplication of 10 from gen 5 to 6, 5 from 6 to 7, and 8 from 7 to 8. So, consoles roughly octuple in power every generation. Also note that the price of newer tech such as pseudo-Blu Ray players and internal memory play a part in evolving costs.
Conclusion: Remember the NES? It was outperformed by higher end PC's even at launch. Likewise, the consoles of Ohga Shrugs will be outperformed by higher end PC's even at launch. But since they're game consoles, not PC's, that's okay. And besides, imagine how boring gaming would be if consoles strove to be PC's without decent controls for shooter games?