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Panasonic, a leading consumer electronics company, said this week that it had cancelled development of its Jungle game console. The device was supposed to be Panasonic's first gaming device since 1993, but it did not fit into the company's overall strategy and would also fit competition from smartphones.

"Panasonic decided to suspend further development [of Jungle game console] due to changes in the market and in our own strategic direction," the company said in a statement, reports Reuters news-agency.

Panasonic Jungle game console was announced in October, 2010, and was supposed to be Panasonic's first video game system since the unsuccessful 3DO that was launched bask in 1993, but discontinued already in 1996 being unable to compete against Nintendo N64, Sony PlayStation and others. The Jungle was designed for various MMOs [massively online multiplier games] and featured appropriate form-factor.


Panasonic Jungle

Unfortunately for Panasonic, only three games were announced for the Jungle: Stellar Dawn, RuneScape, Battlestar Galactica Online. Moreover, the market of casual video games designed for smartphones began to explode in Q4 2010 and Q1 2011 and those titles can easily rival dedicated portable consoles. To make the matters worse, both established players of the market - Nintendo and Sony - are rolling out their new-generation portables this year, the 3DS and the NGP.

Despite of the fact that Panasonic is indisputably a very innovative company, the firm has been gradually withdrawing from any businesses that tend to become commodities. The company has proven for a number of times that it is incapable of developing high-quality affordable products and is more experienced in creating premium devices. Given the fact that video game systems should be affordable or even cheap and should be sold at a loss (which should later be compensated by sales of software), the game console project simply did not fit into Panasonic's strategy.

Tags: Panasonic, Playstation, Jungle, NGP, 3DS, Nintendo

Discussion

Comments currently: 3
Discussion started: 03/02/11 02:18:26 PM
Latest comment: 03/06/11 06:30:17 PM

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1. 
"The company has proven for a number of times that it is incapable of developing high-quality affordable products and is more experienced in creating premium devices."

Horrible (false) blanket statement. If this was true, Panasonic would not be the second largest in the world in consumer electronics. They would be a niche, which they are clearly not.

They have multiple markets where they have price effective products at all price points. (Their digital still imaging department, for example, has cameras ranging from sub-$100 to excellent DSLR's for ~$1200, all of which are very competitive at their own price point).

The biggest problem they have in the video gaming industry is not the hardware itself. You noted it in your article - its the software support that Panasonic is lacking.
0 0 [Posted by: MonkRX  | Date: 03/02/11 02:18:26 PM]
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2. 
@MonkRX

That stood out and rubbed me a little wrong as well. That said, when it comes to many markets it is a fairly accurate, although granted blanket statement. Look at televisions and dvd players of the past. Projectors and tvs and of the present. Cameras, I will give you.

Panasonic makes excellent high-end gear, widely regarded as some of, if not the best in it's field in any given market. That said, it is rare to see them compete for the budget consumer in each segment. Their business model clearly is not oriented that way. They have shown they would rather make precision strikes with great products (allowing a greater margin) than saturate each segment with volume and choices.

For slightly outdated examples:

Would I take a 2009 Panny over the similar-priced Epson/Optoma regarding quality? Probably. But Panasonic does not and cannot compete with the Optoma HD20 on straight value, or Epson with their bulb life.

Would I take a Panasonic plasma over pretty much anything else? In a heartbeat, but they can't compete worth a damn with the excellent LCD alternatives in price. They REFUSE to offer anything large (above 42in iirc) because it will hurt their plasma sales.

This is likely the type of examples the author was thinking of.
0 0 [Posted by: turtle  | Date: 03/02/11 05:22:20 PM]
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Huh? Turtle did you mean to say Panasonic refuses to sell anything smaller than 42 inch plasmas? BTW, a good quality backlid LED TV actually costs more than an equivalent, but superior Panasonic plasma. The LCD alternatives which are cheaper cannot compete on picture quality. Of course, Panasonic also offers cheaper Plasmas which are still superior to LCD/LED. Most people buy LCDs/LEDs because they are misinformed on plasma technology.

Regarding cameras, Nikon and Canon pretty much dominate the high end DSLR segments. Lately Olympus has been producing quality micro four-thirds cameras as well. Panasonic hasn't really been a leader in anything BUT TVs imho in the last 3-4 years. In all other areas, they are top of the line, but may not necessarily be the best. Their microwaves are awesome though
0 0 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 03/06/11 06:30:17 PM]
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