Across seven years of Microsoft’s Surface experiment in designing and selling hardware, the company still hasn’t found a breakout hit product. It now offers more products than ever—six major product lines, compared to the two it started with at the end of 2012. Yet its revenues have barely budged across the last decade. This quarter, Surface sales fell 4 percent over the year-ago quarter.
Fanboys and pundits breathlessly promote the foolish and counterproductive idea of a console war every time a new console generation arrives on the scene. Competition in the console space is generally a good thing for everyone. It drives competitors to innovate in ways that benefit players and increase sales. Selling consoles is not a zero-sum game. More than one platform can succeed and the more that do, the more opportunities players have to play the games they love. The Switch didn’t go to war, it entered the competition and players reaped the benefits.