April NPDs: I've seen the future and it is Wii

I think I’ll pick up a PS3 in July.

That way, my tax refund will have arrived by then, and if I pick it up at Costco on the two-day sales tax holiday, it saves me a few bucks and gives me the peace of mind of their return policy.

Not enamored of friends lists? Why wouldn’t you want to play games with your friends? And talk to them? Do you not have any friends, Rick?

Do you not have any friends, Rick?

and pleasantly chat-free.

The prosecution rests.

Well… about that… somehow I got talked into pre-ordering 4 copies of Wii Fit.

I’m not saying you’re in the minority shang, but I’m not entirely certain you’re in the majority either.

I think this is a prescient comment.

The gaming market is much more fragmented than even in the days of the PS / Sega / Nintendo wars. Now we have handhelds – including iPhone / iPod. My younger daughter plays Peggle on her iPod Classic.

Plus we have three very viable consoles. While the Wii is going gangbusters, none of them are really weak, in the sense that none will simply fall by the wayside. This attests to the overall strength of the gaming market – it’s much bigger than in the previous console era.

Then we have the PCs, including the casual games market, which seems to be growing faster than most other segments, and not particularly tracked well. Plus MMOs, which are as big as the entire games industry a decade ago.

So enjoy what you’re playing. These days, no one needs to feel inadequate about what platform they’re on. If some cool game runs on a platform you don’t have… well, there’s probably something equally cool on the platform you do own.

In the long-term, console manufacturers should be concerned about kids growing up with amazing free-to-play games. From Kongregate to all the MMOs, you can get amazing game experiences without having to pay a penny.

Fuck console warz. Seriously

Who cares who wins? Nobody can even win this “race” when is the finish? 5 years from now do we count numbers? Do they get a trophy? There really are no real rewards for winning when there is such a divide between the abilities of the machines. The wii should be put in its own bracket, since the technology in the machine is not comparable. Companies that want to make HD games for the 360/PC/PS3 will do just that, people that want to make Wii games will do just that. Both sides have a large enough install base to justify making a game. If anything GTA4 proves that you can make a non-wii game that sells gangbusters. If these charts prove anything it is that the 360 and PS3 are not selling well because they cost too much. Hardware sales are not jumping because everyone who buy a 360/PS3 for 400 bucks already have.

Drop The Price.


I don’t think manufacturers have to worry as much. At some point, they may switch over to something like a cable TV/On Demand/Tivo model. However, “major” games will still sell the boxes outside of those revenue streams. I think it’s software devs that have to worry; they will either have to adapt to making games that support that model, or make sure that they’re making “the next big thing.” Since those studios/pubs that regularly churn out “the next big thing” are usually okay financially (and can absorb a loss or two on that model), it’s the middling to small devs that are probably going to be shocked the most if the market moves in that direction.

Of course, I’m probably 100% wrong, because I’m not a fortune teller.

I love the console war…as long as it means that every one of them will continue the battle for a loooong time and none of them drops out (like Sega did after the Dreamcast). I say, the more the merrier.

It counts for 5 days of GTA sales. The problem isn’t really the sale ratio of GTA, I think the game is doing more then allright, it’s the lack of hardware boost. Almost everybody (gamers, analysts, hardware manufacturers, the gaming press) expected GTA to boost both platforms - in anticipation and on releaseday, argumenting which platform would benefit the most from “THE next-gen game that everybody has to play” - it’s the only multiplatform game since launch (next to madden etc) that should have that kind of impact… and it didn’t. In contrary, hardware is seriously low for both.

Analysts change their tune.


In contrary, hardware is seriously low for both.

They’re both quite close to PS2 numbers, it’s impressive considering their price. I dont get why “analysts” never look at NPD from past years. May numbers will be up (like they always do) and those idiots will claim it’s because of GTA4.

PS2 March 2002: 362,408
PS2 April 2002: 204,863 (-43%)

PS2 March 2003: 410,704
PS2 April 2003: 264,273 (-35%)

PS2 March 2004: 294,437
PS2 April 2004: 188,669 (-36%)

PS2 March 2005: 495,000
PS2 April 2005: 332,000 (-33%)

PS3 March 2007: 130,000
PS3 April 2007: 82,000 (-37%)

PS3 March 2008: 257,000
PS3 April 2008: 187,000 (-27%)

X360 March 2007: 199,000
X360 April 2007: 174,000 (-13%)

X360 March 2008: 262,000
X360 April 2008: 188,000 (-28%)

In fact, GTA4 had a positive effect on hardware sales but not as good as the release of the 360 Elite last year. In term of harware boost: price drop > new SKU > blockbuster game

I do, but they are resolutely non-gamers. Go figure.

I understand why people feel the need to subdivide the industry, to say that the Wii “isn’t competing” with the other two consoles, but it doesn’t have much truth to it, honestly. The Wii has achieved a certain level of differentiation, but having worked in a games retailer, I have people all the time asking about the differences between the consoles so that they can make a decision between them.

Similarly, they compete for entertainment dollars from those people who have both (which is a small number), to say nothing of development resources from third-party companies.

People saying that “they’re not really in competition” are ultimately being silly. Unless by that you mean “they’ve done such a good job we just can’t really compete” then I would probably agree.

I’m not sure the Wii is in competition with the other consoles. I think that the type of gamer that wants a wii is not the same as the type that wants a PS360. I actually owned all three for a bit, but ended up giving the Wii to my nephew since i never used it. But a lot of my uncles (especially ones with tween kids) have them and they play Wii sports for family night. I’m 31 and my uncles are all at least mid 50’s so they did not grow up on games and Wii and gaming is totally new to them, but they really enjoy it. I go over for game night from time to time and it’s a ball, but for me at 2 am i want a 360 controller clutched in my hand as i fight for my life online in CoD4. I’ve actually tried to get some of the older generation over to the house for beers and Halo, but after a few minutes of co-op (on easy) they just have no interest, the basic premise is just to forign. It truly is 2 very, very different experiences, and while the Wii is definately bringing gaming to a much, much broader audience, i don’t think it is a stepping stone for these people to become avid gamers. I really think that the Wii is more about quality family time for a huge percentage of those playing them than it is about “gaming”.

Also i wonder what attach rates for the Wii are? Most of the “family” gamers I know have very small game libraries (2-3 titiles at most), and are pretty conent to just play Wii Sports. A stark contrast to the 30 something or so titles that i have bought and played this generation. Again I think that the Wii experience is fundamentally a different one from the “hardcore gamer” experience.

don’t get me wrong i’m not trying to divide the gameerscape up into highly defined, inflexable catagories, but these are just some of my observations. It might be interesting to note that many of my “girlfriends” also really like the Wii, and trust me these girls are more the shoe and handbag crowd (gross generalization, but you get my meaning). Just one last example of the stark contrast of appeal that the Wii has as compared to the PS360.

The Wii is in competition with the 360 and PS3, but only in the relatively narrow market the 360 and PS3 are really aimed at. The difference here is that a lot of the Wii’s sales are going to people who would likely never have purchased a video game system to begin with and have no interest in the other two systems.

It’s like MS and Sony are selling water and marketing it on it’s hydration benefits. Along came Nintendo with juice. They are competing with MS and Sony’s water because their juice also hydrates, but they also have another market of people who also want something that tastes differently than water.

The most recent numbers I’ve seen showed the 360 had an attach rate just under five while the Wii was just under four. When you factor in the automatic +1 the Wii gets for Wii sports in that calculation and the benefit they get from the Wii Play/controller bundle pack, you could argue that Nintendo’s attach rate is weaker than it looks. On the other hand, you could argue that by giving everyone Wii Sports and Wii Play in such deals, Nintendo has actually “shot itself in the foot” by supplying premier titles without getting the full financial benefit. So, you can go each way and there are also those who argue about the accuracy of published attach rate numbers to begin with.

nice anolgy…way to make me look verbose:)

Man I don’t know anyone that thinks that Wii Play is a “premier title”. I do know like three other people that only own a Wii and Wii Sports though.