NPD Sales Results for January 2014 [Up3: PS4/XB1 #1/#2 best selling; Poke/SM3DW/ALBW]

They already made the decision to add a third developer to the rotation so that each one has more time to get their game to market, and they've made it pretty clear they plan to support fewer platforms for future releases to similarly reduce developer workload. (Ghosts had an absolutely absurd six platform simultaneous gold; it's pretty much a given that they'll drop Wii-U support at a minimum for the next release.)

Probably not the changes fans and/or pundits wanted, but actually not completely bad, in my opinion. Like most people I think they'd be well-served by breaking the annual rotation rather than adding more developers to further muddy the waters, but at least they're making arrangements to ensure that Sledgehammer/Infinity Ward/Treyarch actually have time to complete the games.
Yeah that is probably going to help the quality level. I'm not sure it would reverse the sales trend though (although lets be serious, COD in decline is still the most bankable brand in gaming). If somebody is pretty much done with running around and getting kill streaks, I'm not sure what would bring them back.

Well, Bungie's problem is how much they burned already on Destiny.
They're going to have the largest install base possible to sell to, and have to be pocketing more money per copy than they were from Halo when Microsoft owned them. I think they'll be fine on that front. I'm just curious to see how the really aggressive production schedule that was leaked out (full game every two years, with a retail grade expansion in between) works for them. If they're really got a decade of content mapped out, than maybe there will not be an issue.
 
Dec 6, 2006
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Assuming that that is accurate, the digital side is VERY interesting. It puts the total software spend at least in the ballpark of the 2006 numbers, and not all that far off of the 2007 numbers either. Taking it out it's looking like the extra money this month went into more expensive hardware to the detriment of the software numbers. Has this happened before? Still the fact that digital spend is outpacing retail boxed software is pretty huge, even if a large number of that spending goes to mobile games.
 
Jun 5, 2011
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PS4 was probably not even a factor. Okay, so we'll miss out on 200k copies sold on PS4.

PS3 is the bigger deal. You're giving up...US and Europe sales basically. Say 2-3MM potentially given up. At $40 a pop, that could be a big deal honestly.

More importantly, I think not launching on PS4 allows others to fill the niche. Destiny is going to be just absolutely gigantic. Mass Effect 2 and 3 kinda came out and splatted on PS3 because it just didn't start there. Granted, not the same for an RPG trilogy as a shooter.

It's also why I don't think it is worth paying for an exclusive on a sequel after you get the first. Fans already own the platform.
I'm not sure the transition for new players for TitanFall 2 will matter as much on the PS4 like Mass Effect had on the PS3. Which is why Microsoft is likely to try and secure the next one too like they did with the Gears franchise. TitanFall is just an online shooter game whereas Mass Effect was a trilogy. What will be interesting is how well Sony servers perform against Microsoft servers. Destiny could be telling.

It's obvious Microsoft was looking for a mainstream hit to fill the gap left by Halo and Gears at launch. Games like TitanFall also sell a hell of a lot of Live memberships just like Call of Duty does.
 
May 3, 2007
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Activision probably was happy TF is exclusive to XB1/360 only.
TF isn't exclusive to XB1/360 only though. It's coming to PC and it's running on Source engine meaning that even a couple years old PC hardware should be able to handle it in 1080p.


(This is for the beta running on unoptimized drivers so things will only go up from here.)
 
Apr 18, 2005
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It's interesting that the YOY decline started in 2009 considering the great recession of recent times started in Dec. 2007. I wonder if there is somehow a staggered effect at work.

Edit: Apparently the real calamity started to take hold in 2009 so follows it logically then
October 2008 is when it really hit hard. 2009 and later things drop. There are other factors in there, of course, but the economic situation is likely a very large factor.
 
May 24, 2012
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Wasn't Black Ops 2 already down vs. Modern Warfare 3? It doesn't seem like COD slowing down is anything new, it is just a matter of what Activision can do to offset it. I hope it doesn't put any unneeded demands on Bungie, because it really isn't their problem.
No, Black Ops 2 was pretty flat.

Meanwhile, with Call of Duty Ghosts, we're seeing a sudden, immediate decline for the franchise.

Here's a direct sales comparison:

Modern Warfare 3:

November 2011 - 8.7 million units
December 2011 - 3.4 million units
January 2012 - 0.4 million units (~12.5 million units)

Black Ops II:

November 2012 - 7.4 million units
December 2012 - 4.5 million units
January 2013 - 0.7 million units (~12.6 million units)

Ghosts:

November 2013 - 6.1 million units
December 2013 - 2.8 million units
January 2014 - 0.3 million units (~9.2 million units)
 
Jul 17, 2013
12,888
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Seattle
No, Black Ops 2 was pretty flat.

Meanwhile, with Call of Duty Ghosts, we're seeing a sudden, immediate decline for the franchise.
Also worth noting that it's in spite of Ghosts selling to a considerably larger install base, considering it was available simultaneously on PS4, XB1, PS3, 360, Wii-U, and PC, not to mention that each of those systems individually has a larger install base than when Black Ops 2 was released; even if it had gone flat again, it would have been viewed as a minor failure for not keeping up with market growth.
 
Apr 22, 2007
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TF isn't exclusive to XB1/360 only though. It's coming to PC and it's running on Source engine meaning that even a couple years old PC hardware should be able to handle it in 1080p.


(This is for the beta running on unoptimized drivers so things will only go up from here.)
Framerate limiter in effect, or vsync?
 
Nov 13, 2011
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I thought overall home consoles sales would avoid the fate of portable consoles (decline every year even after next-gen has started), but after January numbers for PS3, 360 and XBO, I'm not as confident.
2013's decline is largely down to Nintendo's systems though i.e. the Wii still sold around 2M in 2012 in addition to reasonable launch numbers for the Wii U, vs the Wii completely fading and the Wii U being the Wii U in 2013.

The two new launches for PlayStation and Xbox increased their hardware Y/Y by 300K+.
Assuming that that is accurate, the digital side is VERY interesting. It puts the total software spend at least in the ballpark of the 2006 numbers, and not all that far off of the 2007 numbers either. Taking it out it's looking like the extra money this month went into more expensive hardware to the detriment of the software numbers. Has this happened before? Still the fact that digital spend is outpacing retail boxed software is pretty huge, even if a large number of that spending goes to mobile games.
I think it's already been noted, but this January also had a dearth of releases.

Normalised 2007 software was around $440M, 2006 was about $360M? Depending upon what part of that $335M is in lieu of packaged retail it could be in excess of 2006 software. I don't really think software growth can and will occur until there's a more established next-gen installed base and more software releasing for them, the last generation just went on too long and the new gen can't yet make up for the rate of decline in the old.
 

Y2Kev

TLG Fan Caretaker Est. 2009
Jul 6, 2005
91,412
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I'm not sure the transition for new players for TitanFall 2 will matter as much on the PS4 like Mass Effect had on the PS3. Which is why Microsoft is likely to try and secure the next one too like they did with the Gears franchise. TitanFall is just an online shooter game whereas Mass Effect was a trilogy. What will be interesting is how well Sony servers perform against Microsoft servers. Destiny could be telling.

It's obvious Microsoft was looking for a mainstream hit to fill the gap left by Halo and Gears at launch. Games like TitanFall also sell a hell of a lot of Live memberships just like Call of Duty does.
I agree, and noted that (vs. Mass Effect).

I just don't see why you need to secure the exclusive to drive hardware. Once you get the first one, people that want it will get your console to play it. After that, they've already got it. The brand is associated with your platform. I'm not sure it matters or makes sense given the cost (Microsoft will be behind the 8-ball given how PS4 has performed).
 
Jan 19, 2013
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Speaking of Destiny I wonder what happened with the initial plan.
Initially was X360/X360 sucessor one year exclusive, now has early access to beta and exclusive content on PS4/PS3.
The world of big publisher AAA politics is strange and cutthroat. My main takeaway from e3 2013 was how each and every major publisher that wasn't EA seemed to align themselves with Sony. Sure, they still honored existing contracts with Microsoft but they didn't seem to show much enthusiasm for the Xbox One. My guess is this was a case of triangulation by my enemies' friend's enemy is my friend.

This is a complete guess but Peter Moore (ex Xbox head) was the acting CEO of EA when the "strategic partnership" went down. Under new management now, EA will likely use every excuse it can to back out of it. The success of the PS4 pretty much guarantees we'll see it happen. I wouldn't be surprised to see an EA presence at Sony's E3 this year.
 
Mar 26, 2010
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Their new console is flopping
The resolution's dropping
The crushed blacks are a'popping
The Xbox family
That's fun!

Last gen they were successful
But now its getting stressful
Enough with the bad press yo
The Xbox family

If kinects not aborted
The bone won't be supported
And no one can afford it
the Xbox family

Da-da-da-dum.
 
May 30, 2013
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The world of big publisher AAA politics is strange and cutthroat. My main takeaway from e3 2013 was how each and every major publisher that wasn't EA seemed to align themselves with Sony. Sure, they still honored existing contracts with Microsoft but they didn't seem to show much enthusiasm for the Xbox One. My guess is this was a case of triangulation by my enemies' friend's enemy is my friend.

This is a complete guess but Peter Moore (ex Xbox head) was the acting CEO of EA when the "strategic partnership" went down. Under new management now, EA will likely use every excuse it can to back out of it. The success of the PS4 pretty much guarantees we'll see it happen. I wouldn't be surprised to see an EA presence at Sony's E3 this year.
This probably happened because MS spent most of their third party moneyhats on EA to secure everything they did. LMAO
 
Oct 28, 2013
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Glasgow
Too many syllables.
You can totally fit 'letshopehe' into one beat! It's a song not a haiku.
I never actually saw this show before :(

Anyway yeah, Ghosts has been disappointing across the board. I work at the busiest videogame store in my country, the zone manager even came for the midmight launch. We ended up selling just over 20 copies, compared to last year's over 100. Even the customers seemed embarassed.
 
Oct 1, 2011
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MS was probably thinking: "Pshh, we got NFL for the NA, and we got FIFA for the EU. We have COD/BF exclusive content and we locked down TitanFall. Sony is roasted."

Amazing how this industry works sometimes. It seems having a clear message is above everything.
 
Oct 28, 2013
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MS was probably thinking: "Pshh, we got NFL for the NA, and we got FIFA for the EU. We have COD/BF exclusive content and we locked down TitanFall. Sony is roasted."

Amazing how this industry works sometimes. It seems having a clear message is above everything.
That video of Mattrick chatting away with the head of the NFL seems so long ago now.
 
Oct 31, 2012
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I think some of you are giving Destiny a little too much credit for already being the next big thing. While I think it looks spectacular, there's nothing about it that screams easy pick up and play like COD, BF, Halo, and Gears. That's why I've always been so bullish on Titanfall - it looks so easy a caveman could do it but it does enough new things to make it feel fresh.

A large part of its success will depend on Activision's ability to sell it as a pick up and play multiplayer shooter. The audience who wants Borderlands + MMO-ish goodness is likely MUCH smaller than the audience who just wants to turn on their system and shoot some dudes. While I think it will be a very successful new franchise, I'm not sure if it's got the ability to touch the success of the other four franchises that I mentioned earlier. Titanfall does have a chance, though it might not be until Titanfall 2.
 

jcm

Member
Dec 8, 2008
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If a 16% decline is 'large', why wouldn't a 13% price cut not be 'large'? It also doesn't need to convince hordes of people. They only need to convince another 10% or 20% of people. It also doesn't need to make a big impact on peoples thoughts. People on the fence, people 90% convinced but not quite. Price goes down and they cross the line of the buying decision. Just give them that 10% boost in motivation to get the system.
Because similar percentages don't necessarily indicate similarity in an other way. Using percentages the way you're using them obfuscates, not clarifies. A 13% price cut to a 3DS isn't large to consumers because it's only twenty bucks. A 16% decline in sales for the 3DS last month is 50K units, or somewhere in the neighborhood of $10M. Over a year it's in excess of $100M. $20 is not large, $100M is large.
 
Jul 20, 2011
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Indiana
I think some of you are giving Destiny a little too much credit for already being the next big thing. While I think it looks spectacular, there's nothing about it that screams easy pick up and play like COD, BF, Halo, and Gears. That's why I've always been so bullish on Titanfall - it looks so easy a caveman could do it but it does enough new things to make it feel fresh.

A large part of its success will depend on Activision's ability to sell it as a pick up and play multiplayer shooter. The audience who wants Borderlands + MMO-ish goodness is likely MUCH smaller than the audience who just wants to turn on their system and shoot some dudes. While I think it will be a very successful new franchise, I'm not sure if it's got the ability to touch the success of the other four franchises that I mentioned earlier. Titanfall does have a chance, though it might not be until Titanfall 2.
Well Bungie did say in that hour long podcast that competitive will have just as big of a focus as coop. The maps are even all designed specifically for competitive unlike Reach. Also, I personally don't think Gears is really pick up and play. It's very competitive and skill based IMO. Damn I love gears so much.
 
Sep 20, 2005
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EA bet on the wrong horse and decided to push for MS. They've got Titanfall and PvZ. And Xbox also gets BF DLC first (kinda like CoD). It's amazing to see that blow up in their face.

I think you will see EA be a bit more neutral at E3. Sure, Sony and Microsoft will still pay for exclusive DLC but I think EA learned their lesson here.
 
Sep 20, 2005
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I think some of you are giving Destiny a little too much credit for already being the next big thing. While I think it looks spectacular, there's nothing about it that screams easy pick up and play like COD, BF, Halo, and Gears. That's why I've always been so bullish on Titanfall - it looks so easy a caveman could do it but it does enough new things to make it feel fresh.

A large part of its success will depend on Activision's ability to sell it as a pick up and play multiplayer shooter. The audience who wants Borderlands + MMO-ish goodness is likely MUCH smaller than the audience who just wants to turn on their system and shoot some dudes. While I think it will be a very successful new franchise, I'm not sure if it's got the ability to touch the success of the other four franchises that I mentioned earlier. Titanfall does have a chance, though it might not be until Titanfall 2.

I think they could add burn Cards and a smart pistol after launch if that is what fans want. Mechs might take a bit more work. It really depends on how much or how little Titanfall matters. They aren't doing anything that can't be copied and some of it can be added to existing games if devs devote the time to it.
 
Aug 16, 2007
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Puerto Rico
EA bet on the wrong horse and decided to push for MS. They've got Titanfall and PvZ. And Xbox also gets BF DLC first (kinda like CoD). It's amazing to see that blow up in their face.
You say blow up in their face as if the XBO is pulling wii u numbers.

You have to realize how ridiculous that sounds this early, right? Especially without even waiting to see the effect of the things they got paid for.
 
Sep 11, 2011
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You say blow up in their face as if the XBO is pulling wii u numbers.

You have to realize how ridiculous that sounds this early, right? Especially without even waiting to see the effect of the things they got paid for.
Getting outsold 2 to 1 in it's home country and even higher than that everywhere else isn't especially good. It's not Wii U bad.... But that's hardly something to be celebrated. In fact, I'm pretty sure it Dec. to Jan. Drop percentage was around the same as the Wii U. A strong launch doesn't mean much if it can't keep it up (again, see Wii U)

I think it's safe to say siding with MS is blowing up right in EA's face and it's very well deserved. They've pretty much squandered Titanfall's potential. Sure maybe a bit I'm being a bit hyperbolic but it does make sense
 
Jun 12, 2013
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Blowup is hyperbolic, but it's not wrong to say that EA made a poor choice in those regards, especially Fifa and Pvz/Peggle.

Late port jobs rarely sell significant numbers compared to the initial release. The better choice of timed exclusivity is to always hope that exclusivity goes to the console with the higher install base, so you reduce your lost opportunity cost.

FIFA is no-brainer. Europe leans to PS4 significantly compared to Xbox, and the returns from those exclusive content would be less, especially since its Ultimate Team.

Titanfall was always going to be exclusive to one platform or another for a longer period than other games, so this is different from the other moneyhats. This is harder to gauge.
 

heidern

Junior Member
Jun 7, 2004
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Because similar percentages don't necessarily indicate similarity in an other way. Using percentages the way you're using them obfuscates, not clarifies. A 13% price cut to a 3DS isn't large to consumers because it's only twenty bucks
Do you have any proof that it's not large to consumers? Maybe you should read up on price elasticity.
 
Jan 5, 2012
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I think some of you are giving Destiny a little too much credit for already being the next big thing. While I think it looks spectacular, there's nothing about it that screams easy pick up and play like COD, BF, Halo, and Gears. That's why I've always been so bullish on Titanfall - it looks so easy a caveman could do it but it does enough new things to make it feel fresh.

A large part of its success will depend on Activision's ability to sell it as a pick up and play multiplayer shooter. The audience who wants Borderlands + MMO-ish goodness is likely MUCH smaller than the audience who just wants to turn on their system and shoot some dudes. While I think it will be a very successful new franchise, I'm not sure if it's got the ability to touch the success of the other four franchises that I mentioned earlier. Titanfall does have a chance, though it might not be until Titanfall 2.
60 or 70 milions of World of Tanks accounts tell me otherwise.
People love MMO + short matches formula.

5-6 milions to match Gears of War imho is bare minimum Destiny should do.
 
Jun 12, 2013
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Borderlands 2 shipped 8.5 million. Even if we assume 2K overshipped, we're still talking sales of somewhere over 7.5 million copies. It's no CoD or even BF, but it's no small demographic.

And no offense to Borderlands, but I highly doubt we can take Borderlands as the exemplary title to represent the maximum potential scope of an audience looking for games like this.

I think Destiny is easily going to grab the Borderlands crowd, and more than that. It's clearly being pivoted as something that's fundamentally delivering the Borderlands experience, but also have slices of something for everyone else looking for a different type of experience. Thus Bungie occasionally refusing to call it an MMO, but shared world that can have a end-game single player experience, co-op, competitive, exploration, etcetcetc. Destiny is being sold on the notion that it's delivering a lot of extra things, on top of the Borderlands loot-shooter.

Whether or not Destiny delivers on those 'extra stuff' is, of course the $60 question. The reality is that there's very little new footage of Destiny outside of the basic gameplay we've seen from the E3 demo. We haven't seen the town hub, how it functions, how vehicles work, how exploration scales... basically the thing that will make it sell better than Borderlands are still promises that have no videos to back them up yet.

I expect Destiny's blow-out to be at Sony's E3 pressy this year, where Bungie needs to finally answer the question of 'what makes Destiny more than just what they've shown?'
 
Jan 16, 2012
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TF isn't exclusive to XB1/360 only though. It's coming to PC and it's running on Source engine meaning that even a couple years old PC hardware should be able to handle it in 1080p.


(This is for the beta running on unoptimized drivers so things will only go up from here.)
Radeon HD 5770 am cry...
 

CoG

Member
Mar 10, 2007
4,116
0
0
I think some of you are giving Destiny a little too much credit for already being the next big thing.
If Destiny were exclusive to either console it would be hyped as bad as Titanfall is. The other way around, if Titanfall were x-plat there would not nearly be as much hype around it.
 

jcm

Member
Dec 8, 2008
5,102
0
0
Do you have any proof that it's not large to consumers? Maybe you should read up on price elasticity.
Sorry, but you're the one making the claim that the current price point is saturated and that a $20 cut is going to give them a big bump. If anyone needs to provide proof then it's you. I guess I would point out the the 3DS if already frequently discounted, and that hasn't seemed to have much of an effect.
 
Feb 16, 2010
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Mars
Do you have any proof that it's not large to consumers? Maybe you should read up on price elasticity.
Elasticity in games isn't what you might think. And given the margins sometimes it's better to keep the higher price because the unit lift from the drop won't make up for the loss of margin per unit.

I'm guessing since Nintendo's data on handheld sales an pricing goes back decades and that they're a huge company that's been doing this a while that someone over there has crunched these particular numbers. Just a guess that they have an idea of their elasticities, cost structures and margin goals.

Hey, jcm, let me know how your reading about price elasticity goes. Think heidern just dropped some knowledge on you.
 
Aug 5, 2011
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UK
Activision probably was happy TF is exclusive to XB1/360 only.
True. If Destiny does very well across both Sony and MS ecosystems I'll be really curious to see how EA feel about having potentially big franchises locked into only one ecosystem.

Strong sales for Activision titles on PS4 should in theory have EA questioning their choice here (although to be fair the original choice was arguably more Respawn's - EA just couldn't resist whatever huge buyout MS offered late in the day it seems).
 
Nov 1, 2013
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Battlefield 4 took alot of the COD crowd. I don't think Titanfall or Destiny will take that crowd because of the mechs/aliens.
Destiny will take a lot of the Halo crowd (ones waiting for Halo 5, Bungie loyalist, people who think Halo is on a downward climb, and the ones that left XBox for PS4). Add in the PS4 owners dying for a new respectable shooter IP since missing out on the first TF, it should have a very large crowd.

Also I disagree that BF4 took a lot of the CoD crowd. Majority of the CoD crowd was never big fans of BF, and they are still waiting for something to scratch that itch. I know I am.
 
May 28, 2007
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Cardiff
I'll never understand why Microsoft insisted on bundling Kinect with every console. I don't see how it is central to any sort of service or vision that MS have across its products. Hell, most of the adverts for the XB1 I see centre around the benefits of voice control than motion sensing, why not bundle the console with a $1 microphone?

Still, we're 3 months into a generation, plenty of time to get stuff sorted. I hope they do, the industry needs competition.
 

Y2Kev

TLG Fan Caretaker Est. 2009
Jul 6, 2005
91,412
0
0
30
I'll never understand why Microsoft insisted on bundling Kinect with every console. I don't see how it is central to any sort of service or vision that MS have across its products. Hell, most of the adverts for the XB1 I see centre around the benefits of voice control than motion sensing, why not bundle the console with a $1 microphone?

Still, we're 3 months into a generation, plenty of time to get stuff sorted. I hope they do, the industry needs competition.
I think MS decided the gen was about services. Kinect can play a large role in service delivery, especially for their partners. I don't believe in NSA spying or whatever but I do believe NuAds would be a part of their strategy.
 
Aug 20, 2012
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Including Kinect seems to be a attempt at turning our TVs into a tablet/smartphone.

Does MS even know why touchscreen smartphones became big? And later tablets?

Do they understand that the reason these became big was not because of the novelty of using your fingers on a piece of greasy glass instead of pushing actual buttons on your Nokia 3310. But because removal of buttons allowed companies like Apple to attach a much bigger screen than previously, which had the chain reaction of making things like videos, web surfing, more complex games possible.

There is nothing added by using your voice to change channels, the classic brick remote control does not need to be changed, in the same way that cell phones needed the change that came.

As a owner of a Iphone 5 i can tell you what other hundreds of millions of Iphone 5 users can tell you: Siri sucks and is useless. I had fun for 5 min when i initially got my phone, because i asked her what clothes she was wearing, just to hear her smart ass remarks and that was it.

I am not sure voice controlled electronics are ever going to be a thing.
 
I'll never understand why Microsoft insisted on bundling Kinect with every console. I don't see how it is central to any sort of service or vision that MS have across its products. Hell, most of the adverts for the XB1 I see centre around the benefits of voice control than motion sensing, why not bundle the console with a $1 microphone?

Still, we're 3 months into a generation, plenty of time to get stuff sorted. I hope they do, the industry needs competition.
I think the answer, broadly, is that a console which sells pretty well isn't good enough for Microsoft.

MS got in to the console business because they suspected there might be a Windows-like profit source and they wanted a piece of it. It turned out that the Windows-like profit source was in phones and tablets instead.

As such, if MS is to stay in the home console business, the consoles have to do more than just make, say, a billion dollars, which is what a successful console might hope to accomplish (sans Nintendo, of course). They need more than that because that's Microsoft's opportunity cost. Kinect was MS' attempt to get more than just a successful console.

Sony's opportunity cost is much lower, however, so they're just fine with low profit margins.
 
May 28, 2007
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Cardiff
I think MS decided the gen was about services. Kinect can play a large role in service delivery, especially for their partners. I don't believe in NSA spying or whatever but I do believe NuAds would be a part of their strategy.
I do understand that, I think my question is a combination of rhetorical questioning and disbelief on my part.....:p But what confuses me is that so far most of the advertisements I've seen here in the UK have revolved around people playing games whilst utilising voice control and Skyping with friends. With that in mind, why bundle such an expensive solution, when a basic webcam/mic combo could do all that? Kinect just feels like a very expensive answer to a question that its core audience weren't asking (although as you say, content providers/partners may well have).

I don't know.... to me it just seems the Xbox One is the console that was designed by committee, which is a bit of a shame given that the 360 bolted out the gates with a defined target audience and message.

I think the answer, broadly, is that a console which sells pretty well isn't good enough for Microsoft.

MS got in to the console business because they suspected there might be a Windows-like profit source and they wanted a piece of it. It turned out that the Windows-like profit source was in phones and tablets instead.

As such, if MS is to stay in the home console business, the consoles have to do more than just make, say, a billion dollars, which is what a successful console might hope to accomplish (sans Nintendo, of course). They need more than that because that's Microsoft's opportunity cost. Kinect was MS' attempt to get more than just a successful console.

Sony's opportunity cost is much lower, however, so they're just fine with low profit margins.
Yet again MS have misread the market! Phones, tablets and now an attempt at a home entertainment box.... (clearly they didn't get the memo that Smart TVs are now providing consumers with most of the services they need).
 
Aug 5, 2011
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UK
I'll never understand why Microsoft insisted on bundling Kinect with every console. I don't see how it is central to any sort of service or vision that MS have across its products. Hell, most of the adverts for the XB1 I see centre around the benefits of voice control than motion sensing, why not bundle the console with a $1 microphone?

Still, we're 3 months into a generation, plenty of time to get stuff sorted. I hope they do, the industry needs competition.
MS never got into consoles just to deliver a game console and make some low margin hardware money and some software money. It was always a bigger play with the initial focus on games only the Trojan Horse to get into the running.

XB1 (particularly as initially announced) is representative of their true direction and is informed both by their on-going goal to try and get into closed gate services/devices for consumers and their long stated goal to use such a device to "own the living room".

Kinect started following from Wii motion controls but was clearly always more about an input mechanism than something for games only. With XB1 the goal was clearly to have you use Kinect as your primary interaction mechanism to control the console and via the console all your media content and services as well as aimed at popular stuff such as fitness, dance and motion control mini-game titles like Kinect Sports.

The XB1 is the way it is because in the end MS isn't really that interested in the games other than as a means to an end (not that there aren't and haven't been many very pro-games folks in the Xbox division over the years who I think did try and make it much more about the games or even all about the game - but at the higher exec levels the games were just a sidebar to the main event which was owning the living room and their goals were always going to overturn the videogame centric folks in the end).

Personally I believe MS vision for Xbox and the living room has vanished on them in terms of large, global demographics actually wanting such as device - although from what I understand there is perhaps a core demographic in US where the media element makes sense plugging in a cable box - and the console has been left looking like a decent (but inferior to direct competition PS4) games console with a still strong online infrastructure, a few notable but small in number exclusives and an uncertain strategic direction or future with a competitor that for the most part is now offering an identical gaming service and a superior piece of gaming hardware.

Just dumping Kinect won't change the rest of the device or the underlying design - and going forward the question is going to be is MS really interested in just games if the market shows the bigger demand now is for a pure gaming console as part of a family of distributed devices (tablets, TV, Smart TV, smartphones, etc) or do they think there is a viable way to still go after "owning the living room" and a viable role for Xbox in their broader strategy?

A lot will be riding on PS4 and XB1 sales, particularly in US, as well as how many XB1 owners just turn it on to play games vs the percentage using it as intended as their single "all in one" box in line with MS greater vision.
 
Dec 14, 2010
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I think the whole plan to 'own the living room' with just one product was just a bad plan. To 'own the living room,' a company would need to eliminate or dominate every other competitor. MS might be able to compete with Sony, but there is also Apple, Samsung, Google, Roku, and every DVD, Blu-Ray, and TV manufacturer. Sony doesn't care that you buy a PlayStation specifically, but instead care that you buy Sony products. A Sony Blu-Ray Player, Sony DVD Player, Sony Internet Streamer, or Sony TV is just fine with them, too. That's their plan for 'owning the living room.' They cater to every market demographic, even those outside gaming.
 
Sep 21, 2006
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PS4 was probably not even a factor. Okay, so we'll miss out on 200k copies sold on PS4.

PS3 is the bigger deal. You're giving up...US and Europe sales basically. Say 2-3MM potentially given up. At $40 a pop, that could be a big deal honestly.

More importantly, I think not launching on PS4 allows others to fill the niche. Destiny is going to be just absolutely gigantic. Mass Effect 2 and 3 kinda came out and splatted on PS3 because it just didn't start there. Granted, not the same for an RPG trilogy as a shooter.

It's also why I don't think it is worth paying for an exclusive on a sequel after you get the first. Fans already own the platform.
EA didn't advertise the PS3 version of ME2 at all, but they seem to have been satisfied with the sales.

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-03-08-ea-happy-with-mass-effect-2-ps3-sales
EA happy with Mass Effect 2 PS3 sales

EA did "absolutely nothing" to market the PS3 version of BioWare's fantastic science-fiction action RPG, Riccitiello admitted, and yet the digital copy secured a double-digit per cent of total sales of Mass Effect 2 on PS3.
I still have a nagging suspicion, given the ME sales on the 360 and EA's relationship with MS, that the next one might be a target for exclusivity. Hopefully not though.