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

jcm

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Dec 8, 2008
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You want me to provide proof that if you cut prices sales will increase. Seriously? The proof is everytime there's a price cut sales increase. You're arguing against basic economics, you should be providing proof. You'll get a nobel prize if you succeed. BTW the 3DS has not been frequently discounted, it's only had one price cut and that was two and a half years ago.
I think you ought to re-read my post, because you clearly didn't read it carefully the first time. And discounted doesn't mean a reduction in msrp, it means stores offered it below msrp for a limited time.
 
Apr 18, 2005
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What's with the aggressive tone? We're all friends here.

Just because a company could sell more of an item at a certain price does not mean that those sales would result in profit. The effect of dropping the price compared with costs of goods and retailer margins and their estimations of demand have led them to the decision that holding price is the best place to be right now. They know they could sell more with a price drop, but who cares if they sell more if they lose money in the process?

Dropping the price of a game to $0.00 would lead to incredible sales. But that wouldn't make it a real good idea though, would it?
I think he's getting at the idea that Opiate has specified a few times before, which is if Nintendo's market is a $99 (or maybe $130 for a non-downgrade; DS didn't take off until the Lite at $130) handheld, and they designed one that needs to sell at $170 to be profitable, then Nintendo dun goofed. It's not that they didn't put $170 worth of stuff in there, but that they didn't make it worthwhile to the market at that price. As AniHawk has said before, Nintendo games are just too expensive in the handheld arena, and they appear even moreso compared to mobile/tablet gaming.
 

heidern

Junior Member
Jun 7, 2004
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What's with the aggressive tone? We're all friends here.

Just because a company could sell more of an item at a certain price does not mean that those sales would result in profit. The effect of dropping the price compared with costs of goods and retailer margins and their estimations of demand have led them to the decision that holding price is the best place to be right now. They know they could sell more with a price drop, but who cares if they sell more if they lose money in the process?

Dropping the price of a game to $0.00 would lead to incredible sales. But that wouldn't make it a real good idea though, would it?
Sorry I don't mean to sound aggressive(IRL I'm very laid back so I guess I naturally use strong wording and I'm frustrated with Nintendos basic errors). Maybe I'm a bit frustrated with all the posts based on speculation that goes against the evidence. We've had people with no knowledge of Wii U manufacturing claiming Wii U can't reduce in manufacturing cost when every console in history has reduced in manufacturing cost. Claims of price cuts not boosting unit sales.

I agree a cost/benefit analysis should be done for any price cut. Nintendo hamstrung themselves with the 3DS by releasing excessively powered/featured hardware. Although on the bright side for them, they delivered a knock out blow to Sony leaving Nintendo with a monopoly again(or maybe it was mobiles combined with Sony tripping over themselves). So maybe they are happy with stagnant sales since they don't need to compete for marketshare anymore.

I think he's getting at the idea that Opiate has specified a few times before, which is if Nintendo's market is a $99 (or maybe $130 for a non-downgrade; DS didn't take off until the Lite at $130) handheld, and they designed one that needs to sell at $170 to be profitable, then Nintendo dun goofed. It's not that they didn't put $170 worth of stuff in there, but that they didn't make it worthwhile to the market at that price. As AniHawk has said before, Nintendo games are just too expensive in the handheld arena, and they appear even moreso compared to mobile/tablet gaming.
Yeah that's about right. But 3DS was actually designed for $250 to be profitable. I'd guess it's because handheld has replaced consoles in Japan so maybe they thought they could beef it up. Nintendo's market is between $99-$199. $250 is proven failure. $199 I guess they'll be analysing the sales of the DSXL. $169 seems ok for launch. Wider massmarket was proven at $129 with the DS. It may be accessible with $149, that's not really been tested.
 
Dec 11, 2013
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Sorry I don't mean to sound aggressive(IRL I'm very laid back so I guess I naturally use strong wording and I'm frustrated with Nintendos basic errors). Maybe I'm a bit frustrated with all the posts based on speculation that goes against the evidence. We've had people with no knowledge of Wii U manufacturing claiming Wii U can't reduce in manufacturing cost when every console in history has reduced in manufacturing cost. Claims of price cuts not boosting unit sales.

I agree a cost/benefit analysis should be done for any price cut. Nintendo hamstrung themselves with the 3DS by releasing excessively powered/featured hardware. Although on the bright side for them, they delivered a knock out blow to Sony leaving Nintendo with a monopoly again(or maybe it was mobiles combined with Sony tripping over themselves). So maybe they are happy with stagnant sales since they don't need to compete for marketshare anymore.



Yeah that's about right. But 3DS was actually designed for $250 to be profitable. I'd guess it's because handheld has replaced consoles in Japan so maybe they thought they could beef it up. Nintendo's market is between $99-$199. $250 is proven failure. $199 I guess they'll be analysing the sales of the DSXL. $169 seems ok for launch. Wider massmarket was proven at $129 with the DS. It may be accessible with $149, that's not really been tested.
Well the Wii U was being sold at a loss even at launch.
 
Nov 13, 2011
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Are we talking about a transient blip, or sustained long term increases in sales?

The PSP and Wii's 2011 price cuts come to mind in terms of cuts that didn't amount to anything.
The PS3's 12GB SKU as well probably, as iirc the GTAV bundle had a much greater hardware impact.
There's also the PSV of course.

There's also the 2DS, which doesn't seem to have had a substantive long term effect given these January sales, although it's "gimped" so apparently doesn't constitute a lower entry price.

A slight aside, but I'm not particularly partial to handhelds, so it would be good if someone could elaborate on how the 2DS would be perceived as "gimped" by say an 8-year old, such that they're apparently holding out for an $149 regular 3DS? Is it the non-clamshell design? From what I can find the screens are the same size. The battery life is actually longer than the regular model. It outputs in mono unless you wear headphones - is that the deal-breaker?

I guess one can cite the lack of 3D-effect, but I really don't see how that ever served a particularly good sell, let alone is dissuading a sizable portion of potential consumers from just getting the cheaper model if they're price conscious. Isn't the desired outcome in the end to be able to play the software that works on either SKU?
 

heidern

Junior Member
Jun 7, 2004
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Are we talking about a transient blip, or sustained long term increases in sales?
We're talking about relative increase in sales. A higher priced product will sell higher than if it was a lower price. If after a price cut sales drop and keep dropping that doesn't mean the price cut didn't work because the increase is relative. In that case if the price wasn't cut, the drop in sales would have been even more severe.

I guess one can cite the lack of 3D-effect, but I really don't see how that ever served a particularly good sell, let alone is dissuading a sizable portion of potential consumers from just getting the cheaper model if they're price conscious. Isn't the desired outcome in the end to be able to play the software that works on either SKU?
If you ask the people that are buying a 3DS why they bought a 3DS instead of the cheaper 2DS, the reasons they give would be the same reasons why people are holding out for a 3DS over a 2DS.
 
Feb 16, 2010
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Mars
and they designed one that needs to sell at $170 to be profitable, then Nintendo dun goofed. It's not that they didn't put $170 worth of stuff in there, but that they didn't make it worthwhile to the market at that price. As AniHawk has said before, Nintendo games are just too expensive in the handheld arena, and they appear even moreso compared to mobile/tablet gaming.
Ahhhh, I see. Thanks. Yep, clearly they misjudged the market. But can you blame them? At the time 3DS was getting going in development, the NDS was printing money and Nintendo was the #1 publisher in the world with the #1 Console. They didn't see the change coming, but to be fair no one else did, either.

Although on the bright side for them, they delivered a knock out blow to Sony leaving Nintendo with a monopoly again(or maybe it was mobiles combined with Sony tripping over themselves). So maybe they are happy with stagnant sales since they don't need to compete for marketshare anymore.
"Look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair..." But yep, I agree that could be the thinking. Perhaps they are more satisfied now trying to keep SW and HW prices high knowing there's a subset of the population that really wants Pokémon, Mario, etc. even if that subset seems to be contracting a bit. Especially if you have to find bright sides to offset what's going on in the console space.

Yeah that's about right. But 3DS was actually designed for $250 to be profitable. I'd guess it's because handheld has replaced consoles in Japan so maybe they thought they could beef it up. Nintendo's market is between $99-$199. $250 is proven failure. $199 I guess they'll be analysing the sales of the DSXL. $169 seems ok for launch. Wider massmarket was proven at $129 with the DS. It may be accessible with $149, that's not really been tested.
Nintendo will have to give it another go in the handheld space, clearly. Let's say they bring a new handheld to market in 2016. What price do you think it must come out at, and what features do you think are must haves to compete with mobile? And do you think it finds success in the West?
 

heidern

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Jun 7, 2004
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Nintendo will have to give it another go in the handheld space, clearly. Let's say they bring a new handheld to market in 2016. What price do you think it must come out at, and what features do you think are must haves to compete with mobile? And do you think it finds success in the West?
The features aren't important, it's got the most important feature of all; better games. Oh actually, having buttons helps since it means its games aren't possible on tablets. The key point though is that handhelds are low use devices, tie-ratios are only around 4:1 for handhelds and handheld games are usually smaller/simpler than console games. Because of this people will not pay too high a price for them.

Also, $99 is a magic number. There's a huge missed opportunity there that 3DS can never hit. That's what Nintendo should work towards. So I would say launch at $169, cut to $149 after a year, $129 after 3 years and $99 after 5 years. Maybe have an XL model at $199 after launch.

I do think it finds success the west and it can compete with mobile. It literally just comes down to releasing good games. You can get 20 games in an all-in-one portable device for $50 but people don't want it. Kids can buy $10 kicks but instead they pester their parents for $100 brand names. Similarly you can get cheap mobile games but if people don't want them then that's not competition. If people want the games that Nintendo/Third parties release then people will be prepared to pay for them.
 
Feb 16, 2010
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The features aren't important, it's got the most important feature of all; better games.

...tie-ratios are only around 4:1 for handhelds and handheld games are usually smaller/simpler than console games. Because of this people will not pay too high a price for them.

Also, $99 is a magic number. There's a huge missed opportunity there that 3DS can never hit. That's what Nintendo should work towards. So I would say launch at $169, cut to $149 after a year, $129 after 3 years and $99 after 5 years. Maybe have an XL model at $199 after launch.

I do think it finds success the west and it can compete with mobile. It literally just comes down to releasing good games... If people want the games that Nintendo/Third parties release then people will be prepared to pay for them.
Used to be closer 4, now it's closer to 3, some of that is being made up digitally, but not all.

Won't disagree that $169 would be a consumer acceptable launch price, and $99 has been good historically (as have $199 and $99 consoles), but the tech probably isn't cheap enough to make that happen and still deliver the (consumer defined) quality games you're talking about. Maybe it will in a couple years. Hope so.

The industry needs a healthy and thriving Nintendo. Almost half of physical sales are now of M rated games vs 20% just 5 years ago, and if kids are going to grow up on iOS touch games, we can only hope that they'll eventually want to play with buttons. One of the biggest and fastest growing segments in the market are Nintendads right now, people who grew up on Nintendo and now have kids of their own. Would be nice for kids today to have a place for them to learn about good games rather than just flappy birds.
 
Aug 21, 2013
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I have a question that doesn't deserve it's own thread, but is NPD related.

I know that Amazon charts cannot be used to gauge interest or sales for the most part, but it seemed odd to me that the Xbox One dropped from the top 20 a few hours after NPD results were released and hasn't been able to climb back up as far as I have seen. Does that happen often? Do NPD results sway future sales?
 

heidern

Junior Member
Jun 7, 2004
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I have a question that doesn't deserve it's own thread, but is NPD related.

I know that Amazon charts cannot be used to gauge interest or sales for the most part, but it seemed odd to me that the Xbox One dropped from the top 20 a few hours after NPD results were released and hasn't been able to climb back up as far as I have seen. Does that happen often? Do NPD results sway future sales?
After the results were released the media and social media spread the word to some extent that PS4 was outselling XB1 2:1. Some of that would have included reasoning as to why it was happening(PS4 being cheaper/more powerful). This would then go on to some more positive word of mouth for Sony and negative for MS. Some of the people wanting the XB1 might have been put off or swayed towards Sony. We'll see in February NPD what happens with XB1 sales, although how much that was influenced by the above would be speculation really.
 
Jun 18, 2005
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Do NPD results sway future sales?
I can't speak to specific instances, but in this age of super-fast social media, who knows? Certainly, sales results - or more specifically, the demand behind them - affect future sales. Word gets around which products are popular, and which are less so, and that definitely affects people's decisions. The bandwagon effect can be powerful, especially when it's reinforcing a "correct" decision (in this case, cheaper/more powerful machine) instead of overriding one's normal preferences.
 
Aug 21, 2013
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After the results were released the media and social media spread the word to some extent that PS4 was outselling XB1 2:1. Some of that would have included reasoning as to why it was happening(PS4 being cheaper/more powerful). This would then go on to some more positive word of mouth for Sony and negative for MS. Some of the people wanting the XB1 might have been put off or swayed towards Sony. We'll see in February NPD what happens with XB1 sales, although how much that was influenced by the above would be speculation really.
I can't speak to specific instances, but in this age of super-fast social media, who knows? Certainly, sales results - or more specifically, the demand behind them - affect future sales. Word gets around which products are popular, and which are less so, and that definitely affects people's decisions. The bandwagon effect can be powerful, especially when it's reinforcing a "correct" decision (in this case, cheaper/more powerful machine) instead of overriding one's normal preferences.
Thanks, y'all. Guess I will wait for February NPD's.
 
Sep 20, 2005
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Simply, Destiny as a franchise will be much stronger than TitanFall due its availability on more platforms. Hence, making EA lose the Gen 8 FPS war to Activision.
That may be true but I think in time Destiny will adopt some of what Titanfall is doing. I think Titanfall's influence will be strong. Things like burn cards will be easy to go back and implement in some form.
 
May 24, 2012
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I can't speak to specific instances, but in this age of super-fast social media, who knows? Certainly, sales results - or more specifically, the demand behind them - affect future sales. Word gets around which products are popular, and which are less so, and that definitely affects people's decisions. The bandwagon effect can be powerful, especially when it's reinforcing a "correct" decision (in this case, cheaper/more powerful machine) instead of overriding one's normal preferences.
I agree. There are countless examples in the modern age how word of mouth can really affect console and game performances.

Look at Steam and how word of mouth can make otherwise obscure games sell incredibly well.

Or look at the Wii U and how negative sentiment made waves in both the developer community and the consumers who were considering it.

That combination of $100 more expensive and less powerful is really killing Microsoft in terms of sales momentum. The expected price drop can't come soon enough.
 
Nov 18, 2008
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I think he's getting at the idea that Opiate has specified a few times before, which is if Nintendo's market is a $99 (or maybe $130 for a non-downgrade; DS didn't take off until the Lite at $130) handheld, and they designed one that needs to sell at $170 to be profitable, then Nintendo dun goofed. It's not that they didn't put $170 worth of stuff in there, but that they didn't make it worthwhile to the market at that price. As AniHawk has said before, Nintendo games are just too expensive in the handheld arena, and they appear even moreso compared to mobile/tablet gaming.
I missed this before, but I'm glad the discussion is heading this way. The 3DS (and don't get me started on the wiiu) really was done in ignorance of all the stuff Iwata and company espoused during the fruitful years. "A box to play Mario." Etc.

Then, in the face of incredible cost competition, they decide that the price of hardware and software should go UP! That I think is the biggest miscalculation. Had the DS successor been just as affordable as the DS, and the software prices as good or better, we'd still have seen erosion, but probably not nearly as much.

The frustrating thing here is that they basically laid out all the reasons why they shouldn't have made the 3DS as they did in the Iwata Asks archives. But yeah, that's corporate leadership, not simple at all.