NPD Sales Results for June 2015 [Up2: Batman, Splatoon]

John Bender

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Jun 21, 2014
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Software sales are nearly all in favour of Sony. That's the area where the money is made for all companies and the main reason Microsoft won the last generation. It would be nice to know if digital software sales will continue to rise quickly.
MS did not win last generation. Maybe in North-America. But surely not worldwide.
 

g0dofwar

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Apr 6, 2015
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Has the PS4 not established itself as more valuable than the Xbox one by maintaining its price? Everyone is more or less expecting a price cut from the Xbox this Christmas because it is losing its value in consumers eyes. By having the value of the PS4 in its games and exclusives Sony are doing a great job making the console the number one this gen.
 

ZhugeEX

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If you guys have like 5 hours then I recommend reading this quick report I wrote in the last 30 minutes. I'd love to hear your thoughts-

It’s important to note that a lot of people draw a direct correlation between the increase in smartphone gaming leading to a decline in console gaming, both in user base and revenue. This is not true and whilst mobile has played a role in the contraction of the console market it does not mean that the console gaming market is dead or dying off. In fact the console market is adapting to these changes and is currently going through a rebound phase. In order to understand what is happening I have written the below post for everyone to read, it provides my thoughts on the matter and where I believe console gaming is headed and what the effect from smartphone gaming has been. Please take a look-

First we need to look at the console industry itself. According to DFC Research it’s estimated that the console market bought in revenues of more than $25 billion in 2014 across both software and hardware. Between the years of 2008 to 2013 we saw revenues decline every year but 2014 is the first year where revenue has stabilised and there are clear trends that show that console revenue is set to grow again over the next 5 years starting with 2015 thanks to the success of the new PlayStation 4 and Xbox One which are in their second full year on the market.

The number of publishers and physical game releases declined over the past 5 years due to a number reasons I’ll be discussing below, however there was a rebound last year and revenues are set to increase thanks to new models being monetised by the industry such as online subscription services, download content, full game downloads, free to play and season passes. But lets get an idea of the market first-

When looking at the worldwide market we see that there are three distinct geographic markets in North America, Europe and Japan. It used to be that North America was the biggest by far but we’ve now seen Europe match and potentially exceed the US market. Japan on the other hand has seen declines and is now a much smaller market then it was. One thing we’ve seen is the rise of emerging markets in the console space, markets like the Middle East, Africa, Asia and China have bought into consoles early this generation and are spending money on gaming. Whilst these markets are small they do make up a notable percentage of the gaming market once added up and this is one of the reasons why North America isn’t as big anymore as Europe and the rest of the world as seen a lot of growth this generation.

Now, it’s important to note that as of 2015 the total amount of revenue being generated by console hardware and software on a global basis is actually more than that of Mobile gaming and over the next 5 years we should see console revenue grow again, faster than traditional entertainment industries. Mobile is set to explode even more and should take over console gaming revenues in 2017/2018 on a global basis. So it’s important to note that both Mobile and Console are set to grow despite the difference in userbase and general contraction of the console market in terms of both projected install base and number of software publishers/products. I’ll be explaining why console will still grow a bit later.

Looking at Mobile there is an install base of more than 2 billion Smartphone users worldwide and each one is a potential customer for a general smartphone game. Today it does not matter what smartphone you have, whether it be Samsung or Sony, the reason being that the software stores are unified in that all games can be played on all phones. Of course there are some exceptions but this is the general rule. Console software can be a bit more platform dependant and you need to buy the console first where as everyone already has a smartphone today. To compare, the console install base across home and handheld for the 8th generation is around 110 million.

Going back to the earlier point about both console and mobile growing, mobile games usually generate a small amount of revenue per user and publishers are now introducing games as services in an effort to increase spend on their games. It’s incredibly easy to download a game to any smartphone and start paying for contents from inside the software. The general public is much more accepting to a $0.99 purchase every now and then compared to a $60 upfront purchase per game. So because we are seeing more and more mobile games and intense competition to provide the best game service we will see mobile revenues increase. In the console space we have actually seen a contraction in the number of users buying consoles compared to last gen and we’ve also seen the number of publishers decrease alongside the number of retail releases.

The goal this generation when it comes to consoles is for publishers is to create content with the current install base core demographic in mind and take a million selling franchise and turn it into a multi million selling franchise by making sure the game appeals to all tastes and is marketed well. Then publishers are looking for constant revenue streams from the game through DLC and Season Passes over a long period. So whilst the install base isn’t as large as last gen and there are less games being released, publishers will try to maximise the revenue per user and this in turn will lead to software revenues increasing back to their old levels. So this is why console is set to grow as well despite the huge growth in mobile.

So it’s not as clear cut as: Rise of mobile = death of console. That is not the case and it’s a bit more complicated than that. Mobile for sure has taken a lot of potential customers away from console and that’s why we’re not seeing gen 8 follow the same install base as gen 7 from day 1. Despite the success of PS4 there was actually a higher install base at this point in time when you align PS3/360/Wii to PS4/One/WiU. Mobile games do go after casual users and at the end of the day we will see mobile impact console sales in one way or another as the experiences found on mobile are simple, intuitive and ready to play whereas console games require you to buy the console and have more in depth and somewhat complicated experiences for the average user. There is no “Wii Sports” on PS4 for the casual market.

Handheld is the biggest part of the console industry that has declined and this can be explained by mobile. Before a lot of handheld purchases were from people who would not normally consider themselves gamers but instead wanted to pass time playing puzzle games or other casual games. Now these experiences are available on mobile and if you want to share these experiences you recommend them on mobile and not handheld. It’s why the PS Vita and 3DS haven’t seen the same success as their predecessors.

Home console sales have declined as well but not as sharply as handheld. I myself estimate that the total install base for this generation will not exceed 150 million by the end of 2019 compared to last gen which had an install base of 250 million in the same time frame. The demographic buying consoles right now is core gamers and this is why we’ve seen increases in software sales per game despite less games coming out. The hardcore gaming market is pretty much unaffected by mobile and they still represent a large number who are willing to spend money on console platforms, especially this gen where publishers are tailoring experiences to them and trying to maximise revenue per user.

It’s important not to solely focus on mobile as a reason for decline in console install base/games. Other reasons such as free to play games on PC, Online games, the price of consoles and the economy in general are all factors as to why there are less consumers jumping on the console bandwagon this generation. Free to play games on PC and PC gaming in general is set to grow thanks to the renewed interest in PC gaming from Steam, youtube and publishers. Social free to play games and client based free to play games have really taken off in the past few years across PC (and mobile of course) and this can be seen a small threat to console as free to play is growing in a big way thanks to the addressable audience of almost 3 billion PC and Mobile internet owners. Free to play games are being made available to pretty much anyone with an internet connection and pretty much everyone has one on their home PC/Laptop and Mobile. This is a growing phenomenon whilst dedicated console software uptake is not growing at a rate anywhere near it. The reasons are clear, free to play has no start up cost but console has a huge start up cost. It’s why we’ve seen a number of publishers try and bring the free to play model to console so that users don’t need to pay the $60 upfront but instead just need to buy the console. Free to play has expanded the market on PC and Mobile in a way that it just can’t on console.

Also we have seen the rise of of online gaming both on PC/Mobile and console as well of course. On PC and Mobile more casual gamers are connecting with their friends and enjoying experiences together. On some games for example there is use of sensors in mobile such as the camera to make the game more social and users are used to there being this layer of interconnectivity just being there. On console there is a paywall, if you want to have a social experience you need to pay for it and whilst it’s excellent value for money and services like PS Plus are selling amazingly to the PS4 install base I think it can also reach a peak fairly quickly like it did in the Xbox 360 era. What I’m trying to say is that if casual gamers buy a PS4 or XB1 then don’t expect them to subscribe to PS Plus every month. Of course the paid service allows Sony and MS to make the overall experience better but for a lot of casual gamers they are used to free multiplayer on PC and Mobile and playing a couple of games every now and then on console won’t convince them to get PS Plus every month. Now of course I do expect PS Plus to grow and multiplayer gaming on console to continue growing thanks to the core audience but that subscriber number will reach a peak.

Now then, final point which I covered in my previous report last month. There has been a decline last gen of publishers and games. Games that were faddish in nature and developed for casual gamers have gone. E.g Rockband. The reason for this was because people got bored of buying the same game over and over and in general we see casual gamers just buy a few big titles every year unlike core gamers who buy lots of different releases. This is one of the reasons why the number of software releases have declined in recent years and why the Wii user base is no longer active, they’ve moved on to other casual experiences outside of consoles. Now of course there is some hope that the new “casual games” such as the return of Rockband are being designed for both core and casual gamers so that core gamers will buy the game and hopefully casuals will buy the console for that game. I’ve expanded more on this point in this post here which covers software decline in a lot more depth and why the market size has shrunk and what publishers have done to stop revenue declining as well.

But anyway, as per that linked post above I believe that console manufacturers can do 3 things to increase the userbase but even then I don't see the actual userbase increasing back up to last gen levels unless we see some sort of killer app later down the line from Sony/MS. At this point the market has normalised and publishers are just focusing on getting the most from the core userbase.
1. Price
2. Extension tools
3. Compelling software

Now one final point I’d like to make. A lot of this post has focused on why mobile/f2p/multiplayer/price has been a hindrance in increasing the user base on consoles and why we are forecasting a decline in total users on console. However, there is a flip side to this that again we are seeing casuals become more tolerant of gaming experiences in the same way the PS2 and Wii bought interactive gaming experiences to the mass market. So there is an opportunity for console manufacturers and publishers to exploit these users and get them to buy a console as these users have shown that whilst they may not consider themselves to be gamers at heart they are still buying mobile games, playing free to play games, playing social games etc… It’s something to think about, I’m not saying it’s easy for console makers to capture this audience but it is clear there is an opportunity there. At the end of the day, the console market has rebounded and is set to grow, yes it could be a lot bigger but it’s not being killed by mobile. I believe we’re still going to see change in the console market and a lot of it will be positive. This is a great time to be a gamer.
 

Biker19

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Apr 1, 2013
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Software sales are nearly all in favour of Sony. That's the area where the money is made for all companies and the main reason Microsoft won the last generation. It would be nice to know if digital software sales will continue to rise quickly.
Um no, Microsoft did not win last gen; Nintendo did.

Microsoft only got most of the marketshare last gen due to Sony fucking up with the PS3. Now Sony's pretty much back on track to to being on top again just like back on the PS1 & PS2 days.
 

2thepoint

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Aug 28, 2014
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Didn't the gap in NA increase by about 100K in June in favour of PS4.

I don't get this sentiment that MS are going to overtake Sony in NA when last year, they only managed to beat them in the Holiday NPD's through incurring massive losses in promotions, all while only beating Sony by less than 100K per month (IIRC it was a lot less than 100K).

The novelty of huge pricecuts has now been used by Microsoft and have somewhat devalued the console in the eyes of the mass market, and if anything, Sony will absolutely trounce Xbox if they announce a price cut for Holiday 2015.
 

fallen_dawn

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I don't get this sentiment that MS are going to overtake Sony in NA when last year, they only managed to beat them in the Holiday NPD's through incurring massive losses in promotions, all while only beating Sony by less than 100K per month (IIRC it was a lot less than 100K).
Microsoft beat Sony's PS4 numbers by much more than 100k per month over November and December IIRC. They reduced a lead of above 1 million for the PS4 to less than half that. See some of ZhugeEX's graphs here.
 

Kenzodielocke

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Dec 24, 2014
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On top of that, the 360 was at best tied with the PS3 worldwide. Why they thought they were King of the world is beyond any common sense.
PS3 has more consoles sold than 360, also the PS3 launched 1 year later.

But between those consoles 360 won if you look at the previos generation.
 

ZhugeEX

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On top of that, the 360 was at best tied with the PS3 worldwide. Why they thought they were King of the world is beyond any common sense.
It depends what you're measuring. Install base? Revenue? Profits? Success moving forward?

Nintendo was very much the winner last gen looking at the above.

Sony was successful with turning around the PS3 from a disastrous launch and then was able to carry that momentum over in to next gen. They lost a lot of money during the PS3 era and it wasn't till the second half of the gen they actually started to profit from PS3.

Microsoft started slow last gen but maintained an advantage over the PS3 due to the year head start + low price. They were profitable early on but their install base is less than that of the PS3 + they threw all that success away with the Xbox One.
 

Banjo-Kazooie

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Didn't the gap in NA increase by about 100K in June in favour of PS4.

I don't get this sentiment that MS are going to overtake Sony in NA when last year, they only managed to beat them in the Holiday NPD's through incurring massive losses in promotions, all while only beating Sony by less than 100K per month (IIRC it was a lot less than 100K).

The novelty of huge pricecuts has now been used by Microsoft and have somewhat devalued the console in the eyes of the mass market, and if anything, Sony will absolutely trounce Xbox if they announce a price cut for Holiday 2015.
You're going to want to re-look at the data.
 

TomShoe

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Didn't the gap in NA increase by about 100K in June in favour of PS4.

I don't get this sentiment that MS are going to overtake Sony in NA when last year, they only managed to beat them in the Holiday NPD's through incurring massive losses in promotions, all while only beating Sony by less than 100K per month (IIRC it was a lot less than 100K).
I'll take a stab at it. I'm assuming the reasoning goes:

- Microsoft goes into the holidays with a lower price than Sony.

- The combination of a lower price, Halo, and a other holiday exclusives will cause the Xbox to become the leading console in NA LTD.

- Theoretically, with more Xbox Ones than PS4s in the wild, the baseline for minimum Xbox One sales would be higher than the PS4's baseline.
While it makes sense on the surface, there are a lot of problems with this line of thinking. If continued price drops and bundling happen, what is Microsoft going to do during the rest of the year, when that stops? Consumers have already been conditioned into waiting for discounts, since they come fairly consistently throughout the year. The only way to keep sales going is to keep tossing money into more value-adds, or risk sales taking a nosedive as consumers decide to keep waiting. That makes Xbox One sales even more top-heavy, and makes for some awkward quarterly financial calls. Not to mention this whole line is thrown in the trash if Sony decides to maintain price parity.

There's just too many variables in play for it to work out in Microsoft's long term favor right now.
 

g0dofwar

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Apr 6, 2015
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Didn't the gap in NA increase by about 100K in June in favour of PS4.

I don't get this sentiment that MS are going to overtake Sony in NA when last year, they only managed to beat them in the Holiday NPD's through incurring massive losses in promotions, all while only beating Sony by less than 100K per month (IIRC it was a lot less than 100K).

The novelty of huge pricecuts has now been used by Microsoft and have somewhat devalued the console in the eyes of the mass market, and if anything, Sony will absolutely trounce Xbox if they announce a price cut for Holiday 2015.
Last Christmas they won in sales but lost in value, because while the PS4 maintain its value to the consumer when the Xbox tried to raise it price back after Xmas it could could not due to consumers. This is why I take issue with the price cutters because the value of your console to consumers will always be in the games and Sony is playing those cards perfectly.
 

Rymuth

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It depends what you're measuring. Install base? Revenue? Profits? Success moving forward?

Nintendo was very much the winner last gen looking at the above.

Sony was successful with turning around the PS3 from a disastrous launch and then was able to carry that momentum over in to next gen. They lost a lot of money during the PS3 era and it wasn't till the second half of the gen they actually started to profit from PS3.

Microsoft started slow last gen but maintained an advantage over the PS3 due to the year head start + low price. They were profitable early on but their install base is less than that of the PS3 + they threw all that success away with the Xbox One.
For me, personally, I tend to look at it this way.

Nintendo won the HW battle but MS won the SW battle. Nintendo became known for shovelware whilst Xbox positioned itself as THE prime mover for third party software. When publishers considered what platforms would sell their COD, Witcher or even NFL, they thought of Xbox.

As a result Third parties were all lined up to prostrate themselves at Microsoft's feet at the start of this gen. Titanfall, Rise of Tomb Raider timed exclusivity etc would not have happened without it.
 

DottyHead

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For me, personally, I tend to look at it this way.

Nintendo won the HW battle but MS won the SW battle. Nintendo became known for shovelware whilst Xbox positioned itself as THE prime mover for third party software. When publishers considered what platforms would sell their COD, Witcher or even NFL, they thought of Xbox.

As a result Third parties were all lined up to prostrate themselves at Microsoft's feet at the start of this gen. Titanfall, Rise of Tomb Raider timed exclusivity etc would not have happened without it.
The software is where the real money is being made for the company's hardware is at best break even if that but it's people buying the games that's bringing in the profits.
 

KillerMan91

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For me, personally, I tend to look at it this way.

Nintendo won the HW battle but MS won the SW battle. Nintendo became known for shovelware whilst Xbox positioned itself as THE prime mover for third party software. When publishers considered what platforms would sell their COD, Witcher or even NFL, they thought of Xbox.

As a result Third parties were all lined up to prostrate themselves at Microsoft's feet at the start of this gen. Titanfall, Rise of Tomb Raider timed exclusivity etc would not have happened without it.
PS3 and X360 sold pretty much same amount of third party software if you look at the financial reports of major publishers (for example X360 had usually little higher share for Activision thanks to COD and PS3 had little higher share for EA thanks to FIFA etc.) It seems that the myth about X360 being third party software king is still alive and well.
 

allan-bh

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PS3 and X360 sold pretty much same amount of third party software if you look at the financial reports of major publishers (for example X360 had usually little higher share for Activision thanks to COD and PS3 has little higher share for EA thanks to FIFA etc.) It seems that the myth about X360 being third party software king is still alive and well.
Xbox 360 and PS3 ended tied worldwide because of Asia (specially Japan). If we look to west X360 had a constant advantage during the generation.

So I believe for western publishers 360 was indeed the best console for sell games, but PS3 was great too and the best system for japanese publishers.
 

Mikey Jr.

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I feel like Sony's trump card for no holiday exclusives is $299. I think the ps4 is reaching the point where anyone willing to spend 399 on the ps4 has already done so. Not dropping the price is going to give the Xbone a very good boost to their momentum.
 

Rymuth

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PS3 and X360 sold pretty much same amount of third party software if you look at the financial reports of major publishers (for example X360 had usually little higher share for Activision thanks to COD and PS3 has little higher share for EA thanks to FIFA etc.) It seems that the myth about X360 being third party software king is still alive and well.
Whether it's a myth or not, third parties believed it, which was the basis of my entire point. MS went into this generation with the most valuable card of all "Third parties, come to us, we'll sell your games" -- just earning that perception is still a victory.
 

KillerMan91

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Xbox 360 and PS3 ended tied worldwide because of Asia (specially Japan). If we look to west X360 had a constant advantage during the generation.

So I believe for western publishers 360 was indeed the best console for sell games, but PS3 was great too and the best system for japanese publishers.
Well yeah. Just looking at western third parties X360 might have had small advantage. Still not really that big and if the game relied more heavily on European sales PS3 was the best platform even for western third parties. Add Japanese publishers and it indeed was kinda even with probably small advantage overall going to PS3.

Whether it's a myth or not, third parties believed it, which was the basis of my entire point. MS went into this generation with the most valuable card of all "Third parties, come to us, we'll sell your games" -- just earning that perception is still a victory.
Publishers don't rely on ''perceptions'' on what platform sells most of their software. They look at their financials and see from there. As PS3 and X360 generally were pretty even regarding of software sales Titanfall and Rise of Tomb Rider being Xbox One exclusives have nothing to do with perceptions and everything to do with the fact that MS just paid enough. Especially with Rise of Tomb Raider as the original reboot sold most in Europe so it most likely sold more on PS3 than on X360.
 

On Demand

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To expand on this, the PS3 outsold the Xbox 360 a total of 10 times (months) out of the 99 months both the PS3 and 360 have been out that we know of (up to January 2015).
This just proves my point further.

I know the PS3 won some months, but 360 mainly dominated over PS3 in both hardware and software sales. This gen is completely different with PS4 now enjoying much of that. Not to say the XB1 is doing bad. It's not. I just don't get the notion that PS4 needs to do better in the U.S. when it unequivocally is. At a higher price at that.
 

Bgamer90

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I don't get this sentiment that MS are going to overtake Sony in NA when last year, they only managed to beat them in the Holiday NPD's through incurring massive losses in promotions, all while only beating Sony by less than 100K per month (IIRC it was a lot less than 100K).
?; The Xbox One did about 650K better than PS4 during last year's Holiday season in North America if I remember correctly. It wasn't less than 100K.

The novelty of huge pricecuts has now been used by Microsoft and have somewhat devalued the console in the eyes of the mass market, and if anything, Sony will absolutely trounce Xbox if they announce a price cut for Holiday 2015.
The lineup of the Xbox One (and PS4 for that matter) this Holiday season has far more attention grabbing games than last year due to many games being current gen only (with some series making their current gen debut). That alone is going to push many to buy a console this year. I would say that the value of both consoles have increased for many people due to that alone (regardless of the various bundles the PS4 and Xbox One had in late 2014 up to now). I wouldn't be surprised to see this Holiday season have higher PS4/XB1 sales than last year simply due to game releases.

The Xbox One lost June (pretty inevitable due to the Batman bundle) but MS did a good job of not making the gap increase by an amount that many expected with a pretty huge PS4 bundle (seemingly 120K+ based on predictions).

I believe that we will see at least one Xbox One SKU at $299 during the Holiday season which is a great price for more mainstream/casual gamers. The PS4 at the same price ($299) would do really well too. I personally feel that a $50 drop wouldn't increase PS4 sales by that much for Sony in comparison to the PS4 staying at its current price. Consoles with solid third party seem to have good boosts in sales when they get under $300.

If the NA gap isn't over one million at the end of September, and Sony doesn't make the PS4 available for $299 this year, then I could honestly see the NA gap going down to around 300K in early 2016. October will have Halo 5's launch and November and December would be even bigger months for MS if the XB1 is $100 less than the PS4 during those months.

Sony is really pushing their third party game deals. Tying all of them with a $299 price would put the PS4 in a very good position to not cause their NA lead to shrink back.
 

Bgamer90

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If you guys have like 5 hours then I recommend reading this quick report I wrote in the last 30 minutes. I'd love to hear your thoughts-
I definitely agree that consoles aren't dying. The Wii audience has moved over to mobile but if anything, I think this creates a good chance for Sony and MS to get some of that audience on their consoles. This is more than likely why we are seeing the increase of free digital games on consoles as well as consoles simply coming with (multiple) free games.

Mainstream audiences have become used to being able to download/play games for free shortly after purchasing a mobile device and I feel that Sony and MS have taken note of this. They are trying to get more casual gamers into their ecosystems via free (digital) games so that they can stay and buy the $60 releases.

I think that will we continue on seeing MS and Sony get creative with digital features to attract the mobile gaming audience that really cares about value. I don't think this current gen will be remembered by the next new $60 AAA core gaming IP that's a huge hit. I feel that it will be remembered by a small digital game that becomes a huge mainstream hit -- that is, if a game like that will ever exist on the Xbox One or PS4.

I feel that us not seeing "this gen's Gears of War" yet even though we are about to enter the third year of the PS4 and XB1 isn't due to lack of innovation. It's simply due to the mainstream audience not caring much about the next core gaming IP that gets "10 out of 10" reviews across the board because there are so many ways to play new games these days in comparison to how things were before 2008 (and at MUCH cheaper prices).
 

TomShoe

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If the NA gap isn't over 1 Million at the end of September and Sony doesn't make the PS4 available for $299 this year, then I could honestly see the NA gap going down to around 300K in early 2016. October will have Halo 5's launch and November and December would be even bigger months for MS if the XB1 is $100 less than the PS4 during those months. Sony is really pushing their third party game deals. Tying all of them with a $299 price would put the PS4 in a very good position to not cause their NA lead to shrink back.
It makes me wonder if Microsoft is going to slash the price again this coming holiday. I'd bet money that Microsoft is either breaking even or losing money on each console sold. Dropping the price again to $299 would make investors unhappy with the continued losses, so there are reasons to keep the price the same. I've been basing all of my predictions (including PS4 going to $299) with the assumption that Microsoft would continue to play price limbo. All Sony needs to do is maintain price parity. If Xbox stays at $349, I can imagine the decision would become a lot easier for Sony execs.
 

StevieP

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Well, it is the impetus for publishers on consoles to make more unique content that will appeal to people beyond the young male gamer. For example, one of the best sellers on consoles currently is Minecraft even disregarding its success on PC and mobile, and that certainly isn't selling by appealing to the young male gamer nor does it require motion controls, a touchscreen, or being F2P. In regards to games currently out and games that have been announced, PS4 is the console that has the best chance of achieving success with casual gamers. I actually see the XB1 having a tougher time, since its audience, currently, seems pretty much limited to the young male gamer demographic.
Mine craft is currently the exception, not the rule.

And to the above post, I don't think ps+ indie games are going to attract mobile gamers. They're where they are because the ecosystem supports them where they are.
 

Inuhanyou

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I feel like Sony's trump card for no holiday exclusives is $299. I think the ps4 is reaching the point where anyone willing to spend 399 on the ps4 has already done so. Not dropping the price is going to give the Xbone a very good boost to their momentum.
I don't think exclusives are the thing that gave XB1 an advantage last year. Games like Master Chief and Sunset Overdrive barely made any sort of dent, the main thing that won it for MS was their crazy loss on HW, taking it down to 329 with 4 bundled games.

They can't do that again with their base price already at 349.

I'm pretty sure the higher ups over at MS have had just about enough of the reckless money sink the XB1 has been just to stay competitive in their main market.

Halo 5, Tomb Raider, and the other games this year are just going to get compromised by the other major third party games coming out in the same timespan i'd say.

Launching TR on the same day as FO4 in particular is just asking for trouble.
 

Primethius

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If you guys have like 5 hours then I recommend reading this quick report I wrote in the last 30 minutes. I'd love to hear your thoughts-

*snip giant ZhugeEx post*
Great post.

I think it's interesting that free to play hasn't really taken off on consoles yet (not to my knowledge anyways, no breakout successes so far) in the same way that it has on PC. I actually thought that not having PS+ be a requirement for F2P would result in far bigger push for F2P games on consoles, and PS4 specifically.

I'm still a big believer that we just need that one big MOBA on consoles to come out to give F2P the push it needs.
 

daniel77733

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I was referring to NPD months, and not worldwide, and even then both are more or less tied.

NPD doesn't track months like that, but on a 4-4-5 week base, where two months have 4 weeks of tracking and then a 5 week tracking month, and then the cycle repeats. November has 4 weeks of tracking and December has 5.

And yes, separately. Xbox One did 1.23m in November 2014 and then another 1.3m the very next December
Okay. Thanks for the info. :)
 

biglittleps

Member
Feb 4, 2014
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we are seeing casuals become more tolerant of gaming experiences in the same way the PS2 and Wii bought interactive gaming experiences to the mass market. So there is an opportunity for console manufacturers and publishers to exploit these users and get them to buy a console as these users have shown that whilst they may not consider themselves to be gamers at heart they are still buying mobile games, playing free to play games, playing social games etc… It’s something to think about, I’m not saying it’s easy for console makers to capture this audience but it is clear there is an opportunity there.
I believe VR platform has the chance to capture the attention of casuals as we mostly going to see small indie VR games more (perfect for VR experiences and only these are possible with current gen hardware) than AAA games (which will take another 3 more years to reach that point) early. Only the right price is the key for VR to be successful which is possible with only Sony Project morpheus right now if they price aggressively. Also if we take a look at the efforts from Sony in Project morpheus with developers so far (as they say its a platform instead of add on) along with their already huge success of PS4, i think PS4 VR has great chance to the be Wii like experience this gen for casuals and complements with AAA games for core gamers. We will only see true AAA VR experiences from next gen which will take another 3+ years.

At the end of the day, the console market has rebounded and is set to grow, yes it could be a lot bigger but it’s not being killed by mobile. I believe we’re still going to see change in the console market and a lot of it will be positive. This is a great time to be a gamer.
I agree that consoles market will grow next few years in both hardware and software (more innovations in software with integrated social experience and VR) compared to last gen but their life cycle will be ended very soon with their successors (by offering backwards compatibility as they use PC architectures) like an major upgrade for core gamers with new features and hardware which is able to support VR AAA experiences because its going to be next big thing in gaming than 4k.

And by the way mobile (its killing handhelds) is not a threat for home consoles mostly and its going to be PC with their F2P, cheap prices, backwards compatibility etc., taking away casual gamers slowly as many starting to have PCs that are capable of playing almost every indie game and most of the F2P games (thats why console manufacturers aggressive in supporting indies and F2P models this gen). Also core gamers starting to move to PC for better multi platforms, cheap prices, free online etc., over consoles and using consoles only for exclusives which is why we have many posts here whining about PS4/XB1 has no killer games so far as they bought them only for exclusives.
 

daniel77733

Member
Aug 9, 2014
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No one wants to comment on my post?
Excellent post and very informative. For me personally, im happy that console gaming is still strong as that's my preferred choice for gaming. I'm not nor ever will be a PC or Mobile gamer. The only way console gaming dies for me is if/when it goes all digital. Then, im done.

Console gaming could be even better if Nintendo stopped with this half gen leap all the time. Wii sold over 100m because it was innovative and family oriented at the time but games wise, outside of Nintendo's franchises and a few other exclusives like Xenoblade, The Last Story, Pandora's Tower, etc., it was crap. I'm really hoping that NX is at the very least equal to PS4 and Xbox One.

I would love to see this two company race become a three company race. Nintendo has been missing third party support since Nintendo 64 and if they were to truly make a powerful developer friendly console and stick to the basics instead of gimmicks that no one cares about, they could easily get back in the game as they by far, have the best first party games, IP's and franchises.

Anyway, I know that your post is about the mobile gaming landscape vs the console gaming landscape but my comments on Nintendo is because just imagine how strong console gaming would be if Nintendo was seen as equals to Sony and Microsoft and had excellent third party support?
 

Papacheeks

Junior Member
Jan 30, 2013
5,353
2
325
Watertown, NY
Microsoft beat Sony's PS4 numbers by much more than 100k per month over November and December IIRC. They reduced a lead of above 1 million for the PS4 to less than half that. See some of ZhugeEX's graphs here.
Yea, because they practically gave the system away with bundles, free xbox live, and retailer specific deals.

I would hope they out sell with better software bundles and 3 free games with the system.
 

daniel77733

Member
Aug 9, 2014
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310
Back to PS4 vs Xbox One from last November and December. Xbox One outsold PS4 by an estimated 626k in those nine weeks. In the first six months of 2015, PS4 has outsold Xbox One by 277k. Overall, the difference is 349k in favor of Xbox One but between July, August, September and October, chances are that number will be greatly reduced. Xbox One can win in November and December but it doesn't mean much if you're losing 80% of the time in the other ten months.

This is why in my opinion, I don't see a price drop for PS4 until next year some time. Microsoft will have a far better lineup than PS4 this holiday season but yet, Sony will just get it back next year with Uncharted 4 and SFV. Funny thing is that looking at the exclusives for Xbox One this year, I wouldn't be surprised if Bloodborne turns out to be the best exclusive on both consoles and that was released months ago.

It's the bundles, free games and possible price drop to $300 that will sell Xbox One just like last year. Only difference is that this year, Sony has big third party deals and those deals are arguably better and more important than the exclusives and bundles that Xbox One will have.

Whatever ground Xbox One is able to gain in November and December, they lose it between January and October so why lower the price of the console? Despite the higher price tag and no exclusives this holiday season, Xbox One still isn't going to gain as much ground as you would think that they would.

And on a related side note - am I the only one that finds it funny in regards to Microsoft paying for Rise of the Tomb Raider to be timed exclusive in order for it to compete against Uncharted 4 which was then delayed and now faces a bigger problem being Fallout 4? Sorry but that's just too funny. LOL.
 

ZhugeEX

Banned
May 23, 2013
5,915
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twitter.com
It's still probably being read :D
Give me another 6 months and I'll finish reading it.
Haha, sorry it's so long. When I finished writing it I thought no one will read this lol!

If its any consolation, I did read the whole thing. I just having nothing important to say on it because I'm not really well versed on that stuff.
Sorry, man, I read the whole thing but didn't know what to say. Too informative and objective :p
No worries, I just wanted to get differing opinions on the matter and see if this would be an interesting topic to discuss as some users had bought up the effect of mobile/loss of casual in console on previous pages.


I definitely agree that consoles aren't dying. The Wii audience has moved over to mobile but if anything, I think this creates a good chance for Sony and MS to get some of that audience on their consoles. This is more than likely why we are seeing the increase of free digital games on consoles as well as consoles simply coming with (multiple) free games.

Mainstream audiences have become used to being able to download/play games for free shortly after purchasing a mobile device and I feel that Sony and MS have taken note of this. They are trying to get more casual gamers into their ecosystems via free (digital) games so that they can stay and buy the $60 releases.

I think that will we continue on seeing MS and Sony get creative with digital features to attract the mobile gaming audience that really cares about value. I don't think this current gen will be remembered by the next new $60 AAA core gaming IP that's a huge hit. I feel that it will be remembered by a small digital game that becomes a huge mainstream hit -- that is, if a game like that will ever exist on the Xbox One or PS4.

I feel that us not seeing "this gen's Gears of War" yet even though we are about to enter the third year of the PS4 and XB1 isn't due to lack of innovation. It's simply due to the mainstream audience not caring much about the next core gaming IP that gets "10 out of 10" reviews across the board because there are so many ways to play new games these days in comparison to how things were before 2008 (and at MUCH cheaper prices).
I think the "complexity" of a console is confusing for the average gamer in this day and age just from the system itself, the controller, downloading apps etc... If you've ever handed a Dualshock4 to someone who has never played a game on console before then you'll know what I mean.

Consumers on mobile are used to tapping a download button and in 30 seconds they're playing the game and using intuitive touch controls on simple games. With console the downloads are multiple gigabytes which can take a while to download, plus the controls can be hard to use for new players.

I do agree that the indie scene is working to create smaller titles that work in the same way as mobile games when it comes to ease of access and low price. This method certainly works well with the semi-casual market who are buying consoles for big AAA games but also to experience smaller titles that they may have played on their PC like Minecraft.

Core AAA gaming is very much alive though, I will say that.

Great post.

I think it's interesting that free to play hasn't really taken off on consoles yet (not to my knowledge anyways, no breakout successes so far) in the same way that it has on PC. I actually thought that not having PS+ be a requirement for F2P would result in far bigger push for F2P games on consoles, and PS4 specifically.

I'm still a big believer that we just need that one big MOBA on consoles to come out to give F2P the push it needs.
F2P can work on console, but the main hindrance right now is the cost of console and lack of compelling f2p software. For some developers who have core franchises on console they are looking at creating a f2p title and for some it has worked (like Koei Tecmo with Dead or Alive) and for others it hasn't worked at al. It's why we're seeing new experimental game types aimed at the existing user base like with Hitman where you pay $60 for a core game which is expanded upon free of cost for a certain period of time. This is a method that is not looking to attract new players but already existing players.

A lot of publishers have realised that they may not be able to expand the console user base to casual players so that's why methods like the above are being introduced to increase ARPU of the existing user base.

I believe VR platform has the chance to capture the attention of casuals as we mostly going to see small indie VR games more (perfect for VR experiences and only these are possible with current gen hardware) than AAA games (which will take another 3 more years to reach that point) early. Only the right price is the key for VR to be successful which is possible with only Sony Project morpheus right now if they price aggressively. Also if we take a look at the efforts from Sony in Project morpheus with developers so far (as they say its a platform instead of add on) along with their already huge success of PS4, i think PS4 VR has great chance to the be Wii like experience this gen for casuals and complements with AAA games for core gamers. We will only see true AAA VR experiences from next gen which will take another 3+ years.
VR can go either way at this point. It'll either go big, or not go anywhere really. You are absolutely correct that price, marketing and demonstrability is key for Morpheus to be a success. It will have new experiences aimed at everyone + social multiplayer features.

It will be difficult to get a large casual market on board though because the price of entry will still be fairly high at launch for a mass market consumer product as you will require the PS4, camera and Morpheus to actually even play one game. I think that Morpheus will sell into the current user base more than attract new players.

I agree that consoles market will grow next few years in both hardware and software (more innovations in software with integrated social experience and VR) compared to last gen but their life cycle will be ended very soon with their successors (by offering backwards compatibility as they use PC architectures) like an major upgrade for core gamers with new features and hardware which is able to support VR AAA experiences because its going to be next big thing in gaming than 4k.

And by the way mobile (its killing handhelds) is not a threat for home consoles mostly and its going to be PC with their F2P, cheap prices, backwards compatibility etc., taking away casual gamers slowly as many starting to have PCs that are capable of playing almost every indie game and most of the F2P games (thats why console manufacturers aggressive in supporting indies and F2P models this gen). Also core gamers starting to move to PC for better multi platforms, cheap prices, free online etc., over consoles and using consoles only for exclusives which is why we have many posts here whining about PS4/XB1 has no killer games so far as they bought them only for exclusives.
Yup, I mentioned in that post that Mobile has played a role in causing the traditional handheld market to decline. Home console hasn't declined as much but as you say it's not just mobile causing the decline, there are other reasons as well.

I think it's too early to talk about next gen/NX and what effect that will have as we really don't know at this point.

Excellent post and very informative. For me personally, im happy that console gaming is still strong as that's my preferred choice for gaming. I'm not nor ever will be a PC or Mobile gamer. The only way console gaming dies for me is if/when it goes all digital. Then, im done.

Console gaming could be even better if Nintendo stopped with this half gen leap all the time. Wii sold over 100m because it was innovative and family oriented at the time but games wise, outside of Nintendo's franchises and a few other exclusives like Xenoblade, The Last Story, Pandora's Tower, etc., it was crap. I'm really hoping that NX is at the very least equal to PS4 and Xbox One.

I would love to see this two company race become a three company race. Nintendo has been missing third party support since Nintendo 64 and if they were to truly make a powerful developer friendly console and stick to the basics instead of gimmicks that no one cares about, they could easily get back in the game as they by far, have the best first party games, IP's and franchises.

Anyway, I know that your post is about the mobile gaming landscape vs the console gaming landscape but my comments on Nintendo is because just imagine how strong console gaming would be if Nintendo was seen as equals to Sony and Microsoft and had excellent third party support?
Thanks. I think NX will be Nintendo's biggest change in the company since the Wii (along with mobile games). However I think it's too early to comment on what NX will bring to the table.
 

Bgamer90

Banned
Mar 20, 2007
20,961
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It makes me wonder if Microsoft is going to slash the price again this coming holiday. I'd bet money that Microsoft is either breaking even or losing money on each console sold. Dropping the price again to $299 would make investors unhappy with the continued losses, so there are reasons to keep the price the same. I've been basing all of my predictions (including PS4 going to $299) with the assumption that Microsoft would continue to play price limbo. All Sony needs to do is maintain price parity. If Xbox stays at $349, I can imagine the decision would become a lot easier for Sony execs.
I don't think we'll see MS go as hard with deals as last year. I think we'll only see one SKU at $299 (the standard 500 GB Xbox One).
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Halo 5, Tomb Raider, and the other games this year are just going to get compromised by the other major third party games coming out in the same timespan i'd say.

Launching TR on the same day as FO4 in particular is just asking for trouble.
I disagree. Halo 5 is going to be a big game and Tomb Raider will be fine if MS makes it this year's AC Unity by bundling it (I'm assuming that they will).

I think we'll see the standard 500 GB Xbox One at $299, a 1 TB Xbox One with Tomb Raider at $349, and a special edition Halo 5 Xbox One at $399 this Holiday season.
 

Silent Chief

Member
Oct 17, 2014
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No one wants to comment on my post?
I think the relative failure of the Wii U, following the phenomenal success of the Wii, murks the water.

I've bought very little DLC, (Valkyria Chronicles, Gravity Rush and Dragon-Age) so I find it hard to believe that DLC and Season Pass are substantial money makers outside of the odds games like Destiny, and some RPGs like Fallout. DLC is made impractical to me by the sheer size of my backlog. Are there companies who publishes those numbers to shareholders?

Some things rise and fall because something better has replaced it. Other things rise and fall in cycles. It's a bit of both here. Some parents now buy tablets and free or inexpensive games to their kids instead of consoles or handhelds. There's hardly any places left here were one can rent videogames and kids/parents are not likely to use a mail-in service.

I still think a lot of the in-game purchases are accidental. Outside of RPGs, my kids would not play the same game for long enough to ask me to buy them in-game stuff.

In Canada, with the dollar losing about a quarter of its value against the US, nobody will want to spend more on each game. $120 for the game with the season pass?

The economy has been in decline. It's not just videogames. PC sales are down. Sales of networking equipments are catastrophic.

And I think I'll stop there as I have to go do some stuff for my wife.
 

rpg_fan

Member
Nov 2, 2014
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I think we'll see the standard 500 GB Xbox One at $299, a 1 TB Xbox One with Tomb Raider at $349, and a special edition Halo 5 Xbox One at $399 this Holiday season.
I don't really see this as doable. I bought a XB1 last year for 330$ with a gift card (either 30 or 50$, I forget) and Halo:MCC. And that wasn't necessarily the best deal. I just don't see them offering the same or slightly worse deals this year when the sales gap has been re-growing all year.