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NPD Sales Results for May 2014 [Up1: Wii U Hardware]

AniHawk

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So the total console sales are about the same, but making games is more expensive than ever, companies use crazy amounts of money for marketing etc. For software sales to go up the necessary amount to create a healthy industry, there should also be growth in hardware sales, which isn't happening.
it also points to why these manufacturers are narrowing their audience onto the ones that spend the most money by making more dlc than ever, increasing the price of software, and locking them into paywall plans. they're going for depth, but they should be going for breadth.
 

Version 3.0

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What's the point, remove the PS2, it sold even more.
Yes, but it didn't distort the entire picture. The PS2 dominated it's competition, but it didn't swell the size of the entire market, only to lose that entire demographic a few years later.

edit: gonna stick this in here, as the response is the same as above:

So we should remove the PS2 and PSX from the equation as well, right? And the NES.
 
May 21, 2014
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Not to mention that Halo 4 & Gears of War Judgment had turned off a lot of fans, even hardcore fans (thread about Halo 4 here).

I'm predicting that people that want Halo 5 & the next Gears game are gonna do a "wait & see" approach on the gameplay before dropping $400 on a Xbox One for them.
Yeah. And this goes back to my point: Microsoft historically has not been effective at nurturing quality first-party studios. They alienated Bungie, the studio behind their golden goose that's now bringing its quadruple-A megashooter out with help from Activision. Epic is long gone from the Microsoft fold. They somehow managed to destroy Rare. Microsoft cares about its IPs, but the IPs are only big if the games are of a certain level of quality. Microsoft's strategy of moneyhatting the occasional exclusive (or timed exclusive) works over the short term, but over the long term it means the company doesn't have any sort of internal bench of talent to help sell their consoles.

I think this generation will definitely vindicate Sony's strategy of cultivating a roster of top-tier internal studios.
 

Valkyria

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On the topic of "consoles are dead". Here are a couple of quick charts. The first one is home console sales (no handhelds) for Jan-May of each year going back to 2000. It looks bad:



This second one is the exact same data set, except that I've removed the Wii. Suddenly, everything looks fine:



Make of it what you will.
Pure gold!, thanks!
 

Orthogonal

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So we should remove the PS2 and PSX from the equation as well, right? And the NES.
I'm not sure what you are getting at, none of those consoles had the meteoric rise and fall like the Wii. Their cycles were much more in line with traditional sales cycles.
 

Hero

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Yes, but it didn't distort the entire picture. The PS2 dominated it's competition, but it didn't swell the size of the entire market, only to lose that entire demographic a few years later.
That's because the Wii was able to replicate the insane sales that the PS2 had. If Wii had followed GameCube numbers the entire industry would've been fucked.
 

todahawk

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Ha!
I remember moving my black and white tv in the closet (lights off) to simulate deepspace.. environmental immersion!
The game was everything my imagination could make it.
Oh god, I just remembered that my brother and I would play that together. One of us would be the pilot and the other would handle navigation with the pad.

Yeah, great game and we played the shit out of it. Although I remember getting pissed when we'd start a game and the enemy would be right on top of your base. Or how fast they'd advance. Although nothing was worse than warping into a sector and not being able to find the damn enemy. Wait, couldn't you lose systems too? Flashbacks!
 
Aug 19, 2006
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This second one is the exact same data set, except that I've removed the Wii. Suddenly, everything looks fine:


Make of it what you will.
My feeling is that next year's Jan-May will be back down to 2013 numbers once there's no new in demand systems and the previous gen has declined to virtually nothing.
 

gundamkyoukai

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So the total console sales are about the same, but making games is more expensive than ever, companies use crazy amounts of money for marketing etc. For software sales to go up the necessary amount to create a healthy industry, there should also be growth in hardware sales, which isn't happening.

Sounds like a recipe for a disaster.

Also, why did you leave out handhelds?
While that is true pubs also get more money that before on certain games thanks to DD and DLC .
There are whole bunch of factors at play and it's going to take some more time before we get better picture

That's because the Wii was able to replicate the insane sales that the PS2 had. If Wii had followed GameCube numbers the entire industry would've been fucked.
That is from from the truth loads of games did well without giving a damn about wii sales.
For certain companies Wii sales meant nothing to them .
 

donny2112

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Yes, but it didn't distort the entire picture. The PS2 dominated it's competition, but it didn't swell the size of the entire market, only to lose that entire demographic a few years later.
I understand the "lesser of two evils" mindset but the PS2 did lose a large portion of its audience to the Wii. PS2 was an "everyone" console including a huge amount of families and non-shooter gamers. The families and non-shooter gamers didn't go en masse to 360 and PS3 in the first few years of last gen. :p
 

Schrade

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Why are there still people trying to act like the Wii doesn't count for one reason or another?
Mainly because a lot of the people that bought the Wii wouldn't have ever bought a gaming console normally in the first place. Many bought them as exercise fads or the wow of motion controls (Remember, many older people like bowling). It got a lot of attention in the mainstream media promoting a simpler input method for playing games.

Lots of factors contributed to the Wii's early success but Nintendo couldn't keep up with actually keeping many of the new owners' interest. Some grew bored of what they bought the console for and found out they weren't really interested in games. Some realized that the grass was greener elsewhere and moved along. Some stuck with the Wii and Nintendo's first party games as many would have done without the hype behind it. That was the normal audience - children (and parents buying consoles/games for them) and people who favor Nintendo games.

I think if one could extrapolate the Wii's last couple of years into the first couple of years then you would see a more normal console generation represented in all the charts.
 

speculawyer

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On the topic of "consoles are dead". Here are a couple of quick charts. The first one is home console sales (no handhelds) for Jan-May of each year going back to 2000. It looks bad:



This second one is the exact same data set, except that I've removed the Wii. Suddenly, everything looks fine:



Make of it what you will.
Yeah, it is pretty clear what this shows. The Wii was definitely a break-thru console that was picked up by many as a new fad. Remember all those stories about retired people buying Wiis and playing Wii Bowling?

Well, that fad ended and we are just back to the standard videogamers. Hopefully somebody will find a new way to cause videogames to break into the broader public. I don't think VR will be it though.
 

Taurus

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Mainly because a lot of the people that bought the Wii wouldn't have ever bought a gaming console normally in the first place. Many bought them as exercise fads or the wow of motion controls (Remember, many older people like bowling). It got a lot of attention in the mainstream media promoting a simpler input method for playing games.

Lots of factors contributed to the Wii's early success but Nintendo couldn't keep up with actually keeping many of the new owners' interest. Some grew bored of what they bought the console for and found out they weren't really interested in games. Some realized that the grass was greener elsewhere and moved along. Some stuck with the Wii and Nintendo's first party games as many would have done without the hype behind it. That was the normal audience - children (and parents buying consoles/games for them) and people who favor Nintendo games.

I think if one could extrapolate the Wii's last couple of years into the first couple of years then you would see a more normal console generation represented in all the charts.
Are you saying that Wii owners weren't "proper gamers" (whatever the hell that means)? Can you prove it somehow? Did Wii owners buy exceptionally less software than other console owners?
 

rokkerkory

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Wii did count because it translate to sales, it's kinda an outlier because it died out so quick.

If Wii could have hard the 3rd party games to sustain it, we'd probably have a different Wii U.
 

CosmicQueso

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So we should remove the PS2 and PSX from the equation as well, right? And the NES.
Not sure what you're arguing for... it's not like anyone's saying the Wii wasn't important. It's just a complete outlier in both performance and purchase behavior, and any respectable analysis will remove such outliers to try to get to the real story.
 

BadWolf

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Wii did count because it translate to sales, it's kinda an outlier because it died out so quick.

If Wii could have hard the 3rd party games to sustain it, we'd probably have a different Wii U.
Not really.

The casual audience that made the Wii a success moved on to mobile.

Nintendo knew this which is why they wanted to get the core back with the WiiU.
 

joecanada

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Why are there still people trying to act like the Wii doesn't count for one reason or another?

not that it doesn't count, but when it's 3, 5 years removed, its relevance will diminish and it's becoming a bit of an anomaly in between some droughts for nintendo... this current one judging by the comparisons with gamecube, is pretty bad.
 

turnbuckle

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Yes, but it didn't distort the entire picture. The PS2 dominated it's competition, but it didn't swell the size of the entire market, only to lose that entire demographic a few years later.

edit: gonna stick this in here, as the response is the same as above:
Removing the best selling console does more to distort the entire picture...

I get what you're saying but only one of these is a distorted view. Nintendo would have sold SOME consoles last generation if they decided to compete more traditionally. Your comparison shows the difference between a good portion of a 3 console gen (2001-2006) next to your fabricated 2 console gen (2007-2012) back to the 3 console gen we're sitting at now.

Everything looks fine when you take away the things that make it not look fine.
 

Ivieto

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Why are there still people trying to act like the Wii doesn't count for one reason or another?
It does count, but the steep dip after the Wii died is not a sign of decreased interest in games. I would call it just a regression to the mean.
 

borghe

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That's because the Wii was able to replicate the insane sales that the PS2 had. If Wii had followed GameCube numbers the entire industry would've been fucked.
I don't agree with this in the slightest. I mean c'mon. Wii was essentially a casual bubble. PS2 grew casual gamers slightly but Wii caused an actual bubble.

Had Wii gone the way of GCN, one of two things would have happened

1) the casual audience still would have grown on 360/PS3, just not exploded like it did with Wii. The casual migration to facebook didn't really begin until ~2008-2009, and the casual migration to mobile not really until ~2009-2010. So at minimum we would have been looking at ~1-2 years of growth (accounting for price cuts). This is the most likely scenario.
2) The facebook and mobile migrations would have happened sooner and the console market contraction would have happened with the PS3/360 gen right away. This is less likely.
 

Version 3.0

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That's because the Wii was able to replicate the insane sales that the PS2 had. If Wii had followed GameCube numbers the entire industry would've been fucked.
The Wii sold considerably faster than the PS2 did, actually. But it wasn't at the expense of the PS3 and Xbox 360 - they did far better than the Xbox and Gamecube did the previous gen. The reason for that is because the Wii, by and large, carved out its own demographic. As a result, the industry as a whole was much larger than ever before - but it only lasted a few years, and then the Wii's success evaporated as quickly as it started.

You can't hold the industry to that standard forever.
 

shinra-bansho

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I understand the "lesser of two evils" mindset but the PS2 did lose a large portion of its audience to the Wii. PS2 was an "everyone" console including a huge amount of families and non-shooter gamers. The families and non-shooter gamers didn't go en masse to 360 and PS3 in the first few years of last gen. :p
In both generations though, I would imagine those audiences were the focus of the back half of the adoption curve not the front end. My memory may be failing me, but the PS2 wasn't really an everyone console in its design philosophy anymore than the 360 was, it was targeted at the same demographics, those demographics weren't necessarily playing the same franchises and genres they are today of course. And it reached a family friendly price-point faster certainly. It wasn't really any major diversion from a "traditional console," it was just a traditional console done remarkably well.

Outside of achieving sales remarkably fast, I don't really get why analogies are ever drawn between the PS2 and the Wii as if the latter wasn't something very different and disruptive.
 

Schrade

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Are you saying that Wii owners weren't "proper gamers" (whatever the hell that means)? Can you prove it somehow? Did Wii owners buy exceptionally less software than other console owners?
I'm not saying they weren't proper gamers. I'm saying that many who did buy the console weren't of the gaming console crowd normally. Not once did I say anything about all Wii owners being that way.

So what you got was a large and new population being introduced into the "normal console buyers" stats that inflated the charts that are being posted. Some would continue buying consoles after that purchase, many would not.
 

rokkerkory

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Not really.

The casual audience that made the Wii a success moved on to mobile.

Nintendo knew this which is why they wanted to get the core back with the WiiU.
Well we wouldn't really have known this I do admit. It's really conjecture on my part to think if Wii had a bit more grunt, it would have lasted longer meaning Wii U probably would have been released later with more grunt as well.

We'll never know now however. :)
 

borghe

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But it wasn't at the expense of the PS3 and Xbox 360 - they did far better than the Xbox and Gamecube did the previous gen.
fyi, this is an apples<->oranges comparison. xbox->360 was new untested console going to an early head start for a new generation. likewise comparing PS3 to GCN is comparing the previous leader to a console by which that point (and early Wii indications) was what Wii U is now... a Nintendo console to play Nintendo games on.

during the bubble of the Wii, PS3 and 360 sales absolutely suffered to Wii sales. aka the casual market of Guitar Hero and such moving to Wii for their casual (Wii Sports) fix instead of MS or Sony.
 

Hero

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It does count, but the steep dip after the Wii died is not a sign of decreased interest in games. I would call it just a regression to the mean.
It's not a sign of disinterest in games. It's a sign of disinterest in traditional home consoles. Mobile and PC is where a significant amount of people are now and it doesn't look like they're coming back anytime soon.

In a world where Tomb Raider barely clawed it's way to profitability with the combination of 360 and PS3 near the end of their life cycle install base plus PC how does that paint a good picture for third parties for PS4 and X1?
 

rawk

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Even if you were going to remove the Wii, which I don't think you should, you should least substitute it with another Gamecube-esque console. I am not an "expanded audience" gamer, but I owned a Cube, a Wii, and now a Wii U. If you just erase the Wii from history completely because a percentage of its audience was grandmothers, that's distorting things to make current sales levels look good.
 

Taurus

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I'm not saying they weren't proper gamers. I'm saying that many who did buy the console weren't of the gaming console crowd normally. Not once did I say anything about all Wii owners being that way.

So what you got was a large and new population being introduced into the "normal console buyers" stats that inflated the charts that are being posted. Some would continue buying consoles after that purchase, many would not.
And how do you define a "normal console buyer" and a Wii owner?

Because as far as I know, Wii owners bought hell of a lot software with their consoles. If I recall right, Wii owner's bought about 8-9 games with their system on average, where X360 and PS3 owners bought 9+ games with their systems.
 

Version 3.0

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Apparently 500 million pieces of third party software sold doesn't matter.
You're being deliberately close-minded. Everyone who's responded to you has specifically said that's not the case.

However, if that 500 million is a giant spike in an otherwise steady business, is it time to shut down your business when you realize you can't replicate it?
 

Version 3.0

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Even if you were going to remove the Wii, which I don't think you should, you should least substitute it with another Gamecube-esque console. I am not an "expanded audience" gamer, but I owned a Cube, a Wii, and now a Wii U. If you just erase the Wii from history completely because a percentage of its audience was grandmothers, that's distorting things to make current sales levels look good.
Once again, yeah, I said that. Feel free to do it, I don't feel like it.
 

AniHawk

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Outside of achieving sales remarkably fast, I don't really get why analogies are ever drawn between the PS2 and the Wii as if the latter wasn't something very different and disruptive.
the ps2 was designed as something more than just a video game console. it was the start of sony's vision to dominate the living room (otherwise microsoft would have ignored the console market as a hardware maker). as such, it did one really big thing to make it more than just a games player, and that was play dvds at a time when other dvd players were really expensive. a lot of the early appeal to the ps2 was that it was a dvd player, but it was a games player too... so the value proposition was there beyond it being just a games machine.

it was a very mainstream machine from the start, and that's evidenced by the lack of crazy-major sellers for the period leading up to gta iii's release (which is really what defined that generation in terms of software, at least from my perspective).
 

borghe

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It's not a sign of disinterest in games. It's a sign of disinterest in traditional home consoles. Mobile and PC is where a significant amount of people are now and it doesn't look like they're coming back anytime soon.
the industry-wide misconception is that these people were ever here to stay in the first place and not just a bubble. It's like lamenting the loss of "consumers" in the baseball card market of the 80s, comic book market of the 90s, oil commodities market of the 00s, etc.

We'll have to wait a few years to make some graphs, but my guess is when everything shakes out, "interest in home consoles" will likely be comparable to somewhere between the PSX/N64 gen and the PS2 gen. As to if that is from "shrinking" or "just casual churn" will be something that will likely be debated for years after.

the ps2 was designed as something more than just a video game console.
I'll take this one step further. Not only was it designed to be more than a game system:

1) at release it was one of the more affordable high end DVD players at $299 (progressive scan output, etc)
2) GTA3 came out less than a year after launch. So you had a system that was already selling to non-traditional gaming folks as an affordable DVD player, and now you had a game that exploded in the mainstream media bring in curious non-traditional gaming consumers.
3) A ton of "non-traditional" games exploded on the market as well bringing in new audiences. Tony Hawk Pro Skater being a big one, and then finally...
4) Guitar Hero. This was arguably the one game that paved the way for Wii more than any other. Here was a "game" that casuals were coming in an "fooling around with" more than they were actually playing. The game showed that "non-geeks" could have fun with gaming consoles without playing Final Fantasy or Mario.

Ultimately, it was the perfect setup for a bubble. Now that it burst (umm.. like 3 years ago) people need to accept that an move on. Did those people move to mobile? Yup. Does that mean the home console market is dead? No, it means that a segment that didn't have much presence in the industry for 20+ years once again doesn't have much presence in the industry.
 

Version 3.0

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during the bubble of the Wii, PS3 and 360 sales absolutely suffered to Wii sales. aka the casual market of Guitar Hero and such moving to Wii for their casual (Wii Sports) fix instead of MS or Sony.
In specific instance, sure they did. Overall, clearly not, since the size of the PS3/360 market was just as large as the PS2/Xbox market of the prior gen. And Guitar Hero is a bad example, because plastic guitar games sold fine on the PS3/360 - better than they did on the Wii. I said, and will say again, the Wii in its entirety shouldn't be removed. But most of its sales were out of the ordinary and can't be expected to repeat.
 

Hero

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The market that bought that software is long gone, which is the point of the conversation.
No, the point of the conversation is the relative health of the traditional console without a market like that to tap into. People have been trying to insinuate that the health of the PS4 and X1 falls in line with expectations when you remove a huge part of the equation. The PS4 even with it's success is not going to make up for the weakness of the other two. It is extremely concerning.
 

donny2112

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Reposting the hardware graph from earlier to go along with the below retail software graph. Obviously digital should make PS4+XB1 even higher.