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Sony Overtakes Rival Nintendo In Console Sales 127

Posted by samzenpus
from the king-of-the-hill dept.
An anonymous reader writes "For the first time in eight years, Sony has overtaken Nintendo on the total number of game consoles sold. Sony sold 18.7 million consoles in the last financial year, compared to Nintendo sales of 16.3 million. Sony's PlayStation 4 has emerged as the bestselling 'new-gen' console. But demand for Nintendo's Wii U — with its touchscreen controller — has lagged far behind the original Wii, which was the most popular hardware of the last generation."
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Sony Overtakes Rival Nintendo In Console Sales

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  • 3DS (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Travis Mansbridge (830557) on Monday June 09, 2014 @05:09AM (#47193627)
    It's worth noting that Nintendo's highest selling console is still the 3DS, with more units sold in 2013 than Wiis and Wii Us combined.
    • Currently highest selling,* not historically. Dammit.
    • by gl4ss (559668)

      yeah so is the samsung galaxy s5 and the iphones consoles now too? I mean they got game titles that are grossing near the 1 billion mark...

      2ds is like 130 bucks though.

      anyway you can't sugar coat that Nintendo is getting hit financially for the last year but then again they can afford to be financially hit for 4-7 years more.

      • Phones and tablets play different games. Console games rely on directional input, with a joystick and discrete action buttons. "Mobile" games, on the other hand, use a completely flat sheet of glass as the primary means of input, which is fine for single-button or point-and-click games but not so good for, say, a fighting game or a platformer with any sort of exploration element without a clip-on Bluetooth gamepad that I've never actually seen in use.

        In terms of user freedom and flexibility, Android is li

      • ... and vegas puts all of that to shame with its slot machines and blackjack.
        but I do think phones are the future for mobile consoles. http://www.forbes.com/sites/tr... [forbes.com] I would say Iphone is getting closer to console numbers. In the above artical they estimate mobile developers are making $21,000 a year on apple. ($6,000 a year on and Android). As the phones get better and the games get more complex those number will rise. Currently I don't think mobile could support all the developers and artists working
    • Re:3DS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by _merlin (160982) on Monday June 09, 2014 @06:57AM (#47193813) Homepage Journal

      It isn't even surprising that the Wii U isn't selling as well as the Wii did. They sold a lot of Wiis to people who don't buy games consoles. Those people will have gotten over the fad and won't be buying another games console. It's not that they're defecting to Sony or MS, they're just going back to their non-gaming ways.

      • Not just that (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday June 09, 2014 @07:12AM (#47193843)

        But both are gimmick based. The Wii's gimmick was the motion controller. That interested a lot of people, they thought it looked really neat and wanted to try it. Of course you discovered that it wasn't quite as cool as it first seemed, and many games really didn't play that well with it, but it drove console sales pretty well. People liked the gimmick and wanted in, so that sold a lot of consoles at least initially.

        However gimmicks are fickle things, and there's no guarantee of what people will be interested in. The Wii U's gimmick is a tablet. That just isn't working out. People aren't that interested. Makes sense, since most people who wish to have a tablet already have one in another form and a game console with a tablet isn't all that interesting.

        It also made the price less attractive. That tablet isn't trivial cost wise, so Nintendo couldn't be quite as low priced. That was something else that helped the Wii. It was low cost enough compared to the other two to be interesting to people who didn't want to spend as much, as well as people to get it as an "and a" console in addition to whatever other one they liked. The Wii U wasn't quite as price competitive and so didn't see as much of that.

        Basically Nintendo got lucky with the Wii. It was the right gimmick at the right time to catch on and sell a ton. This time around, they missed big time.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by _merlin (160982)

          I dunno. The gamepad makes a some things far easier. The remake of Zelda: Wind Waker makes very good use of it for the maps. Sailing is so much easier when you can look down at the map and up at the view (kind of like sailing a real boat). Team management mode in FIFA13 is far easier to work on a touchscreen than with a controller. It's also very, very good for navigating menus, text input and all that stuff that's normally painful with a controller.

          A lot of the games are moving to more traditional con

          • by MacTO (1161105)

            I suspect that the gamepad has two issues. The first is that it is a more traditional gaming setup. Yes, it has the gimmick of the screen and it does have motion sensors. On the other hand, it is very much a sit-down and play type controller. So while it does offer new forms of interaction for a home game console, it doesn't offer anything beyond a handheld game console. For the casual gamer who doesn't care about analog sticks, d-pads, and buttons, it doesn't offer anything beyond a smartphone or tabl

            • So you have something that may appeal to more traditional players, but it is in a low-end console (compared to the current generation). On top of that, the controller is driving up the price of that console quite significantly. Instead of having a low end console at half the price of its competitors, you have a low end console at 3/4ths the price of its competitors. Is it any wonder why it is a hard sell?

              Except that it is still cheaper to manufacture than either the PS4 or XBox One.

              Although the manufacturing contracts and specific details are not known, the estimate is that Wii U hardware is currently roughly net positive $350M. The XBox One hardware is approximately net loss of $350M, and the PS4 is approximately net loss of $750M. Sony and Microsoft are hoping losses will be recovered with software and online subscription fees to recover the losses, but Nintendo doesn't really need it since it is just ex

              • by MBGMorden (803437)

                When you are making a profit on every unit and your competitor is making a loss on every unit, why would you object very much when the competitor takes the lead on number of units?

                It depends. You allude to the big picture but never step back and take a look at it. Sony and Microsoft typically have taken a loss on the consoles specifically because they DO make a lot of money on games sales.

                So if when the numbers are tallied MS and/or Sony are coming in higher net positive, then their strategy is still working better.

                • You allude to the big picture but never step back and take a look at it. Sony and Microsoft typically have taken a loss on the consoles specifically because they DO make a lot of money on games sales.

                  Ultimately all of them will make a lot of money. I never claimed they wouldn't.

                  As a game developer professionally, I love the competition. I want lots of game consoles. Since we're cross platform, I want all of them to have as many sales as they can. That's the good part for me and for everyone.

                  Last generation both Sony and Microsoft had a net loss on hardware sales that they never recouped in hardware. They took (and continue to take) profits from online subscriptions and other licensing.

                  Nintendo made m

                  • by drsquare (530038)

                    Haven't you got the memo? Nintendo is losing money now. Sony's console division is profitable.

              • by Anonymous Coward

                So you have something that may appeal to more traditional players, but it is in a low-end console (compared to the current generation). On top of that, the controller is driving up the price of that console quite significantly. Instead of having a low end console at half the price of its competitors, you have a low end console at 3/4ths the price of its competitors. Is it any wonder why it is a hard sell?

                Except that it is still cheaper to manufacture than either the PS4 or XBox One.

                Although the manufacturing contracts and specific details are not known, the estimate is that Wii U hardware is currently roughly net positive $350M. The XBox One hardware is approximately net loss of $350M, and the PS4 is approximately net loss of $750M. Sony and Microsoft are hoping losses will be recovered with software and online subscription fees to recover the losses, but Nintendo doesn't really need it since it is just extra profit.

                So even though by count the two devices are tied, the Wii U is over a half billion ahead of XBox One, and a billion more than the PS4.

                Again: Hardware sales are tied, but Nintendo has a BILLION dollars more in net funding from race.

                When you are making a profit on every unit and your competitor is making a loss on every unit, why would you object very much when the competitor takes the lead on number of units?

                You might want to reign in that enthusiasm there. Nintendo has effectively called the WiiU a failure and isn't going to do anymore big games for it (beyond the current crop already in development). You're only counting the per console cost, what about R&D and the massive PR to get developers on board? They finally managed to get some good 3rd party studios on board seriously this time and still screwed the pooch. Guess how easy that's going to make it next time...

                Nintendo's living room strategy is i

            • by Richy_T (111409)

              Don't forget battery life also. Abysmal.

          • by MitchDev (2526834)

            Mario Kart 8 is intolerable on a Wiimote.

            Works great on the Pad, and I may finally be able to convince my wife we need a Pro Controller for MK8 at least :)

            • by _merlin (160982)

              Mario Kart 8 is intolerable on a Wiimote.

              It's fine on a Wiimote plus Nunchuck: stick to steer/glide, Nunchuck buttons for item/horn and rear view, Wiimote buttons for accelerate/brake/drift. The only thing you lose over a pro controller is analog accelerate/brake with the second analog stick, but who bothers with that anyway?

            • by dsonen (1193645)
              You can use the Wiimote without a nunchuk and still play without motion controls.
          • I think it's more that we accepted that the motion control gimmick was first Gen, and expected the Wii 2, to have better motion control support. When it didn't, that blew away any reason to get a more expensive Wii.
        • by P-niiice (1703362)
          Exactly. the wii was a fad console, which made a killing on sales, but they weren't the kind of gamers who continually paly the system and buy new games. With Micorsoft and Sony around though, that may be the best console-selling strategy for them. The alternative is going the Sega route. They'd make a killing that way.
        • by drakaan (688386)

          We bought ours because of the titles...all of the gamers in my family are fans of the various Mario titles, and those were great on the Wii. The controller worked well and let you do things easily that would have been hard without the ability to point at stuff with the controller or shake it, etc.

          The console had some big problems, though...most notably no real online community, a lack of HDMI support, not enough graphics processing power, and a shitty disc drive that failed in two units we owned, even thou

        • I actually like the tablet on the WiiU. With many games, it means that I can play a game while my wife watches TV. I can even take the tablet into another room (depending on distance/being able to communicate with the base unit) and play in there. The only downside is that it is one tablet per console. It would be great if you could buy additional tablets and connect them to the WiiU. Then you could play a multi-player game and let people have their own screen instead of splitting the TV's screen into m

        • by djrobxx (1095215)

          The Wii controller was a bit better than a gimmick. It re-introduced the light gun in a way that works on modern plasma and LCD TVs, and in a way that can be part of a more elaborate control system. People loved the Zapper on the NES, but the games were pretty shallow because all you could do is pull the trigger.

          If you played Metroid Prime with the Gamecube, and then the remade Wii version with the Wii controller, you'll find the Wii controller version is unquestionably better for the gaming experience,

        • by JonBoy47 (2813759)

          The Wii was able to exploit a perfect storm of marketing. The novel motion controls garnered a lot of media buzz, and it certainly helped that it launched at half the price of the then new PS3 and XBox 360, while including a pack-in game, which made it a more convenient "single purchase" holiday gift. It's graphical shortcomings were excusable, at least for the first three or four years, given the low cost, novelty of motion controls, and the low market penetration of HDTV's at the time of its launch.

          Ninten

      • Re:3DS (Score:4, Insightful)

        by DrXym (126579) on Monday June 09, 2014 @07:27AM (#47193875)
        The Wii U has lots of problems - it's underpowered, it's overpriced, it has a confusing name, it lacks 3rd party support and consumers have grown fed up with gimmicks. I expect a lot of people who already own a PS3 or 360 look at the Wii U and wonder what is the point of the thing for a handful of exclusive titles (and little else). Casuals probably think of the Wii gathering dust in the cupboard.

        Nintendo have to change their strategy, e.g. focus on the likes of China / India / Brazil where potentially they could carve out a larger market share. Or try doing a few cross platform games with some of their IP and see if its a viable revenue stream, e.g. a Pokemon game on tablets, or even an officially sanctioned emulator & store.

      • by MitchDev (2526834)

        And for gamers, the Wii U, while it does have several Mario title, still doesn't have a Legend of Zelda game, or a Metroid, or a Pokemon, etc.

        It's missing most of the Nintendo Franchises that people buy a Nintendo brand console for. And now I've been hearing that Nintendo is already working on the Wii U's replacement console, looking bleak for the Wii U.

        • by MitchDev (2526834)

          (I don't count LoZ:Windwaker as it's just an "HD" re-release of an older game)

        • by lgw (121541)

          I don't keep up with this stuff: does the Wii U play all the Wii titles? Or is it like the other two with no backwards compatibility?

          • by MitchDev (2526834)

            The few we've tried so far do. In fact the "Start Screen" changes to that of the Wii when you put in a Wii disc.

            • by lgw (121541)

              Neat. So are the classic Mario games etc available? (Weren't they downloads for the Wii, not discs?)

              • by MitchDev (2526834)

                There is also a TON of downloadable older games as well, going all the way back to NES games

      • There's also an education issue at play. Calling it the "Wii U" is nice and all, but their primary customers are kinda clueless about gaming and don't understand that it's a new console.

        I was talking with someone yesterday who continues to be an avid Wii user, and she was talking about possibly buying the new MarioKart game for herself and some other friends who she used to live with. I asked if they had a Wii U or not, to which I got a "Wii U? Isn't that just a Wii?" response. I explained that it was an en

      • >It isn't even surprising that the Wii U isn't selling as well as the Wii did. They sold a lot of Wiis to people who don't buy games consoles. Those people will have gotten over the fad and won't be buying another games console. It's not that they're defecting to Sony or MS, they're just going back to their non-gaming ways.

        No. Their kids grew up and these days they get their older kids PCs because they need them for school work.

      • by camazotz (1242344)

        It isn't even surprising that the Wii U isn't selling as well as the Wii did. They sold a lot of Wiis to people who don't buy games consoles. Those people will have gotten over the fad and won't be buying another games console. It's not that they're defecting to Sony or MS, they're just going back to their non-gaming ways.

        It doesn't take much effort to figure out that if you bought a Wii for your 9 year old in 2007, then you'll be upgrading to an Xbox or Ps4 in 2014 for your 16 year old. This is not a static audience...and the Wii is looking very old now to new 9 year olds with their android tablets.

  • by ThePhilips (752041) on Monday June 09, 2014 @05:20AM (#47193639) Homepage Journal

    That's possibly why in Nintendo's Frankfrut am Main office, about 20% of employees were laid off.

    Oh the flip side of financial news.

  • I purchased almost every Nintendo console up until the Wii. I grew up on the original Nintendo and Super Nintendo. Stopped at the Wii.

    Nintendo's marketing after the Wii was not effective. They should fire whoever named the console, and especially since they named the follow up console "Wii U". I didn't even know that the Wii U was so much different & better than the Wii.

    Nintendo needs to wake up and smell the coffee. They should title their next console with "Nintendo" in it, to get all the nostal
    • I think the root cause should be looked at why they have bad marketing. IMHO: the senior management staff is getting old an inflexible. Iwata can't even come to E3 because of health concerns. Nintendo as a whole is no longer flexible enough to meet market demands and users want. When have they release a good game where they truly innovate? It seems like all they want to do is farm out their game to child studio's and have them make just enough changes to sell s few copies. The Mario Kart is the perfec
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Where is it getting mediocre reviews?

        I don't own a Wii U or Mario Kart - but a quick glance at metacritic shows it getting reviews ranging from very good to amazing.

    • by DeKO (671377)

      Nintendo's marketing after the Wii was not effective.

      I agree with this statement, but for a different reason. I have a Wii U and a 3DS, and none of the competitors'. Google knows that very well due to searches and through the websites I visit. Yet, I only see ads for the other systems, and PC games (my gaming laptop is more than 3 years old, so every "recent" game has to be on lowest settings to be playable... so I don't play on it).

      Maybe they are too full of themselves and think they don't need to make the effort? Maybe they don't really understand how to us

      • by MitchDev (2526834)

        Nintendo know kids and families love them, so they only really worry about that market. The hardcore gamers who scoff at Nintendo's "kidified" experience are also a lot more vocal that housewives and 7 year olds and post a lot more about it online, so they get more "visibilty" that the folks who just play the games and don't spend most of their lives talking about about the games or praising what they like and scourging what they don't...

  • The Wii U is a year older and targets a different audience.
  • Wii may have few interesting games, but there are almost no titles for the PS4 either. The sweet spot to buy a PS4 will be next year, or when you'll hopefully have something to play on it.

    • The PS4 has Transistor( a ridiculously addicting rpg) and Mercenary Kings (Contra & Metal Slug type game). That alone is worth having the PS4 and should tide you over until the next group of indy games roll out. Major titles will become more available in 2015, but the PSN/Indy scene is going to be killing it in 2014.
      • by Torp (199297)

        But most of the indies are also on PC, so why spend extra on another console?
        Not to mention my backlog of ps3 games ;)
        You can keep your PS4, I'll wait.

  • The 3DS is outselling both of these ...

    Smartphones out sell all of these and make more money and sell more games

    The console market is now for gamers only, the Wii was the last console bought by non-gamer

  • the wii part of the previous generation of consoles? as in ps3 and xbox360?

    no way. i'd put it in the ps2/original xbox league, with a useless gimmick controller. and probably even that's a stretch.

    .
  • Kids who started out on the Wii, say 5 to 10 year olds, are now in their teens (Wii was released in 2006). They have moved on to the Xbox One and the PS4.

  • The Nintendo and Sony aren't really in the same console market.

    Is the real story here, that Microsoft bungled the Xbox One console launch so horribly that it drove users to the PS4, giving them enhanced sales?

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