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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.
  • Re:ZOMG PANIC! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Flytrap (939609) on Monday June 09, 2014 @05:51AM (#47193675)

    I think that it is worth noting that the sales comparison is not lifetime sales, but sales for 2013 only. So, Nintendo's 2012 sales would not have been included.

    The fact that the Wii U has been available for longer makes the PS4 2013 sales look even more lacklustre. All the consoles have their best sales immediately after launch (which is why having a good launch catalogue is critical). The Wii U was launched in late 2012, and it is unlikely that 2013 saw the kind of sales that it had in the first few months after launch. However, the PS4 was launched in 2013. So, when you compare sales data for 2013, you are comparing sales data of the latest and greatest that Sony has to offer with the sales performance of a console that most had already panned as being not worth the purchase.

  • 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:Not just that (Score:3, Insightful)

    by _merlin (160982) on Monday June 09, 2014 @07:24AM (#47193865) Homepage Journal

    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 control schemes than they had on the Wii. The touchscreen isn't really used for much in Mario Kart 8, and the Mario platformer plays far better on a traditional controller than with motion controls. At the same time there are still games that depend on Wiimote control, like Wii Party U. Perhaps it's all just a scam to sell more controllers - I'm up to two pro controllers, two Wiimotes and the touchscreen. Yes, I can now host a 5-player game of FIFA 13, but it's expensive buying all that crap.

  • 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.

  • Re:ZOMG PANIC! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DrXym (126579) on Monday June 09, 2014 @07:40AM (#47193899)
    When the Wii launched, people lost their collective minds trying to obtain one. Stock was extremely limited and it was sold out everywhere despite being a glorified Gamecube with a gimmick controller. That's the power of a good launch.

    The Wii U landed with a thud which wasn't helped by requiring a day-0 5GB patch. It had about 6 months to turn things around before the next-gen hype train started and it couldn't do it. At this point nothing short of a massive price drop, heavy promotion and money hats to 3rd parties could reinvigorate the platform in the West. Perhaps they should focus their attentions elsewhere.

  • Re:Not just that (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09, 2014 @07:53AM (#47193923)

    Sorry, but I can't agree with you. The touchscreen controller is as much a gimmick as analog sticks and more than 2 buttons were gimmicks. Its so much nicer having high quality/detail maps available without pausing (and much better than crummy low detail map overlays on the HUD). Inventory management is much better too.

    Nope, this generation's gimmick is the stupid kinect. I thought it had some potential, but nobody seems to be making good use of it, and now Microsoft is going back to selling systems without kinect, so it's going to be treated as just another add-on like it was last generation.

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