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Businesses The Almighty Buck Entertainment Games

The November Videogame Market By the Numbers 57

Along with the news that more than half of the US is playing games, the November NPD numbers offer an interesting insight into the games industry. The ongoing console war was white hot, with record hardware sales. The Wii outsold the PS3 by half a million systems last month, and is quickly gaining on the Xbox 360's total sales figures. The big winners last month were software publishers, though, with a record $1.3 billion in sales. "Obviously Call of Duty 4 performed well on both the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. It is now second only to Halo 3 for first-month sales numbers on the Xbox 360. On the PlayStation 3 no other game has launched as well as Call of Duty 4 in November. Super Mario Galaxy performed extremely well for its first month. Two new properties - Assassin's Creed and Mass Effect - sold well enough to make the top 10. Across both platforms, Assassin's Creed was actually the second best selling game of the month. It is amusing to note that despite the unprecedented Nintendo DS and PSP sales, no game for either system sold well enough to make the top 10 software list for November."
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The November Videogame Market By the Numbers

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  • by flitty ( 981864 ) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @01:48PM (#21740756)
    The so called xbox/ps/nintendo "console war" has been going on hot and heavy for what, 7+ years now? Can we stop calling it "white hot" and finally conceed that the each console of this generation is filling a different need, as shown by last month's NPD data? Galaxy sold well, COD4 sold well, Assasin's creed sold well, Mass effect sold well, Halo 3 sold well, the DS and PSP hardware sold well, even if they didn't have any standout games. To me, that sounds like everybody's pretty damned happy about this holiday season, and even though the ps3 isn't doing as well as the rest, they will catch up eventually. Everyone has nailed what they were trying to accomplish this gen. Congrats to all the consoles and software developers.
  • by king-manic ( 409855 ) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @02:26PM (#21741370)

    Sorry, there will always be a "console war." The war is caused because a large number of people can only afford to buy one console. These people choose the one that they think will be the best console. Once their purchase is made, they will fight to convince everyone (including themselves) that their console is the best because, more than anything else, people like to believe that they made the best decision. So you can't end the "console war" without changing human nature.

    This sort of behavior happens any time a decision has been made and there is a conflict over that decision, and is caused by several well-known cognitive biases (mostly originating from confirmation bias).
    The market seems to be splitting as well. There seems to be a much more distinct break up of whats games ends up on which system. The wii is getting novel party games (doing well everywhere). The PS3 still has a lock on the traditional Japanese franchise (given the world wide sales distribution this will continue to be true, doing well in Japan, poor in the US), while the 360 is getting many more of the American titles (and also doing poorly outside the US, well in the US).

    Wii -> Alternative games
    PS3 -> Traditional Japanese style
    360 -> Traditional American
  • by Toonol ( 1057698 ) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @02:43PM (#21741636)
    Why do you think the PS3 is selling better in Europe than the 360? The graphics are pretty much comparable, and the 360 has a much larger library of games and is less expensive. Is the Blu-Ray drive a bigger factor in Europe than in America?

    I don't have either; the only next-gen console I have is a Wii. But if I was to get one of the two, it would be the 360, purely because of the game selection. I'm just pushing that purchase off as long as possible, hoping the console will be more reliable and cheaper in the future.
  • by Chuck Chunder ( 21021 ) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @04:19PM (#21743180) Homepage Journal
    They are useless for comparing pretty much anything as they are "per console". When consoles have been out for different lengths of time it's meaningless to compare attach rates. If xbox owners have had an extra year (or whatever) to buy games then you'd expect it's attach rate to be higher (a more impressive back catalogue that extra time generates will also help). Perhaps there might be some value in comparing the Wii and 360 attach rates x months after launch.

    In short the "attach rate" has too much of an historic component to tell you clearly what is going on "now" which is the interesting thing.

    Attach rates are only a useful measurement for console manufacturers selling consoles at a loss. In that situation the manufacturer knows that it has to reach a certain attach rate to claw back that loss before it can even think about a profit (though that is changing now they have additional profit streams such as subscriptions, virtual consoles, blu ray etc).

    For everyone else you may as well just talk about total games sold. Dividing it by the number of consoles doesn't tell you anything useful.
  • Re:Attach Rates (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @05:14PM (#21744062)
    Attach rates are not actually relevant to 3rd party developers in the abstract. Only the number of games sold compared to the cost of development is. The PS3 has a higher attach rate than the Wii, but it is much more expensive to develop for, and there is a much smaller market. The PS2 did not have a great attach rate, but it was much more popular to develop for. The reason you are not seeing as much 3rd party support is because the Wii's success was unexpected and design cycles take a while. Expect to see a boom in the not too distant future.
  • by Cornflake917 ( 515940 ) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @05:47PM (#21744496) Homepage

    After 6 to 7 billion dollars and six years on the market you have to start thinking the rumors of Microsoft planning on exiting the console market have truth to them.
    What rumors? Oh, you mean the one you're trying to start?

    The US is the only market the 360 is selling decent numbers but it appears that there are a massive number of current 360 owners who are either re-buying 360s or buying newer models hoping to get a console that doesn't have the RRoD or disc scratching issues.
    Yeah the increased sales are totally because of the RRoD issue. Lets just totally ignore the fact that Microsoft replaced most of the consoles with RRoD issues by paying out of their own pocket. They counted these replacement consoles as a loss, not as sales but lets not quibble with minor details. There's just no way that Halo3, Mass Effect, CoD4, BioShock, and Assassin's Creed had anything to do with the increased sales of the 360 in the last quarter.

    I really wish there was a "-1, Dumbass" mod.

"Pull the wool over your own eyes!" -- J.R. "Bob" Dobbs