Another holiday season has come and gone, and this one was particularly exciting for the gaming world. Nintendo’s Wii and Sony’s PlayStation 3 were released alongside a few already successful consoles, and every system had games flying off the shelves. The Sony execs have confirmed that even with delays, over 1 million PlayStation 3s have sold since November.
Another holiday season has come and gone, and this one was particularly exciting for the gaming world. Nintendo’s Wii and Sony’s PlayStation 3 were released alongside a few already successful consoles, and every system had games flying off the shelves.
The Sony execs have confirmed that even with delays, over 1 million PlayStation 3s have sold since November. The first month of sales was a bit weak, given that only about 75 percent of the expected 400,000 consoles available at launch made it to buyers. The second wave was right on, however, and that’s why the PS3 has looked so great during the holiday sales period.
Despite the strong showing from Sony’s new box, gamers who actually got one have been somewhat disappointed with the fact that they shelled out as much as $600 (for the premium model) and were only given a handful of really good games. The top-selling game since launch has been Resistance: Fall of Man, a shoot-’em-up that has outsold the PS3 itself.
This is mostly due to gamers who have a PS3 on pre-order-it has been the only way to get one since the launch-and already have a copy of the game. The rest of the top-10 selling games for the PS3 have been mostly sports games, such as Madden 2007, Tony Hawk’s Project 8 and NBA 2K7.
The above should speak to what sort of direction the PS3 is headed in: a hot ticket for rich people who like to mash the buttons and yell at the screen. (It’s also been rough for Sony to hear that the public is buying their systems for a few hundred bucks and turning around to sell them for thousands in profit.) If you check out the sales records for the PS3, very few role-playing, strategy or adventure games have had a strong showing so far. Sony has said that they expect to ship 6 million more consoles by the end of this year, so hopefully more experienced game developers like Konami Corporation and Square Enix will get a piece of the pie. Perhaps the lack of critical acclaim comes from looking back at the last new-gen launch, back when the PlayStation 2 reigned supreme almost immediately and very quickly saw high sales for games like Grand Theft Auto 3, Gran Turismo 3 and Zone of the Enders.
However, the gaming world doesn’t start and stop with Sony. Nintendo has been having a great time with their Wii, as more and more people are starting to return to the original king of gaming. While Nintendo hadn’t managed to outsell Sony since the release of the original PlayStation, they did it this year. Though nobody from the Mario camp has released official sales records, consumer reports have shown well over a million units sold. One of the biggest reasons that the Wii did better than the PS3 this holiday season is the price tag, with just one model being released at $250. Another key advantage was better advertising. The TV and magazine ads for the Wii actually showed the funky new controller being put to good use, as opposed to arcane, even scary, spots about baby dolls that come to life or eggs that explode into ravens.
Seriously, did you see those PS3 ads? None of them showed any game play or made actual reference to the system’s capabilities, unless people are expected to believe a game can bring inanimate objects to life.
Nintendo had one other huge advantage over Sony-Nintendo has always made the best games for their systems. Mario, Zelda and Donkey Kong are all Nintendo-produced games, so it was much easier for them to get their best titles out right away. This might mean trouble in the long run, however. Sony has some major PS3-only titles on the way, such as Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Final Fantasy XIII and Devil May Cry 4. Each of those franchises had incredible success on the last Sony system, and it’s expected that, despite the PS3’s slow start, the best is yet to come.
Let’s not forget about the Microsoft people either, who are leading the sales charts overall-of course, they’ve had a year’s head start. Bill Gates, with his big-ass nerdy smile, held a press conference earlier this week and touted his company’s sales for the Xbox 360, which currently stand at 10.4 million. Through the holidays, Gears of War, Call of Duty 3 and F.E.A.R. all made the top-10 list for shooting/action games on any console. That’s a pretty good season, but 360 gamers haven’t really come out in full force just yet. Halo 3 is set to release later this year, and unless you’ve crawled back into your mother’s womb some time in the past four years, you know that Halo is the most revered shooting game currently on the market.
The handheld world isn’t without opulence, either. The PlayStation Portable sold about a half-million units this holiday season (including one to my little brother, the little spoiled bitch…) and the DS Lite sold around 300,000. The PlayStation Portable is still dominating in terms of overall sales, selling 23 million to the DS Lite’s just under 10 million. The support for the handhelds to the PS3 and the Wii has been put to good use with the holiday-released games, with the handheld acting as an added feature to the console game, such as a rearview mirror in racing games and a statistics menu for shooters. Some sports games even utilize the handheld for coaching controls, so your human opponent can’t see what you’re doing to try and beat him.
Yes, this holiday season was full of joy for gamers, and this is just the beginning of the year. We’ve got an exciting one ahead of us, and the ever-growing popularity of gaming isn’t likely to stop in 2007. If you didn’t get what you wanted as a gamer over the holidays, fret not: stores are stocking back up, prices are dropping and a whole bunch of cool new shit is on the way. So save your gift cards and Christmas cash for a little bit longer and gaming cheer will be yours!