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The Almighty Buck Entertainment Games

Game Consoles Sell Over 3.2 Million Units in November 95

Posted by Zonk
from the that's-a-spicy-meatball dept.
Ground Glass writes "While there wasn't any question that November was going to be a huge month for gaming (what with those two consoles coming out and all), it's still impressive to see the numbers. In short, Nintendo's DS was the big winner with over 600,000 units sold, though the Wii and Xbox 360 also each broke half a million. The PS3 probably came in at around 200K all told for the month. Convert those numbers into dollars and you're looking at one very fat and happy industry." From the Next Generation article: "In its monthly report analyst Arcadia Investment says console sales in November topped 3.2 million units. Arcadia says hardware sales increased by at least 50% year on year, with software up about 20%. Retail dollars increased by about 25-30% to about $1.6 billion, compared to $1.3 billion in November 2005. "
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Game Consoles Sell Over 3.2 Million Units in November

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  • by seebs (15766) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @06:30PM (#17137908) Homepage
    Remember when Nintendo had a game machine that was low-powered, but had an innovative control scheme many initially derided as gimmicky, and it was in direct competition with a higher-powered, much more expensive, Sony product which could play movies in a new and effectively proprietary format?

    Apparently, it wasn't a bad plan.
    • by spwolfx (1029734)
      Nintendo always had such machine, and Sony always has had exact opposite... It has worked for both, realistically.
      I doubt anyone would claim "victory" if Sony released PS3 which is PS2 with new controller...
      • by Cadallin (863437)
        As the AC pointed out, both the Nintendo 64 and the Gamecube were far more powerful (in terms of CPU, memory, and Graphics capability) that their Sony competitors.

        While it is frequently bandied about that the Wii is only as powerful as the original Xbox, this isn't true either. The Gamecube itself was as powerful (in terms of CPU and grpahics capability, although it did have slightly less RAM, the performance of both was about the same) as the original Xbox. In reality, I think its pretty clear that b

        • by spwolfx (1029734)
          depends on what do you think as adequate - lots of gamers that have gamecube say new Wii games are actually not better graphically than latest Gamecube games. It is pretty obvious that Wii is not about latest graphics.

          Maybe Gamecube was more powerful than PS2, however that was an failure - Nintendo trying to compete with Sony in graphics. Otherwise, whenever they played on their true strenghts - they did really well - just check how AWESOME DS Lite is doing, and its graphics are not in the same galaxy as P
          • lots of gamers that have gamecube say new Wii games are actually not better graphically than latest Gamecube games.

            Same could be said about early 360 games which also where not much better than original games. The only reason PS3 games look so good is because the PS2 is the oldest and slowest of the bunch. That being said, its also going to be a long time before anything looks better than the less powerful 360, as developers loath working on the Cell.

            As it was many feel that people didnt get enough ou

            • by vega80 (852274)
              But we pretty much know what the WiiCube can do. Look at the best looking GC games - that's the benchmark. You're not going to see graphics much better on the Wii than the best looking GC games. As many have already said, the Wii has basically the same hardware as the GC, whereas the PS3 and 360 are a generational leap in power.
              • Wii has basically the same hardware as the GC

                Not true at all. Same chipset yes... but the PIII and PIV where basically the same chipset too. Whats different is speed, the Wii's CPU and GPU are 75% faster than the GC. Thats a marked improvement, maybe not as much as the 360, but still much better than the GC. What makes this better though is because its the same chipset, they can get the most out of it soon than the 360 will, since your relearning how to code for it (since it went from a x86 platform to a

  • by paladinwannabe2 (889776) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @06:39PM (#17138058)
    (Numbers are approximate, they didn't have exact numbers in the article)
    DS (600K+) > XBox360 (500K++) > PS2 (500K+) > Wii (500K) > PSP (350K) > PS3 (~200K)


    It looks like the PS2 and the Xbox 360 are both outselling the new consoles- which is surprising to me. Still, it seems Nintendo is the big winner, since they are selling an average of two games per Wii on top of actually selling a console for a profit. Microsoft seems to be doing a lot better with their 360 sales than I expected they would- I guess people decided getting a Wii or PS3 wasn't worth the effort when there was an good console readily available.
    • by AuMatar (183847) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @06:48PM (#17138220)
      The Wii and PS3 are hampered by availability. Although if I were Sony, the high volume of PS2 would scare me- all the PS3 brings to the table is more power. If people are still buying the PS2, then power won't be enough. It puts the Wii in a real spot to win this round, as they aren't counting on the processing power to win.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DrXym (126579)
        If I were Sony I wouldn't be worred about PS2 sales. Every sale means profit and more potential converts to the PS3. Maybe not today but in a few years from now. Perhaps they even see the PS2 as a good way to stay in a holding pattern until the price of the PS3 becomes more reasonable.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by AuMatar (183847)
          With consoles, you don't have time. If people don't buy your console now, then developers won't target it (they'll target the Wii, 360, or PS2). If devs don't target it, it won't sell in the future either. Getting a large install base early is an absolute necessity, or you won't have one late.
          • by Frumply (999178)
            The 360's definitely proven in Japan that a hardware flop is difficult to overcome. Though, with little widespread availability of reasonably-priced HDTVs (your only choices are the Japanese brands which charge ~$2000 for 32-inch LCDs), lack of popularity of FPSs, and resistance to non-Japanese brands it's not too surprising.
            • With the Blue Dragon 360 bundle, though, preorders have been selling out in Japan, which seems to imply that the 360 may just do alright there after all.
              • by Frumply (999178)
                How many were available for preorder, though? I believe a similar thing occurred for preorders on one of Konami or Namco's arcade games that is being released on the 360: low expectations lead to a low supply of pre-order 'limited editions' available, which sold out very quickly. With PS3s and Wiis being nearly impossible to purchase though, the xbox is in a good position as it's the only one working parents would have a chance of getting. Now that they have a Blue Dragon comic started to coincide w/ th
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by be-fan (61476)
        Why should the high volumes of the PS2 scare Sony? It's exactly what happened with the PS1 when the PS2 came out. Sony overlaps their consoles in order to compensate for the fact that they initially take a loss on new ones. The PS2 has a good year in it making Sony money while the PS3 ramps up, while the GC and Xbox are quite dead by now (with TP being the GC's last hurrah).

        And you say "processing power" as if it doesn't matter. The SNES was just an NES with more processing power. The PS2 was just a PS1 wit
        • by AuMatar (183847)
          Truthfully, more processing power matters less and less as the power of the older one increases. The SNES->NES was a big increase only because the original NES was so weak. The increase from SNES->N64/PS generation was much smaller, if that hadn't been the time all games went 3D it would have been barely noticed. The difference in games from PS->PS2 wasn't noticable. Now? The difference doesn't add anything. The only reason to upgrade is because developers will stop targeting the old platform
          • by be-fan (61476) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @12:51AM (#17141824)
            Bullshit. Dvorak was spouting off in the mid 1990s about how nobody would ever need anything more than a 200 MHz Pentium. It wasn't true then, it's not true now.

            The NES to SNES upgrade was actually relatively minor. You got more colors and bigger sprites, but the CPU was still weak, so the games were the same, but prettier. The SNES -> N64 transition was huge. It was the first console that could do 3D properly. Mario 64 changed platformers completely, and would not have been possible on any previous console. FPS as a genre wasn't really feasible until then either. The PS2 was the first console that had the horsepower to have complex environments, because the N64 and PS could not push enough polygons to do more than very simplistic environments.

            This generation is potentially as interesting as the N64 one. The new consoles have an order of magnitude more power than the previous gen, and more importantly, they have a lot of power that's independent of the graphics pipeline. Wheras the main CPU in the PS2 spends much of its time crunching geometry to feed the rasterizer, the geometry processor in the RSX frees the Cell in the PS3 from much of that. Wheras previous consoles had to squeeze in AI and physics into a small slice of time between handling graphics code, the current batch can spend a lot of main CPU time on those things.

            Gears of War is really a prime example. Even if you toned down the graphics, such a game could not be done on previous-gen systems. They don't have the horsepower to do either the physics, nor the level complexity (battlefields strewn with junk that serves as cover).
            • FPS as a genre wasn't really feasible on a console until then either.
              fixed it for ya :)
              • by be-fan (61476)
                It depends on what you mean by "FPS". You can count Doom and Duke Nukem as FPSs, but the SNES was capable of running those too. I consider Quake to be the first true FPS, in that its the first one to give you a real first person view (you can look around). The N64 was released the day after Quake. Also, th efirst PC graphics board capable of running Quake properly (the Voodoo 1) wasn't released until four months later.
                • Actually the first Quake like fps was Ultima underworld and that one already had full physics, multiple levels etc... bridges gaps etc... and full environmental interaction, and ghasp it came out months before castle wolfenstein 3d. Just to show how advanced the Looking Glass games really were :-)
                • I think the general consensus is that ken's labyrinth, wolfenstein 3d, and doom are the father, son, and holy ghost of FPS genre. Just because you consider Quake to be the first, it doesn't make you right. . .
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by jackbird (721605)
              The PS2 was the first console that had the horsepower to have complex environments, because the N64 and PS could not push enough polygons to do more than very simplistic environments.

              *cough*Dreamcast*cough*

              • by NEW22 (137070)
                Exactly!

                Long live the Dreamcast. I mean, a modem and web browser too! One of my favorite systems ever.
        • by tepples (727027)

          The SNES was just an NES with more processing power.

          First console to incorporate scanline rotation and scaling in hardware (Mode 7), allowing for much more realistic racing games (compare F-Zero to Rad Racer 2). First console controller to incorporate dual cross keys and shoulder buttons. The plain old "more CPU" console upgrade was Sega Master System -> Genesis.

          • by Jarlsberg (643324)
            Congrats. You mentioned the single game that took advantage of Mode 7 and actually made it work. ;) The Snes allowed bigger games and decent console ports. It was still the same old, same old.
            • You mentioned the single game [F-Zero] that took advantage of Mode 7 and actually made it work. ;)

              Single game, or single genre? There are plenty of mode 7 racing games that work. Even non-racing games can use mode 7 to improve the overall quality of experience. Start with Pilotwings, then see Actraiser that uses it for cut scenes or Super Mario RPG that uses it for a mine cart level.

      • High sales of PS2 would scare you? It is the only last-gen console that still has good games coming out. What this says to me is that people who can't afford/can't/don't want to get the new consoles prefer PS2. I think that is good for Sony because when these systems crap out and they decide to move to the next generation they will probably move to the brand who supported the console for the longest period of time, the one with the familiar controllers that they can play all their old games on. That pri
      • The Wii and PS3 are hampered by availability. Although if I were Sony, the high volume of PS2 would scare me- all the PS3 brings to the table is more power.

        At the risk of being labeled a fanboy, this is 100% false. Over the Ps2, the Ps3 brings multiplayer capability out of the box (at least 4 players vs. 2 on the Ps2), Wireless control standard on all gamepads, MUCH better online infrastructure, The Ability to play Blu-Ray movies (a BIG plus if you have a high def tv), Downloadable classic games for 6 buc

      • by hadek (199193)
        I think AuMatar has a good point Wii might win this round. At the same time I think Sony has a potential to win the war. More PS2 on the market will only create more loyal followers. Now if only game makers would continue created GOOD games for PS2. I'm just waiting for some brave game maker to copy functionality of Wii's controller and start producing games.
    • by nxtw (866177)
      Well, the Xbox 360 was out for the entire month of November and widely available. The Wii and PS3 were available for part of the month and were in high demand...

      With the negative opinions of the PS3 and the increase in HDTV uptake, it's not too entirely surprising.
    • by rolfwind (528248)
      That the PS2 still sells is not surprising at all - it costs only $125 or so, IIRC, and has a library, and with new titles still coming out.

      The new systems won't be fully entrenched for at least 2 years.
    • >>It looks like the PS2 and the Xbox 360 are both outselling the new consoles- which is surprising to me.

      We have a PS1, Gameboy Advance, and plan on buying a WII. The Nintendo caters to the younger children with more games that are not so violent.

      But this is not a Christmas gift, it is a goal for the kids. A reward.

      I have asked when I happen to be in the electronic departments if they have any WII's and it is usually "We had (5-20) on (day of week) and expect another shipment of the same on (same d
  • Of the big 3, generally only Nintendo actually makes a profit off their gaming systems in the first year of release.

    By some estimates Sony is subsidizing the PS3 to the tune of $300/unit while Microsoft is probably just about breaking even on systems. The big money for Microsoft and Sony comes from game sales, and the only solid numbers I've seen in that category were for Zelda units for the Wii (400k+).

    So on the money side Nintendo has made a hefty profit from their 1.1 million+ units sold, Microsoft, hav
    • by tlh1005 (541240)
      I know that MS said it lost X dollars per xbox sold and now Sony is claiming the same with the PS3, but I alway wonder how much of that is cold hard cash. I'm thinking most of it is moving numbers around from one cost center to another, counting R&D hours that goto develop and support the product, that sort of thing. Yes, I know you've gotta pay people to do this there still is just a slight difference in my opinion from Sony taking $300 out of the bank and burning it everytime someone buys a PS3.
      • by ClamIAm (926466)
        Sony is claiming [they are losing money] with the PS3

        Source?
      • by Khashishi (775369)
        The difference is a recurring cost versus a nonrecurring cost. If your profit per unit is higher than your per item, you want to sell as many as possible even if you've sunk a lot into NRE. But I thought that it was said that Microsoft was selling the xbox for lower than the per item cost.
    • You must not follow the news. http://www.isuppli.com/news/default.asp?id=6919 [isuppli.com] I suspect MS isn't getting the whole $75, they are probably taking $50 and leaving retailers with $25 per unit, so that they have more incentive to push 360 sales.
      • by ClamIAm (926466)
        Your numbers are whack. There is no way in hell the motherboards cost that much (for either system), and several other of those numbers look rather sketchy. In addition, this estimate only covers the manufacturing and assembly of the machines; it does not cover R&D, shipping, marketing, nor anything else that factors into the cost of the system. Better luck next time.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by aricept (810752)
          Not to say that the numbers are not incorrect, but the number listed for "Motherboard" on the side by side comparison includes everything ON the MB - CPU, GPU, memory; you can tally the numbers from the first list of individual parts.
        • Using that formula, then absolutely no console will make any money at all period. Because the $100 per console made per WII for the first year will not make up for it's development costs either. Unless you are thinking that the first WII, PS3, Xbox360 will be sold for multi-millions and the rest is pure profit it's got to be that way.

          So when people say that MS & Nintendo are making a profit on each device at this time, it means that they aren't being sold for a loss. None of them have paid off their
          • by rednip (186217) *

            Because the $100 per console made per WII for the first year will not make up for it's development costs either.

            Few manufactured items, in particular innovative ones are profitable in their first year by those standards. Accountants have a neat trick called amortization, which can assume that initial costs are considered over the expected lifetime of the item. Also, I don't know where you are getting your numbers from, but I'd be very surprised if any manufacturer every made $100 each on anything selling for a retail price of $250 per unit.

            • The $100 number isn't supposed to be anything even remotely close to reality, it being overly high was meant to try and show that even if Nintendo were to be able to make a very improbable $100 per $250 console, that they wouldn't be able to recoupe their development, R/D, etc costs within any short period of time.
  • by netsfr (839855)
    Could have been 3.2M + 1, but there are no Wii's to be found here, the store had 20 units the first day, and sold out since.

    Sony keeps heavy advertising about the PS3, but what good does it do if they get me interested in it, all to have me go down to the store to look at an empty shelf... It's having the opposite effect, more of a turn off than getting me to want one at this point.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      A long time ago (probably a few years ago anyways) I was talking to someone in marketing about how most car comercials were awful and didn't make me want to spend $25,000+ and her reply was "Most comercials are not about attracting customers but are actually about making existing customers secure in their decision"

      The fact is that there are so many PS3 comercials because Sony wants to make the fanboys think that the $600 they spent makes them own a cool product.
      • by Vellmont (569020)

        The fact is that there are so many PS3 comercials because Sony wants to make the fanboys think that the $600 they spent makes them own a cool product.

        The difference between the $25,000 car and the PS3 is that Sony actually NEEDS a lot of sales for the PS3, where the car company only needs to sell a (relative to the PS3) few $25,000 cars.

        Making fanboys feel good about spending too much money does Sony little good. They actually need to convince millions of people to buy PS3s (and actually wait until there's
        • From my very limited understanding the most effective way to sell something is to give someone first hand experience with it, followed by word of mouth, followed by recomendation from a trusted 'neutral' resource, followed by good research materials (mostly web-based now a days), and then finally active marketing. People tune out comercials unless they are highly interested in the product.

          I suspect that why companies want people who have bought their product to feel secure about their purchase is that they
  • by Frag-A-Muffin (5490) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @07:40PM (#17138968) Homepage
    "Convert those numbers into dollars and you're looking at one very fat and happy industry."

    The only people we know for sure that's happy about all those consoles being moved is Nintendo.

    *(1) Although, if you take console sales as an indirect indicator of software sales, then yes, the other guys would be happy too. More on this later

    What we do know is this:

    * Nintendo makes money on the Wii, right out of the gate.
    * Nintendo makes money on each DS Lite sold.
    * Sony's PS3 is losing $200-$300US (we don't exactly how much they're losing, but most analysts say about that range)
    * Sony's PS2 hardware is profitable now.
    * Microsoft was losing money on the Xbox360 at launch, but they've been working hard to reduce the cost to produce the 360, so it may be breaking even at this point. Only Microsoft knows.

    So, Nintendo is certainly happy, Sony is happy PS2 still rakes it in but doesn't make up for PS3's enourmous costs, and Microsoft is happy to just be in the fight :)

    *(1) Consoles moved means more software sales, which is where Microsoft and Sony plan to make their money back. (Nintendo makes money from selling ANYTHING with Nintendo on it, so we know they'll make money on software. They arguably make the most on software than any other single console game producer) Seems the internet believes Microsoft is enjoying a good software sales rate for their xbox360, they won't say of course. Meanwhile, Sony is just mum. Why? well, doesn't seem the attach rate for the PS3 is doing so hot in the US [ign.com] or Japan [joystiq.com]. So Sony's still far away from making money on their new system.

    My point? The industry may or may not be happy, we don't know for sure, but we do know, Nintendo is happy with these numbers :)

    PS WTF's with the 0.98 attach rate for PS3 in Japan?! That's amazing to me. I know lots of people are flipping these on ebay, but even in the land of the rising sun, people aren't buying it to play games. That's bad news. Japan's a huge Sony supporter. If they lose Japan, they're in trouble.

    • by kazad (619012)
      I plugged in the numbers into an editable chart [tinyurl.com] (shameless plug for my site! :)

      xbox360 = 500k * 400 = 200,000,000
      ps3 = 200k * 600 = 120,000,000
      wii = 500k * 250 = 125,000,000
      ps2 = 500k * 129 = 64,500,000
      nintendo_ds = 600k * 129 = 77,400,000
      psp = 350k * 199 = 69,650,000

      Based off pure revenue, Microsoft appears to take the lion's share with 30%. But as we all know, revenue and profit are quite different. You can play around with the numbers above to get a feel for who's coming out ahead - I may have a mistake
      • Handy. =) Change the numbers a bit and you've got an estimation of how much profit / loss there was too.
      • by Wdomburg (141264)
        Erm. 125,000,000 + 77,400,000 = 202,400,000.

        You also forgot gba = 500k * 69 = 34,500,000.

        That brings us to 236,900,000, which I'm pretty sure is bigger than 200,000,000.

        Would seem Nintendo is the winner here, no?
        • by kazad (619012)
          Good catch, thanks. I should have combined it company-wide in the beginning, I was focused on just the next-gen consoles.

          I updated the numbers [tinyurl.com] and it actually looks like Sony actually pulled in the most revenue overall!

          sony = ps3 + ps2 + psp = 254,150,000
          microsoft = xbox360 = 200,000,000
          nintendo = wii + nintendo_ds + gba = 236,900,000

          Surprising, huh? Of course, the ps2 sales may be cannibalizing possible ps3 sales.
          • by steveo777 (183629)
            I've seen it said many times but people really need to quit assuming that the PS2 may be eating away at PS3 profits. The PS3 is sold out everywhere that I've heard save for a few stories about there being some sitting on some random shelves. That's fine. But the PS2 isn't eating any sales, for now. It may eat future sales, but that remains to be seen. We'll only actually know that if, say 6 months to a year in the future there is still strong PS2 sales, and lackluster PS3 sales. Like if there were alw
          • Surprising, huh? Of course, the ps2 sales may be cannibalizing possible ps3 sales.

            No way in hell. The ps2 has been out for 6 years already and runs only $125. Anyone who HASNT already bought one by now isn't really in the market for a $499 Ps3. The people buying PS2's now are primarily late adopters, curious Xbox and Gamecube owners looking to check out the PS2 game library (guitar hero is making lots of converts), and those buying second consoles and/or replacements for old and broken units. Not exactly

      • by challlen (642784)
        I like these numbers a lot.

        I'd be curious to see these numbers over time.

        However, in the end, it doesn't mean much without the software sales.
        Does anyone have numbers for the software sales for each of these platforms?
    • by WaXHeLL (452463)
      There's much more to sales than just the attach rate.

      Sure, attach rate measures direct sales (how many games are bought with a console). However, people are much less likely to buy games when they know they're flipping a console on ebay. Anyone can buy games for the PS3, and people on ebay actually are LESS likely to pay a premium on included software (primarily because typically, you don't have a choice what games you're picking up)

      Completely unrelated, but a quick ebay check on completed listings reveal
    • Actually given nintendos first party sales numbers, I think their biggest cash cow is the software, but they act more wisely that they want to earn on the hardware as well, they cannot run into financial problems that way. This is one of the reasons why they usually are more on the conservative side regarding the hardware used. They probably earned more on the cube and its games than Sony did on the PS2 regardless of being the last in the sheer numbers, but the cube situation wont repeat itself with the Wii
    • by MBraynard (653724)
      Other than just taking Regi (?)'s word for it - where is the evidence that N is making money on the sales of the console?
    • by MarkAyen (726688)

      PS WTF's with the 0.98 attach rate for PS3 in Japan?! That's amazing to me. I know lots of people are flipping these on ebay, but even in the land of the rising sun, people aren't buying it to play games. That's bad news. Japan's a huge Sony supporter. If they lose Japan, they're in trouble.

      (Relatively) cheap Blu-Ray player? The Japanese are traditionally a nation of early adopters, so it's not outside the realm of possibility.

  • by 2nd Post! (213333) <gundbear@NoSpam.pacbell.net> on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @08:16PM (#17139478) Homepage
    If you convert to dollars that is $2m for Nintendo, $40m loss for Sony, and $5m loss for Microsoft.
  • Console sales stats (Score:2, Informative)

    by John Vai (150587)
    Perhaps you'll want to visit the site http://nexgenwars.com/ [nexgenwars.com] to get a daily update on console sales.
  • As with all EU countries, we have to wait until April 2007 for a PS3, missing the lucrative Christmas season. I don't suppose Sony sees this as a problem - it could easily sell its entire output of consoles elsewhere - but it means a lot of people will be picking up a 360 or Wii instead.

    That's lost customers, and the chances of them coming back to Sony are slim. Of the Sony fanboys I've spoken to, most are incredibly blunt about how badly Sony treats EU countries with hardware releases; a year wait for the

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