Media Create Sales: 7/21 - 7/27 (Handheld Charts)



Nintendo Hardware Shipments through June 2008


Nintendo recently released their latest quarterly report, which can be found on their Investor Relations Information page. I want to use my shipment line graph generator to show off some of the new hardware shipment totals.

First, Wii. After almost 600 days on the market, shipments are just shy of 30 million. How does this compare to previous console champ PS2?

Worldwide, Wii is 10 million ahead of where PS2 was at the same age. However, PS2 had a staggered launch, with it releasing in Europe about 8.5 months after it did in Japan. How does Wii compare in each of the major regions?

PS2 retakes a slight lead in Japan.

Wii keeps a slight lead in North America. NA was GameCube's strongest market; Wii passes its NA shipment total this quarter.

And Wii takes a slight lead in Europe. It's also worth noting that historically Europe hasn't been a strong market for Nintendo. This is the first time any of their home consoles have shipped 10 million there. Yes, including NES (8.56 million) and SNES (8.58 million).

You might ask, "I thought Wii was breaking sales records all over the place. Why is it staying so even with PS2 in this count?" Two things come to mind. One is that these old PS2 numbers use Sony's old method of reporting shipments, which was really a measure of "produced and shipped to our warehouses". This inflates them some unknown amount from a "shipped to retailers" type of shipment like these Wii numbers (and modern Sony numbers) use. The other is that, simply, the sales we look at from Famitsu or NPD or wherever themself are imperfect, and their methods do change over time. Measures of PS2 in 2000-2002 could be more or less accurate than measures of Wii in 2006-2008.

Changing gears to DS. The historical comparison in this case is to its predecessor the GBA.

As you can see, DS shipments nearly match GBA's shipments, in much less time. Unless next quarter is a big drop from this one, expect DS to overtake GBA at that time.

One thing that's interesting to note, though, is the very different way the portable systems have been spread worldwide.

Over half of worldwide GBA shipments went to North America. Europe was a distant second, with Japan in third.

DS, on the other hand, is spread out much more evenly worldwide. Each region has spent at least some time in both first, second, and third place. Currently it looks like Europe is pulling away.

So we've looked at how these two systems have performed compared to their historical competition, but how do they compare to each other?

Through about seven quarters of each, Wii has a healthy lead of what appears to be about 7 million. Wii is actually ahead of where DS was after its eighth quarter. Wii's quicker takeoff probably owes a lot to the big success it took DS 1-2 years to find.

I'll close with an image and phrase that I've become a bit known for by this point: "There are more Wiis available than any near-launch home console ever." We're not so near launch as we were when I first said it, but hey. Not much else to say about the image; Wii and PS2 were already discussed earlier, and nothing else compares to them.


Investor Relations: EA Reports First Quarter Fiscal Year 2009 Results


Read the whole (exhausting) release HERE. $95 millon loss? YOU BET! Changes coming? A renewed focus and over 40 games in development on worldwide hardware leaders Wii and DS says yes. Read the Joystiq take on the EA Conference Call HERE.

1. Revenue on the 360 dropping each quarter consecutively, including the holiday season: this has to be a huge concern for EA as they seem to have bet on them early, as they already admitted earlier this week.

2. PS2 driving 300 million in revenue in FY08Q3, nearly 2 years into the next generation: this is further evidence that backing the worldwide market leader (independent of graphical quality/hardware ability) drives revenue growth for years after the peak sales ability of said system has passed.

3. PSP and PS3 both doing the best of consoles and handhelds for EA in FY09Q1 is an interesting counterpoint to their renewed commitment to focus on market leaders DS and Wii.

Chart Notes:
1. Scale kept the same for comparative purposes.
2. Source = EA press release/investor relations.



JoshuaJSlone - Introduction


Hello all, JoshuaJSlone here. If you're reading this blog at this early point you've probably seen me around at someplace like NeoGAF. Before I get to posting regular sales information, though, I thought I'd quickly run through my recent history in this area, and thus why PantherLotus thought it worth asking me to join him here.

For years I followed the monthly NPD sales data at GAF and participated in the conversations. Probably the farther back you go the more spinning you'll see from me. A pretty big Nintendo fan, I'm probably one of the guys talking about GameCube month-over-month percentage improvement and generally meaningless stuff like that. It was the launch of DS and PSP in Japan that took things to the next level, though.

In the early months of DS and PSP we had a particularly interesting situation. Two major competitors launching a week apart. Two very different approaches to hardware. One hardware with a massive early lead, but starting to fall behind in the weekly numbers. This led to me making a weekly post about how long it would take the PSP to catch up to DS at that week's rate, and more other stats as I thought of them and added them as columns in my spreadsheet. I'd occasionally make an image to go along with these numbers, but I was dissatisfied with the apparent options in programs like My initial desire was to produce pie charts with a constant scale, so one could not only get an idea of weekly percentage splits, but also when a certain week's sales were particularly large or small. This was on the backburner for a long time, but eventually I found JpGraph, a software used for creating charts online. With a bit of discovering PHP (close enough to other programming languages I'd used) and rediscovering SQL databases (which I'd worked with a few years before), I was in mid-2006 able to make the pies of my dreams.

That complete, though, I realized that with JpGraph's other abilities there were many other display possibilities using the same sales data. Bar graphs, line graphs, pie graphs modified to look like Pac-Man, and variations thereof. With improvements and the occasional big addition like hardware shipment data or Japanese software sales data, that's what's become the set of tools available at Garaph.

Panther's focus is on making beautiful static images to display the facts in a large number of ways, while mine is more on a limited but versatile set of tools that can show some quite interesting things if you ask it the right questions with the right parameters. As the guy who set up the tools, I'm in a particularly good position to know what can be asked and how to do so.


Media Create Sales: 7/14 - 7/20 (Handheld YOY)


This chart shows how enormous of a yearly lead that the DS claimed from the PSP in 2006 and 2007, and how the PSP is now claiming back some of that territory, one teeny chunk at a time:

1. Limitations noted in a previous post were circumvented by breaking each line and starting their zero point in the appropriate X point in time.

2. This method of presentation may be useful for any set of data with multiple years to be compared. It might be fun to replace the lines (in this case, white and red) with graphical representations of data, like a vertically-resized DS and a vertically-resized PSP to represent yearly gains.

3. More later.



Media Create Sales: 7/14 - 7/20 (YOY)




1. Handheld YOY charts shown on same scale for demonstrative purposes.

2. Combined YOY for handheld (weekly/YTD) not feasible for all 4 years for visual reasons. If you guys would like two-year comparisons that may work better, but I'm not sure what the value of that would be.

DS+ 2006 and 2007 really stick out, don't they?


Media Create Sales: 7/14 - 7/20 (Handhelds)



Analysis: Why the Wii will be getting Japanese exclusives, but not Western.


The following was originally posted on the neogaf forums on 06-29-08. Enjoy!

It's been more than 3 months
since I made the assertion that the Wii, despite being the worldwide leader in this-gen hardware sales, would never be getting major Western exclusives, but should be getting major Japanese exclusives. I suggested that the Wii sales in Japan are so far and above anything else (we're talking PS2 levels) that we should see those soon. I also said that the American lead by the 360 (in combination with the PS3), combined with developer and audience taste (they hate the Wii), means that the Wii will never see the games that once made it to the PS2 (ie, GTA).

As we approach E3, how does the theory hold up? Do sales still reflect the same trends? Will something suddenly change despite obvious Developer/Publisher decisions? I attempt to answer these questions here:

Japanese Hardware Sales
Whoa. MGS4 anybody? Looks like it made a nice two week impact but every other indicator of continued sales health puts the PS3 back to 8k-10k per week sales in the next few weeks. So basically nothing has changed: The Wii is the PS2, the PS3 is the GC, and the 360 is irrelevant. These charts show why my original assertion still carries weight, if not more so today than it did 3 months ago:

[ ] What you see above is what big time games might have done for the PS3 if they had shorter development cycles and had released more quickly out of the gate. If the big games release closer together, does the PS3 start building momentum rather than seeing many of those units sold back to used hardware dealers? No, probably not. But it certainly couldn't have hurt.

Take a moment to look back at the OLD ANALYSIS. You'll notice that in 3 months:
[ ] The Wii sold 700k units.
[ ] The PS3 sold 230k units.

Why the Wii should be getting Japanese Exclusives ANY DAY NOW!
If you actually did look at the OP, or can do basic math, you'll see that the Wii gained another 500k unit foothold over the PS3. If you don't like math, that's projected out to 2 million per year on top of the already 4 million lead that it starts with:

US Hardware Sales
Now here's the hard part. Last time, I said that Western devs would never make huge exclusives for the Wii and I had a convincing argument why: the 360 and the PS3, combined with audience taste, had no reason to invest money into the Wii when they might lose sales from the reduced hardware capability and the potential lack of audience interest. Now? Let's look:

*Please note: NPD exact totals removed because of privacy rules.

Refer back to the OLD ANALYSIS, again. What do you see?
[ ] The 360 sold 700k units in 3 months.
[ ] The PS3 sold 600k units in 3 months.
[ ] The Wii sold 2.2 million units in 3 months.

Why the Wii will not be getting US exclusi...wait. What?

This kinda changes things doesn't it? 360 won't be able to claim the highest sales in the US in about a week from now. Combined, the 360 and PS3 next-gen juggernaut is losing their momentum against the Wii, and GTAIV was the hardware dud 'heard round the world.

Still, I stand by my original assertion: major western exclusives WILL NOT be coming to the Wii. Why? Even if GTAIV didn't move hardware as much as expected for either console, it sold more copies than the Bible. HUGE. The Wii's worldwide sales are irrelevant:

1. Western devs don't care about Japan, at least in relation to their major exclusives.

2. Western devs are focusing on the American hardcore audience, and will continue to develop major exclusives for the PS3/360/PC user.

3. Western devs believe that they can sell more copies of bigname hardcore games as multiplatform next-gen titles than they could if they developed a visually less-appealing version for the Wii.

I believe we'll be hearing about a pretty shocking megaton Japanese exclusive announcement in the short term (E3), and I doubt we'll ever hear Western devs ever even bother.

Major assumptions
Assumptions do not necessarily make any of the above true or any of the below real.

[ ] That Japanese Devs value the Japanese public's buying habits over the Western public's buying habits. (and that they value money).

[ ] That *exclusive* in this context means hardcore big-name, big-budget games that are targeted toward a hardcore audience. In that assumption, we are automatically excluding every title that includes wii-exclusive content but is not itself exclusive, or other mass-market titles that don't apply specifically to the interest of this forum (Brain Age, EA Cheerleading, Ubisoft mini-game collections, etc)

[ ] That Western devs really do believe that the PS3 and 360 are the same exact audience and that developing games for them as one (or porting from one to the other) does not incur a significant enough cost to impact their development.

[ ] NPD exact numbers have been removed to protect various parties.

Donny112, JoshuaJSlone, various members of Sales-Age.

WW Chart: US - NPD, Canada - NPD, ,Japan - Media Create , Europe + Other - ELSPA, GfK, and other trackers / press releases and estimation where needed.



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