Bi-Weekly Poll 1: Which Happens First?

8/3/08

Which Happens First?
Wii Hits 70 Million Worldwide....18 votes
PS4 is Announced...2 votes.

The results of the first poll are in, and apparently you guys think the Wii will be hitting 70 million world wide. Or you think the PS4 will never be announced. Or you think one will be happening before the other. Or something.

The Wii is beating the PS2's trendlines in every territory around the world [charts / citation needed]. Is it out of this world to suggest that the Wii could end up beating the PS2's LTD of 140 million units? Can it last that long? Is the combined competition from the PS360 too strong? Will one of the above release a new entry into the race and completely change the momentum, like a "PS3 Lite @ $249" or something?

Opinion:
In short, yes. Yes, it's completely possible for the Wii to match the PS2's worldwide LTD of 140+ million. Lots of things would have to fall into place, but it is possible. Based on every possible trending that we have, the Wii will continue to out pace the PS2 throughout its lifespan.

The real question is how long the Wii's lifespan is. I'm not sure it can last long enough for it to happen before competitors start launching new products, but admittedly, that's my gamer bias questioning its hardware capabilities, not a rational market researcher questioning market saturation.

Also at factor here is how long Nintendo will support a product. The last relevant examples of Nintendo winning a hardware race are the DS over the PSP (still going), and the SNES over the SEGA Genesis (ended prematurely by SEGA's horrendous 32x-lovin' strategy). Neither of which really apply.

The DS might be a good benchmark in that it had far lesser hardware compared to the PSP but completely destroyed it worldwide. The Wii does seem to be following that same trend of sales over hardware, so we might watch how Nintendo handles the DSL->DS2 transition for inspiration.

I think Sony's PS3 is the wildcard. If they pull an about face with the PS3 hardware (think DS Phat to DS Lite) and find a way to get that price down to mainstream prices ($249) and a single unconfusing SKU, the PS3 could easily change the generation's momentum it its favor.

I highly doubt that it would happen though. More likely, the PS3 will be marginally upgraded throughout its lifespan in some imaginary arms race with Microsoft and the price will remain the same, leaving the Wii to reach for 150 million on its own.

PL

8/3/08

1 comment:

JJS said...

I don't think it will be this quick, but for sake of argument the soonest I can imagine a new console would be released is late 2010: five years after X360's launch. In that case, Wii and PS3 would've been around for 4 years. Worldwide, PS2 was at about 71 million four years in, so if Wii keeps ahead of PS2 it will be beyond that... but depending on how ahead, that still leaves dozens of millions to go before catching up to PS2.


One possible strike against Wii going as high as it could is if Nintendo handles the transition to a successor better. If PS3 hadn't been so expensive and eventually started yanking out PS2 compatibility, I imagine continued PS2 sales would be significantly less. Even though PS1 was a very successful system and much cheaper than PS2 is so far into its life, since PS2 was a relatively easy sell there wasn't as much reason for a person to pick a PS1.

Shipments of PS1 by calendar year, later in life
2000: 7.8 M
2001: 9.7 M
2002: 5.9 M
2003: 4.0 M
2004: 2.5 M

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