Total sales figures will not give me the clear picture I need to forecast this war. Sadly the nexgenwars.com tracker does not give you that detail. Fortunately, videogame charts do! Lets see..
Sold 9.66 mil according to vg and 10.84 according to ngw. Lets see the figures; The bulk of the sales is in the US (almost 6 mil). Hmm.., expected as much. 3.4 mil is in the other region which includes Europe, Middle East and Australia. However Japan sold 380K ONLY?
That's not even close to half a million! From 10 million systems, The Japanese bought less than half a million?
No wonder it lacks Japanese 3rd party developers. Microsoft still finds this place tough huh? They are trying though, so this could change. But I really think the Japanese sales figures must rise in order to gain momentum.
Sold 6 mil according to vg, 5.21 mil according to ngw.
The Wii sales are more or less even in all regions. Almost 2 mil in Japan, 2.3 in USA & 1.68 elsewhere. Its close to a 2 million average across markets. That tells me that unlike the X360 above, All markets are embracing the Wii. Also, the close sales numbers suggest that supply is constant through out the markets (ie: no shortage in one place and surplus in another). The Wii sales growth is the fastest of the three. This even distribution should attract developers from all regions, I expect good diversity in games should this trend continues.
Sold 2.67 according to vg, 1.77 according to ngw. ...
Wait a minute! That's one heck of an error margin! The difference in figures cannot be almost one million units! I know the X360 figures are off by as many but percentage wise, the error margin is huge for the PS3 figures.
Moving on, we will use the vg figures here of course for now. PS3's biggest market is the USA. 1.32 mil. Japan has only 0.83 mil and everyone else bough about 0.52 mil.
That makes sense. The PS3 enjoyed immense demand at launch in the US. Other parts of the world are slow, exactly as the reports from UK, Europe & Australia say (It is still not available in the Middle East despite Sony treating it a part of Europe). The 830k units in Japan is way too little. I understand the Japanese developer's concern now.
What to make of this?
The Xbox 360 is a solid contender. Proven everywhere, except in Japan where no foreign system was successful before. Still, that simply says that their system works but needs Japanese 3rd party support. The Japanese 3rd parties are not endorsing the Xbox360 fully yet as they expect a Japanese system to reign, and are looking at PS3, which continues to disappoint most, leading to slower Japan sales, making the 3rd parties wait until the fog clears (or MGS or FF get released).
The Wii seems comfortable. I expect it to receive proper support in the near future. Its comfortable for the fact that it can coexist with either PS3 or X360. Either it will be the system of choice (for the big budget games), or, if the title goes to Sony or MS, Wii can easily transform into the casual gamer / family game machine which will compliment any gamer.
- Microsoft must focus on the Japanese market now. RPGs. RPGs. And they should steal more exclusives from Sony, like DMC & Ace Combat, and try to make exclusive PS3 games not exclusive which will tip the market to their favour. Oh, and release cute special edition consoles like they did with Blue Dragon. The Japanese will eat it up!
- Sony needs to prove to 3rd parties that it still owns the market. They should lower and unify the prices worldwide (or make them closer) and release bundled systems with a big name game. They cannot lower the price now without risking watering down the brand as it will be like admitting it's not gaining sales because it's too expensive. Still, I'd rather they do this + the big budget exclusive + a strong Internet support that at least match or come close to XBLive.
- Wii is under alot of demand, shortages will occur. Nintendo needs to address this asap. Once they do, they must immediately release a big budget name (like Mario Galaxy) and offer bundled packages (imagine Wii + Mario + wii sports or wii play). The market will be theirs if they do this. Especially if it happens before MS or Sony do what I suggested above.