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Sony Overtakes Rival Nintendo In Console Sales

samzenpus posted about 2 months ago | from the king-of-the-hill dept.

Nintendo 127

An anonymous reader writes "For the first time in eight years, Sony has overtaken Nintendo on the total number of game consoles sold. Sony sold 18.7 million consoles in the last financial year, compared to Nintendo sales of 16.3 million. Sony's PlayStation 4 has emerged as the bestselling 'new-gen' console. But demand for Nintendo's Wii U — with its touchscreen controller — has lagged far behind the original Wii, which was the most popular hardware of the last generation."

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3DS (4, Insightful)

Travis Mansbridge (830557) | about 2 months ago | (#47193627)

It's worth noting that Nintendo's highest selling console is still the 3DS, with more units sold in 2013 than Wiis and Wii Us combined.

Re:3DS (1)

Travis Mansbridge (830557) | about 2 months ago | (#47193637)

Currently highest selling,* not historically. Dammit.

Re:3DS (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 months ago | (#47193655)

yeah so is the samsung galaxy s5 and the iphones consoles now too? I mean they got game titles that are grossing near the 1 billion mark...

2ds is like 130 bucks though.

anyway you can't sugar coat that Nintendo is getting hit financially for the last year but then again they can afford to be financially hit for 4-7 years more.

Different genres (2)

tepples (727027) | about 2 months ago | (#47194001)

Phones and tablets play different games. Console games rely on directional input, with a joystick and discrete action buttons. "Mobile" games, on the other hand, use a completely flat sheet of glass as the primary means of input, which is fine for single-button or point-and-click games but not so good for, say, a fighting game or a platformer with any sort of exploration element without a clip-on Bluetooth gamepad that I've never actually seen in use.

In terms of user freedom and flexibility, Android is like a PC and iOS is somewhere in the middle.

Genres don't sell consoles like they used to (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47194735)

I don't claim originality for this. I watched the recent episode of Extra Credits talking about Minecraft, how a new generation of gamers are being brought up on games that aren't all about action

While a large portion of games are still aimed towards people brought up on platformers and fighters and shooters, and there will always be some, I think the trend is that those genres will not be enough to entice people to buy a console on top or instead of a phone/tablet.

Both Vita and 3DS can claim to have genres fit for consoles but not phones/tablets, but only one is seeing decent sales. And that's only after they cut the price, which I think is the bigger selling point than the genres and exclusive titles.

Plus, it's probably easier to leverage microtransactions off the phone/tablet demographic.

The Nintendo fanboy in me thinks they'll come up with something, but the cynic in me thinks the age of handheld dedicated consoles is coming to an end.

Re:Genres don't sell consoles like they used to (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47196097)

First, Extra Credits is awesome.

Second, exactly right, something like Baldur's Gate loses crap-all from being on mobile. Even some of the fighting games aren't that horrid (Injustice on iPad and the Batman Arkham Origins aren't phenomenal, but they are definitely moving in the right direction).

Spiderweb Software (aka Jeff Vogel) has gotten a ton of mobile sales, iirc. There's a whole slew of games that work well on mobile.

Even handheld games were always designed differently, for example, all DS and 3DS titles have a pause functionality when you flip the device closed. Most games mechanically give a nod to this by streamlining for the fact that this WILL happen, a lot for some people.

Mobile devices are no different in this regard, they'll excel at moving titles that play well on them.

Re:3DS (5, Insightful)

_merlin (160982) | about 2 months ago | (#47193813)

It isn't even surprising that the Wii U isn't selling as well as the Wii did. They sold a lot of Wiis to people who don't buy games consoles. Those people will have gotten over the fad and won't be buying another games console. It's not that they're defecting to Sony or MS, they're just going back to their non-gaming ways.

Not just that (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 2 months ago | (#47193843)

But both are gimmick based. The Wii's gimmick was the motion controller. That interested a lot of people, they thought it looked really neat and wanted to try it. Of course you discovered that it wasn't quite as cool as it first seemed, and many games really didn't play that well with it, but it drove console sales pretty well. People liked the gimmick and wanted in, so that sold a lot of consoles at least initially.

However gimmicks are fickle things, and there's no guarantee of what people will be interested in. The Wii U's gimmick is a tablet. That just isn't working out. People aren't that interested. Makes sense, since most people who wish to have a tablet already have one in another form and a game console with a tablet isn't all that interesting.

It also made the price less attractive. That tablet isn't trivial cost wise, so Nintendo couldn't be quite as low priced. That was something else that helped the Wii. It was low cost enough compared to the other two to be interesting to people who didn't want to spend as much, as well as people to get it as an "and a" console in addition to whatever other one they liked. The Wii U wasn't quite as price competitive and so didn't see as much of that.

Basically Nintendo got lucky with the Wii. It was the right gimmick at the right time to catch on and sell a ton. This time around, they missed big time.

Re:Not just that (2, Insightful)

_merlin (160982) | about 2 months ago | (#47193865)

I dunno. The gamepad makes a some things far easier. The remake of Zelda: Wind Waker makes very good use of it for the maps. Sailing is so much easier when you can look down at the map and up at the view (kind of like sailing a real boat). Team management mode in FIFA13 is far easier to work on a touchscreen than with a controller. It's also very, very good for navigating menus, text input and all that stuff that's normally painful with a controller.

A lot of the games are moving to more traditional control schemes than they had on the Wii. The touchscreen isn't really used for much in Mario Kart 8, and the Mario platformer plays far better on a traditional controller than with motion controls. At the same time there are still games that depend on Wiimote control, like Wii Party U. Perhaps it's all just a scam to sell more controllers - I'm up to two pro controllers, two Wiimotes and the touchscreen. Yes, I can now host a 5-player game of FIFA 13, but it's expensive buying all that crap.

Re:Not just that (1)

MacTO (1161105) | about 2 months ago | (#47194305)

I suspect that the gamepad has two issues. The first is that it is a more traditional gaming setup. Yes, it has the gimmick of the screen and it does have motion sensors. On the other hand, it is very much a sit-down and play type controller. So while it does offer new forms of interaction for a home game console, it doesn't offer anything beyond a handheld game console. For the casual gamer who doesn't care about analog sticks, d-pads, and buttons, it doesn't offer anything beyond a smartphone or tablet either. (Indeed, it offers a great deal less. It is less portable, more cumbersome, and harder to buy games for.)

So you have something that may appeal to more traditional players, but it is in a low-end console (compared to the current generation). On top of that, the controller is driving up the price of that console quite significantly. Instead of having a low end console at half the price of its competitors, you have a low end console at 3/4ths the price of its competitors. Is it any wonder why it is a hard sell?

Re:Not just that (1)

Frobnicator (565869) | about 2 months ago | (#47194829)

So you have something that may appeal to more traditional players, but it is in a low-end console (compared to the current generation). On top of that, the controller is driving up the price of that console quite significantly. Instead of having a low end console at half the price of its competitors, you have a low end console at 3/4ths the price of its competitors. Is it any wonder why it is a hard sell?

Except that it is still cheaper to manufacture than either the PS4 or XBox One.

Although the manufacturing contracts and specific details are not known, the estimate is that Wii U hardware is currently roughly net positive $350M. The XBox One hardware is approximately net loss of $350M, and the PS4 is approximately net loss of $750M. Sony and Microsoft are hoping losses will be recovered with software and online subscription fees to recover the losses, but Nintendo doesn't really need it since it is just extra profit.

So even though by count the two devices are tied, the Wii U is over a half billion ahead of XBox One, and a billion more than the PS4.

Again: Hardware sales are tied, but Nintendo has a BILLION dollars more in net funding from race.

When you are making a profit on every unit and your competitor is making a loss on every unit, why would you object very much when the competitor takes the lead on number of units?

Re:Not just that (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 2 months ago | (#47195357)

When you are making a profit on every unit and your competitor is making a loss on every unit, why would you object very much when the competitor takes the lead on number of units?

It depends. You allude to the big picture but never step back and take a look at it. Sony and Microsoft typically have taken a loss on the consoles specifically because they DO make a lot of money on games sales.

So if when the numbers are tallied MS and/or Sony are coming in higher net positive, then their strategy is still working better.

Re:Not just that (2)

Frobnicator (565869) | about 2 months ago | (#47196871)

You allude to the big picture but never step back and take a look at it. Sony and Microsoft typically have taken a loss on the consoles specifically because they DO make a lot of money on games sales.

Ultimately all of them will make a lot of money. I never claimed they wouldn't.

As a game developer professionally, I love the competition. I want lots of game consoles. Since we're cross platform, I want all of them to have as many sales as they can. That's the good part for me and for everyone.

Last generation both Sony and Microsoft had a net loss on hardware sales that they never recouped in hardware. They took (and continue to take) profits from online subscriptions and other licensing.

Nintendo made more money than either of them, but all of them were profitable. Nintendo is still on track to make more money than Sony (but probably not Microsoft) because both Sony and Microsoft again decided to take a huge loss on hardware sales.

Re:Not just that (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about 2 months ago | (#47196479)

Don't forget battery life also. Abysmal.

Re:Not just that (2)

MitchDev (2526834) | about 2 months ago | (#47194429)

Mario Kart 8 is intolerable on a Wiimote.

Works great on the Pad, and I may finally be able to convince my wife we need a Pro Controller for MK8 at least :)

Re:Not just that (1)

_merlin (160982) | about 2 months ago | (#47194537)

Mario Kart 8 is intolerable on a Wiimote.

It's fine on a Wiimote plus Nunchuck: stick to steer/glide, Nunchuck buttons for item/horn and rear view, Wiimote buttons for accelerate/brake/drift. The only thing you lose over a pro controller is analog accelerate/brake with the second analog stick, but who bothers with that anyway?

Re:Not just that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47194569)

Add a nunchuck to the Wiimote; makes the controls essentially identical to the gamepad. (Same thumbs and same index fingers do the same things...)

Re:Not just that (1)

dsonen (1193645) | about 2 months ago | (#47194797)

You can use the Wiimote without a nunchuk and still play without motion controls.

Re: Not just that (1)

jader3rd (2222716) | about 2 months ago | (#47194849)

I think it's more that we accepted that the motion control gimmick was first Gen, and expected the Wii 2, to have better motion control support. When it didn't, that blew away any reason to get a more expensive Wii.

Re:Not just that (1)

P-niiice (1703362) | about 2 months ago | (#47193873)

Exactly. the wii was a fad console, which made a killing on sales, but they weren't the kind of gamers who continually paly the system and buy new games. With Micorsoft and Sony around though, that may be the best console-selling strategy for them. The alternative is going the Sega route. They'd make a killing that way.

Re:Not just that (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47193923)

Sorry, but I can't agree with you. The touchscreen controller is as much a gimmick as analog sticks and more than 2 buttons were gimmicks. Its so much nicer having high quality/detail maps available without pausing (and much better than crummy low detail map overlays on the HUD). Inventory management is much better too.

Nope, this generation's gimmick is the stupid kinect. I thought it had some potential, but nobody seems to be making good use of it, and now Microsoft is going back to selling systems without kinect, so it's going to be treated as just another add-on like it was last generation.

Re:Not just that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47194219)

You don't get out much, do you? And you don't own a WiiU, do you?

The tablet is awesome. The system is a giant DS with some pretty snazzy graphics capability (if you know how to work the hardware) and that's freaking awesome. I have zero problems playing games with the tablet and I wholeheartedly look forward to the games that will be coming out in the future.

Re:Not just that (2)

drakaan (688386) | about 2 months ago | (#47194251)

We bought ours because of the titles...all of the gamers in my family are fans of the various Mario titles, and those were great on the Wii. The controller worked well and let you do things easily that would have been hard without the ability to point at stuff with the controller or shake it, etc.

The console had some big problems, though...most notably no real online community, a lack of HDMI support, not enough graphics processing power, and a shitty disc drive that failed in two units we owned, even though we treated the units pretty carefully. At the price they were charging for the original Wii, I could deal with all of it.

We have a pair of Xbox 360's that mainly get used for multiplayer shooters. I'm fine with that. I'd really love to play Mario Kart 8 with the family, but not at the price they want to charge for the Wii U...it's a system refresh with a new controller that I'm not interested in, not because it's not a decent console, but because it's not enough of an improvement to be worth the extra cash.

Re:Not just that (0)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 2 months ago | (#47194353)

I actually like the tablet on the WiiU. With many games, it means that I can play a game while my wife watches TV. I can even take the tablet into another room (depending on distance/being able to communicate with the base unit) and play in there. The only downside is that it is one tablet per console. It would be great if you could buy additional tablets and connect them to the WiiU. Then you could play a multi-player game and let people have their own screen instead of splitting the TV's screen into multiple sections.

Re:Not just that (1)

djrobxx (1095215) | about 2 months ago | (#47194953)

The Wii controller was a bit better than a gimmick. It re-introduced the light gun in a way that works on modern plasma and LCD TVs, and in a way that can be part of a more elaborate control system. People loved the Zapper on the NES, but the games were pretty shallow because all you could do is pull the trigger.

If you played Metroid Prime with the Gamecube, and then the remade Wii version with the Wii controller, you'll find the Wii controller version is unquestionably better for the gaming experience, because you can aim and shoot at the enemies, instead of fighting with an auto-targeting system. Of course, this is meaningless with the Wii-U's controller, which is a regular game pad with a screen, which is not a new concept - the Dreamcast had something similar. Fortunately games can still use the original Wii controllers.

I was excited to get a HD Nintendo console, but so far the experience ha fallen flat. The key Nintendo franchise games have not materialized. I have no interest in playing the old Wind Waker game again. I want a new Zelda or Metroid title.
 

Re:Not just that (1)

JonBoy47 (2813759) | about 2 months ago | (#47195199)

The Wii was able to exploit a perfect storm of marketing. The novel motion controls garnered a lot of media buzz, and it certainly helped that it launched at half the price of the then new PS3 and XBox 360, while including a pack-in game, which made it a more convenient "single purchase" holiday gift. It's graphical shortcomings were excusable, at least for the first three or four years, given the low cost, novelty of motion controls, and the low market penetration of HDTV's at the time of its launch.

Nintendo followed this up with the Wii U, with the Gamepad as the new hook. Unlike the masterful job they did with the Wii, Nintendo failed to effectively convey to customers how the Gamepad works, how it is used in game play, and that it is part of a bundle that also includes an entirely new game console, rather than an add-on for the original Wii. The Gamepad also boosted the manufacturing price. Given Nintendo's insistence that the console itself not sell at a per-unit loss, the resultant retail price negated much of the price advantage the Wii had enjoyed at launch.

Unfortunately, unlike Microsoft, who was able to realize an instant $100 price cut by simply jettisoning the white elephant Kinect, the Gamepad is so tightly integrated that releasing a lower cost Wii U bundle with a Pro Controller in lieu of the Gamepad most likely isn't a viable option. Fortunately, Mario Kart 8 sold 1.2 million copies in its first weekend. The (anecdotal) fact that none of the dozen or so Gamestop's within a 20 mile radius of my house have them in stock also bodes well, I think.

Re:3DS (3, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | about 2 months ago | (#47193875)

The Wii U has lots of problems - it's underpowered, it's overpriced, it has a confusing name, it lacks 3rd party support and consumers have grown fed up with gimmicks. I expect a lot of people who already own a PS3 or 360 look at the Wii U and wonder what is the point of the thing for a handful of exclusive titles (and little else). Casuals probably think of the Wii gathering dust in the cupboard.

Nintendo have to change their strategy, e.g. focus on the likes of China / India / Brazil where potentially they could carve out a larger market share. Or try doing a few cross platform games with some of their IP and see if its a viable revenue stream, e.g. a Pokemon game on tablets, or even an officially sanctioned emulator & store.

Re:3DS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47194203)

The Wii U has lots of problems - it has a confusing name

But it's still less confusing than xbox one.

Re:3DS (1)

DrXym (126579) | about 2 months ago | (#47194495)

I agree XB1 isn't exactly intuitive and perhaps there is some confusion. However both XBox and Playstation have gone through several iterations so consumers are more likely to get the distinction than the Wii and Wii U.

Re:3DS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47194291)

The problem with the Wii was three-fold.

First, you had a huge amount of hype from the media. About a week before Christmas the year the Wii was released, the New York Times wrote a gushing review of it, saying it would modernize gaming and be better than either the Xbox 360 or PS3. A few other sites had latched on to the same hype, and I think a lot of people bought it assuming it would be a solid console both for gaming and for casual stuff.

Second, you had Nintendo focusing entirely on casual games and non-games, to the point where they were actively dissuading third parties from releasing games on the Wii U. There was their E3 announcement one year where they went an entire conference without announcing a single actual game (this was the year they announced Wii Music and Wii Sports Resort, and I think also the same year Reginald Fils-Aime had some kid's mother on stage gushing about Wii Fit). The few games that Nintendo did release were all the worst in their franchise (Metroid Other M, Kirby Epic Yarn) or extremely weak on gameplay (Skyward Sword). Meanwhile, they blocked Disaster: Day of Crisis because Reggie didn't like it, and managed to block Xenoblade for over three years. The few third-party games that did make it to the Wii (Madworld, Dead Rising: CTYD) were lackluster at best.

I can think of at least 10 games worth playing on the X360 or PS3 without even trying, but to this day I could not make a list of 10 Wii games worth playing.

Third problem was how underpowered the hardware was. People joked that the Wii was two Gamecubes taped together. When hackers cracked the Wii a few years later, guess what they found? When running in Gamecube mode, the Wii underclocked itself to exactly 50% of its normal speed. This was the console that couldn't handle Dead Rising because there simply weren't enough hardware resources to go around. Nintendo went from always being stronger than the competitor's hardware (SNES was stronger than the Genesis, N64 was technically stronger than the PSX) to being the weakest on the market. The gap between the Wii and the PS3/360 was big, and the gap between the Wii U and Xbone/PS4 is bigger.

Re:3DS (2)

_merlin (160982) | about 2 months ago | (#47194511)

Nintendo went from always being stronger than the competitor's hardware (SNES was stronger than the Genesis, N64 was technically stronger than the PSX) to being the weakest on the market.

That isn't really true. The SNES had a weaker CPU than the MegaDrive, but stronger graphics hardware to compensate. The N64 had strong CPU performance, but poor memory latency, very limited texture memory, and limited storage. The consoles back then had very different trade-offs.

The gap between the Wii and the PS3/360 was big, and the gap between the Wii U and Xbone/PS4 is bigger.

Yeah, but it's got to the point where consoles are powerful enough for most people. From the distance I sit from the display, I really don't care that Wii U games are often 720p upscaled, and there are enough polygons to get the job done. This wasn't the case in the GC/PS2/Xbox days.

Re:3DS (1)

MitchDev (2526834) | about 2 months ago | (#47194407)

And for gamers, the Wii U, while it does have several Mario title, still doesn't have a Legend of Zelda game, or a Metroid, or a Pokemon, etc.

It's missing most of the Nintendo Franchises that people buy a Nintendo brand console for. And now I've been hearing that Nintendo is already working on the Wii U's replacement console, looking bleak for the Wii U.

Re:3DS (1)

MitchDev (2526834) | about 2 months ago | (#47194481)

(I don't count LoZ:Windwaker as it's just an "HD" re-release of an older game)

Re:3DS (1)

lgw (121541) | about 2 months ago | (#47195437)

I don't keep up with this stuff: does the Wii U play all the Wii titles? Or is it like the other two with no backwards compatibility?

Re:3DS (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 2 months ago | (#47196269)

There's also an education issue at play. Calling it the "Wii U" is nice and all, but their primary customers are kinda clueless about gaming and don't understand that it's a new console.

I was talking with someone yesterday who continues to be an avid Wii user, and she was talking about possibly buying the new MarioKart game for herself and some other friends who she used to live with. I asked if they had a Wii U or not, to which I got a "Wii U? Isn't that just a Wii?" response. I explained that it was an entirely new piece of hardware that would also need to be purchased in order to play the new games. It was the first she had heard of it.

Of course, she also thought she'd need to borrow ("steal", to use her word) the game disc from her friends in order to get her save data for MarioKart Wii from their console to hers, so this is not exactly a technically savvy person, but that's par for the course with the majority of Wii customers. Nintendo needs to do a better job of educating their customers. In previous generations, they went for the sorts of customers that educated themselves on the topic. When they made something with mass market appeal, they attracted buyers who don't keep up to date, and many of them have no clue about this Wii U thing or why they need to spend hundreds of dollars to play new "Wii" games.

Re:3DS (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 2 months ago | (#47196717)

>It isn't even surprising that the Wii U isn't selling as well as the Wii did. They sold a lot of Wiis to people who don't buy games consoles. Those people will have gotten over the fad and won't be buying another games console. It's not that they're defecting to Sony or MS, they're just going back to their non-gaming ways.

No. Their kids grew up and these days they get their older kids PCs because they need them for school work.

Re:3DS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47193883)

Better point, Mario Kart 8 increased Wii U consoles sold by 666% And if that doesn't keep up the momentum, the next Smash Bros will.

Sony is really just where it is because it's eaten Microsoft's lunch.

ZOMG PANIC! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47193635)

Isn't Wii U considered to be a failure with no good games to sell the console so far?, and it might still have time to beat PlayStation 4 if the next Mario Kart makes people actually buy it.

It is a bit telling when a company considers it a great success to beat a product that another company considers a failure.

Re:ZOMG PANIC! (1)

drcagn (715012) | about 2 months ago | (#47193645)

Except the Wii U has been out for far longer than the PS4 has, so it's had a head start.

Re:ZOMG PANIC! (3, Insightful)

Flytrap (939609) | about 2 months ago | (#47193675)

I think that it is worth noting that the sales comparison is not lifetime sales, but sales for 2013 only. So, Nintendo's 2012 sales would not have been included.

The fact that the Wii U has been available for longer makes the PS4 2013 sales look even more lacklustre. All the consoles have their best sales immediately after launch (which is why having a good launch catalogue is critical). The Wii U was launched in late 2012, and it is unlikely that 2013 saw the kind of sales that it had in the first few months after launch. However, the PS4 was launched in 2013. So, when you compare sales data for 2013, you are comparing sales data of the latest and greatest that Sony has to offer with the sales performance of a console that most had already panned as being not worth the purchase.

Re:ZOMG PANIC! (1)

jareth-0205 (525594) | about 2 months ago | (#47193729)

The fact that the Wii U has been available for longer makes the PS4 2013 sales look even more lacklustre. All the consoles have their best sales immediately after launch (which is why having a good launch catalogue is critical).

I don't think that's true, certainly not from this data:

http://www.economist.com/blogs... [economist.com]

By now you would expect Wii U to be into its stride, with a good catalogue and selling many consoles whereas PS4 is earlier in its cycle. (It's also higher priced, so you wouldn't expect it to sell as many units). Wii U is struggling when it should be doing well.

Re:ZOMG PANIC! (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 2 months ago | (#47193817)

with a good catalogue

You mention something that isn't true. The Wii U different from other consoles - Nintendo relies almost entirely on first party development to sell consoles. Their biggest franchises, like Smash Bros. and Mario Kart, haven't even released yet. Their first year was almost entirely devoid of new releases from their franchises barring Mario. The Wii U obviously hasn't hit its' stride - but the reason is the wait for those killer games to provide the momentum for the console, not the other way around as what typically happens with Microsoft and Sony.

Re:ZOMG PANIC! (2)

jareth-0205 (525594) | about 2 months ago | (#47193897)

Doesn't that make it even worse then? That Nintendo are responsible for making their console attractive... and they haven't yet, 18 months into its life. All the while they're losing ground to the more technically advanced competitors.

Re:ZOMG PANIC! (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 2 months ago | (#47194367)

Actually, Mario Kart 8 for the WiiU was just released at the end of May. (It obviously wouldn't factor into those WiiU sales figures, though.)

Re:ZOMG PANIC! (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 months ago | (#47194405)

like [...] Mario Kart, haven't even released

That one has. It's not even a particularly amazing entry in the series, though it has its moments. Nintendo's main source of innovation has been "same series, same plot, new mechanics", and cart racers, at least, seem to be very low on ideas for new mechanics.

Re:ZOMG PANIC! (3, Informative)

Narishma (822073) | about 2 months ago | (#47193731)

That makes absolutely no sense. The PS4 has had the best console launch of all time. It only took it 3 or 4 months (with major supply issues) to sell what the WiiU did in 1 and a half year, and is now comfortably in the lead.

Re:ZOMG PANIC! (3, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | about 2 months ago | (#47193899)

When the Wii launched, people lost their collective minds trying to obtain one. Stock was extremely limited and it was sold out everywhere despite being a glorified Gamecube with a gimmick controller. That's the power of a good launch.

The Wii U landed with a thud which wasn't helped by requiring a day-0 5GB patch. It had about 6 months to turn things around before the next-gen hype train started and it couldn't do it. At this point nothing short of a massive price drop, heavy promotion and money hats to 3rd parties could reinvigorate the platform in the West. Perhaps they should focus their attentions elsewhere.

Re:ZOMG PANIC! (2)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 2 months ago | (#47195787)

At this point nothing short of a massive price drop, heavy promotion and money hats to 3rd parties could reinvigorate the platform in the West. Perhaps they should focus their attentions elsewhere.

I have read that Nintendo wants to cut the price but can't. The touchscreen pad apparently costs them just as much to produce now as it did at launch.

When the Wii was $250 and the PS3 was $500, that was a real price difference. Now the Wii U is $300 and the PS4 is $400. People are overwhelmingly choosing to spend the hundred bucks to get a much more powerful console with immensely better 3rd party support.

Re:ZOMG PANIC! (2)

DrXym (126579) | about 2 months ago | (#47196133)

If I can buy a 7" tablet for $30 (and I can) then I'm not sure what Nintendo's excuse for their controller costing so much. I wouldn't put the bill of materials of their entire system to be more than $120. There should be at least some latitude to cut the price more than they have, particularly if the supply chain is filled with surplus stock.

Re:ZOMG PANIC! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47195409)

The PS4 does have higher lifetime sales though, and it's been out for 1/4 as long.

Re:ZOMG PANIC! (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | about 2 months ago | (#47195961)

I think that it is worth noting that the sales comparison is not lifetime sales, but sales for 2013 only. So, Nintendo's 2012 sales would not have been included.

The fact that the Wii U has been available for longer makes the PS4 2013 sales look even more lacklustre. All the consoles have their best sales immediately after launch (which is why having a good launch catalogue is critical). The Wii U was launched in late 2012, and it is unlikely that 2013 saw the kind of sales that it had in the first few months after launch. However, the PS4 was launched in 2013. So, when you compare sales data for 2013, you are comparing sales data of the latest and greatest that Sony has to offer with the sales performance of a console that most had already panned as being not worth the purchase.

You realize that the PS4 was only out for the last 6 weeks of 2013 in North America and last 5 weeks in Europe? And wasn't out in Japan until February 2014?

Re:ZOMG PANIC! (1)

Holammer (1217422) | about 2 months ago | (#47193693)

Even if Mario Kart sells well and gets some machines off the shelf, it's not like 3rd party developers will experience a moment of epiphany and line up up to produce exclusive triple A titles for the system. Where did this 'wunderwaffe' type of thinking come from?

I can't imagine some soulless CEO of EA slamming his desk, denouncing Sony/MS and rushing over to Japan to give Iwata a teary-eyed congratulatory blowjob because MK8 sold so well.

Re:ZOMG PANIC! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47193801)

It isn't really comparable. The games that sells Nintendo consoles has always been written by Nintendo and no other platform has any games as iconic as Mario and Zelda.
If you look at a list over accumulated sales [wikipedia.org] you see that Nintendo has three Wii-exclusive titles that have sold more than the most sold EA title.
So, Sony had a good year. Nintendo had a couple of good decades. I also don't imagine EA developing any games for Nintendos consoles anytime soon but I doubt Nintendo even cares.
The only thing that matters for Nintendo is to release that game that makes families and causal gamers take out their wallet. If MK8 is that game and if history is any indication that will be enough to beat all other games by a wide margin. (Except for possibly Minecraft) Nintendo has the bigger target audience.

Re:ZOMG PANIC! (2)

_merlin (160982) | about 2 months ago | (#47193847)

I've got a Wii U, and one of the most fun games for playing in a group is an EA title: FIFA 13. Up to five players, cooperative or competitive, all the leagues and players, recognisable faces. What's not to like? Seriously it's great, and the retailer threw it in as a freebie with the console, along with the pack-in Mario/Luigi platformers.

I've got Mario Kart 8 already. It's a lot simpler and more approachable than some of the previous titles (e.g. Mario Kart DS had a far steeper learning curve) - it feels more like the arcade Mario Kart games than previous console titles. It also defaults to more traditional controls than the Wii incarnation. It's very approachable for casual gamers. My wife and my mum absolutely love it.

Will it be enough to sell consoles? It'll probably sell a few, but on its own it won't make or break the platform - Nintendo needs to follow it up. They need a great Super Smash Bros, a Metroid, a Zelda, and maybe an F-Zero or Star Fox. It's either going to be a great time to have a Wii U as the hit parade arrives, or a disappointing time as ti fails to materialise.

Re:ZOMG PANIC! (1)

DrXym (126579) | about 2 months ago | (#47193905)

Even if Mario Kart 8 sold bucket loads, it would take 6-12 months for 3rd party games to turn up (what with all the porting, qa, marketing etc.) and sales could slump as fast in the meantime. Besides which I'm sure 3rd parties know as well as anyone that good sales of Mario Kart does not mean good sales of FIFA 15, AC V or whatever. After all the Wii had very impressive hardware sales and 3rd parties were still reduced to selling shovelware because the money wasn't in it to aim any higher.

Re:ZOMG PANIC! (2)

captjc (453680) | about 2 months ago | (#47193935)

Tell me about it, The Wii sold gangbusters and still no serious developer wanted to touch it. It practically had only first party games and tons of shovelware. Guess what, nobody bought the shovelware. On any other console, publishers would have said, "we are putting out crappy games that no one is buying" but because it is a Nintendo console, they just say, "See, no one buys games on a Nintendo console!" I am convinced that Nintendo could have a 99% market penetration and still no publisher would want to make anything other than the cheapest, crappiest, as-little-effort-as-possible game and then bitch that nobody wants their crap.

Re:ZOMG PANIC! (2)

stealth_finger (1809752) | about 2 months ago | (#47193749)

...and it might still have time to beat PlayStation 4 if the next Mario Kart makes people actually buy it...

This is what's wrong with Nintendo. Oh we'll put out another Maro Kart, then it'll be Super Smash Bros, then Zelda or Maria, then the other one, then back to start. They might throw a Metroid in there to spice things up now and again. They need a whole load more third party games not more of the same first party.

Re:ZOMG PANIC! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47193819)

They need a whole load more third party games not more of the same first party.

No, that is what YOU want.
Clearly Nintendo just needs to release a new Mario game and they magically beat everyone else.
Nintendo have a slightly different target audience than the other consoles. They are a bit more like the Disney of gaming. It doesn't really matter that every title is pretty much the same as the last. They still have the large group of casual gamers together with a large bunch of the dedicated fans.

Re:ZOMG PANIC! (1)

MitchDev (2526834) | about 2 months ago | (#47194501)

No, I think the market is speaking to that and that's why Nintendo is stumbling over itself right now.

Re:ZOMG PANIC! (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 2 months ago | (#47193833)

As long as Nintendo doesn't lose money on the hardware, I don't see a problem with them selling the console so that people can play 4 or 5 different games. I only had about 8 games for my original Nintendo because they were expensive. In reality I probably played about 4 of them 80% of the time. I have a Wii now and have got countless hours of entertainment out of around 4 games. I've heard a lot of good stuff about Mario Kart 8 and I will probably buy a Wii U.

Re:ZOMG PANIC! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47193885)

Although they do have more 3rd party developers, Sony and Microsoft also depend upon the same rehashed thing over and over. The major games are one FPS after another with the only thing changing being the theater where the battle or special ops is being carried out, or yet another EA-like sports game with (except for updated rosters) minor changes between versions (do you really think FIFA 14 is so much different than 13, or 12, or ...?).

The difference with Nintendo is, like the other guy made a good point about, is that they are more like the Disney of game consoles, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. People who deride Nintendo because they aren't "hardcore" are fooling themselves. In my opinion, the main purpose for a game system is to be fun for the person playing, and Nintendo figured that out a long time ago. Gameplay trumps everything. The "hardcore" gamers can ramble on all they want about GPU clock speeds and refresh rates, but they come off sounding like the Monster cable audiophiles, and if all they care about is the next incremental update to Call Of Duty or whatever, then fine, but I don't see how all that extra art work and story line (though usually well done) makes it more hardcore when the basic gameplay is the same as the previous three generations.

Re:ZOMG PANIC! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47194049)

Whenever someone criticizes the repetition of 1st party Nintendo games, without fail, someone acts as though the only two games that exist are Mario and Call of Duty. Here's a tip: defending something by saying that EA does it too isn't doing the thing much of a favor.

Re:ZOMG PANIC! (1)

guises (2423402) | about 2 months ago | (#47193815)

"Failure" is past-tense. No one considers it to be a failure, many people think that it will be a failure. Though the bulk of these are internet fanboys...

It's too bad since it's easily the best of the current generation, in my opinion. No ads, no upselling, no spy camera, etc. Just a good, small, quiet, game console that I can play without a TV.

Re:ZOMG PANIC! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47194029)

Yes, a real failure - 16.3 million, vs. 18.7 million. Definitely a complete flop. Write them off now.

Like you, I think that the Wii U is easily the best of the current generation. Easily. Why? When I get home, my wife and three daughters will be playing Mario Kart, Wii U Party, Nintendo Land, or Just Dance on any other day. Only one of those can be played on another console. On any given day, my youngest daughter will win some of these games (without anyone letting her). There is no first-person shooter, real sports game, or real racing game, that any of them are interested in. And if one of my daughters is playing Wind Waker, and my wife wants to watch TV, then my daughter just switches to the pad, and puts on the headphones. And we bought it because we KNOW there is going to be a Pikmin, a Smash Bros, a Mario, a Mario Kart, a Wario Ware, and hopefully a Zelda and Metroid in the pipeline. And in HD, they will look sensational (as Pikmin, Wind Waker, MK8, 3D World already do).

Every now and then, I would prefer to play some mega-shootin', zombie-killin', big boss fightin' titles. However I'm the only one in the house that would enjoy them. But if I wanted, I can go pick up COD, or Batman. Even Watch Dogs and Bayonetta are on the way. That's options for me too - if I don't feel like playing MK8 or Pikmin (which is rare). That's a bonus.

There are millions of households like this. The other console makers haven't QUITE caught on yet. Bless 'em, I'm sure they will one day! :)

The other consoles are great. Second Son on the PS4, Titanfall on the 'Bone, looking and playing brilliantly. The Wii U is better, in my opinion, and also cheaper.

Re:ZOMG PANIC! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47194277)

I agree with everything after your first sentence. But with regard to the sales number, I suspect 95% of people posting on this story don't realize that those are sales numbers for ALL consoles sold, not just the latest generation. To date, there have been less than 7m Wii U's sold, and less than 9m PS4 sold. Total. When looking at 2013 alone the numbers are even smaller: less than 3m WiiUs and a bit over 4m PS4s. So the vast majority of those 16.3m/18.7m numbers are original Wiis and PS3s

Re:ZOMG PANIC! (1)

DrXym (126579) | about 2 months ago | (#47193889)

The Wii U has good games. The problem is there are few of them because 3rd parties are ignoring the platform. It hasn't sold enough to make games profitable, lacks much storage for DLC or other revenue generators and there is little love lost between them and Nintendo to begin with. I doubt Mario Kart 8 will turn things around either though it might allow them to clear some of their stock and stabilise things a bit.

That's why.... (3)

ThePhilips (752041) | about 2 months ago | (#47193639)

That's possibly why in Nintendo's Frankfrut am Main office, about 20% of employees were laid off.

Oh the flip side of financial news.

Re:That's why.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47193651)

You dolt they relocated TO Frankfurt from a higher rent district of Germany AFTER the layoffs. It was just a bunch of excess paper pushers and nothing critical such as developers. Good on them for trimming excess fat.

Re:That's why.... (2)

ThePhilips (752041) | about 2 months ago | (#47193657)

I'm not sure about the whole scope of the lay off, but many of the departed were translators and testers. Definitely not "paper pushers".

(My office is near. Some people stopped showing up for the lunch breaks. Asked few other neighbors and learned that Nintendo in the location laid off 160 out of 600.)

Re:That's why.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47193795)

Yes, it's always a good thing when people lose their jobs.

Bad marketing (1)

st3v (805783) | about 2 months ago | (#47193653)

I purchased almost every Nintendo console up until the Wii. I grew up on the original Nintendo and Super Nintendo. Stopped at the Wii.

Nintendo's marketing after the Wii was not effective. They should fire whoever named the console, and especially since they named the follow up console "Wii U". I didn't even know that the Wii U was so much different & better than the Wii.

Nintendo needs to wake up and smell the coffee. They should title their next console with "Nintendo" in it, to get all the nostalgic people back on. Or at least come up with a less silly name.

Re:Bad marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47193733)

That's a pretty shallow analysis of the consoles.

I care more about DRM and the fact that the consoles are locked down; that's why I don't buy consoles. Region restrictions and DRM in general just makes me lose interest in something completely.

Re: Bad marketing (2)

randomErr (172078) | about 2 months ago | (#47193777)

I think the root cause should be looked at why they have bad marketing. IMHO: the senior management staff is getting old an inflexible. Iwata can't even come to E3 because of health concerns. Nintendo as a whole is no longer flexible enough to meet market demands and users want. When have they release a good game where they truly innovate? It seems like all they want to do is farm out their game to child studio's and have them make just enough changes to sell s few copies. The Mario Kart is the perfect case. Its Nintendo's character riding around a track. From most early reviews its getting a mediocre review because there is nothing really ground breaking. If Nintendo really want to get serious then they need they really need to push the indy developer program again. They need to hire back the 10% of North America marketers they fired. Finally they need to come up with new marketing plan. Sega of America was in teh EXACT same place with the Genesis. What they did was work with SoJ and created a little game called Sonic the Hedge. Then they built a whole new marketing plan to get out of the old tired ways to the Genesis. Ha, to think Sega's history maybe what it takes to save Nintento>

Re: Bad marketing (2, Informative)

paintswithcolour (929954) | about 2 months ago | (#47193857)

Where is it getting mediocre reviews?

I don't own a Wii U or Mario Kart - but a quick glance at metacritic shows it getting reviews ranging from very good to amazing.

Re: Bad marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47194189)

Of course it's getting rave reviews. It's Nintendo's only game and they're marketing the hell out of it, which means lots of money for the review's employer. The trouble is, it's just another cartoon racing game we've been seeing since the 90s with last gen graphics.

Re: Bad marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47194583)

Wow, you don't sound the least bit biased.

Re: Bad marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47194729)

LOL you heard it here first folks, MK8 reviews were all bought! As well as every comment from every player saying they love it! Other games that get good reviews aren't paid for of course. Just the games from companies you have a pathetic little vendetta against, you sad neckbeard. Go cry some more about Sega losing to Nintendo and becoming a third-party dev on their consoles.

Re: Bad marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47195875)

Well the bought part is iffy, but the fact it's their only game is true. Very few games are available for the Wii U and most of the ones that exist are targeted at children. They haven't done a crossover game besides mario kart and that only works because many of us grew up on it.

Nintendo needs some adult games. They can still be family friendly, but they need to be interesting to adults. That's why the wii sold well because adults wanted to play wii sports. They never made another wii sports... they had a fail with the balance board and gave up.

Re: Bad marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47194377)

When have they release a good game where they truly innovate?

Please post your list of what you consider innovative games on other consoles. Before I respond I want to know if your definition of "innovate" is "OMG shinier reflections" or something else equally uninnovative.

Re: Bad marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47194697)

Wow, what a trainwreck of a post. Talk about being detached from reality. MK8 is getting high marks across the board, and drove up console sales by a large amount (and if you think this is the last and only game that's gonna do this you're even more insane). Sega's position was incredibly different. You have not a single clue what you're talking about, do you? You're just another pathetic wishful doomsayer. Frustrated Sega fanboy perhaps? Look guy, I know Sega lost the console race and became Nintendo's lapdog and I know that must be hurtful for you. But that's no reason to be an idiot.

Re: Bad marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47195457)

Sonic the Hedge sounds like it's probably the most boring game in history.

What do you do? Put down deeper roots, grow some leaves, and try to provide privacy for a nearby house?

Sounds like it's actually worse than every Sega game ever, which is pretty hard to do, actually.

Re:Bad marketing (2)

DeKO (671377) | about 2 months ago | (#47194113)

Nintendo's marketing after the Wii was not effective.

I agree with this statement, but for a different reason. I have a Wii U and a 3DS, and none of the competitors'. Google knows that very well due to searches and through the websites I visit. Yet, I only see ads for the other systems, and PC games (my gaming laptop is more than 3 years old, so every "recent" game has to be on lowest settings to be playable... so I don't play on it).

Maybe they are too full of themselves and think they don't need to make the effort? Maybe they don't really understand how to use the internet? My theory is that they didn't learn how to grow. The industry grew, the competitors came from companies that already knew how to grow, yet Nintendo still works centralizing everying in Kyoto with little human resources to manage a global market. Their strategy of disruption [wikipedia.org] from the DS/Wii era went tot heir heads, now they think they can do it again on a whim (like their new "Quality of Life" strategy... heck, let me sync my Fit Meter with my phone or my 3DS, and make my data available on the web) whenever they get cornered.

Re:Bad marketing (1)

MitchDev (2526834) | about 2 months ago | (#47194693)

Nintendo know kids and families love them, so they only really worry about that market. The hardcore gamers who scoff at Nintendo's "kidified" experience are also a lot more vocal that housewives and 7 year olds and post a lot more about it online, so they get more "visibilty" that the folks who just play the games and don't spend most of their lives talking about about the games or praising what they like and scourging what they don't...

I used a wii console (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47193765)

I used a wii console and my dick fell off


Mod as insightful - people must be warned

Re:I used a wii console (1)

_merlin (160982) | about 2 months ago | (#47193821)

Yeah, well I used a Wii U console and then I got laid; my dick definitely didn't fall off. I guess that means the Wii U solves the major issue you encountered with the Wii. Did you manage to get your dick reattached? If you did, I can assure you the Wii U is safe to use. And if you didn't, then I guess it really doesn't matter which console you use.

Re:I used a wii console (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47195003)

Small loss. Its not as if you ever used it anyway.

That comparison is rather silly (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 2 months ago | (#47193895)

The Wii U is a year older and targets a different audience.

Who bought them anyway? (1)

Torp (199297) | about 2 months ago | (#47193925)

Wii may have few interesting games, but there are almost no titles for the PS4 either. The sweet spot to buy a PS4 will be next year, or when you'll hopefully have something to play on it.

Re:Who bought them anyway? (2)

BisuDagger (3458447) | about 2 months ago | (#47194255)

The PS4 has Transistor( a ridiculously addicting rpg) and Mercenary Kings (Contra & Metal Slug type game). That alone is worth having the PS4 and should tide you over until the next group of indy games roll out. Major titles will become more available in 2015, but the PSN/Indy scene is going to be killing it in 2014.

Re:Who bought them anyway? (1)

Torp (199297) | about 2 months ago | (#47194439)

But most of the indies are also on PC, so why spend extra on another console?
Not to mention my backlog of ps3 games ;)
You can keep your PS4, I'll wait.

Re:Who bought them anyway? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 months ago | (#47195121)

But most of the indies are also on PC, so why spend extra on another console?

To have something interesting to play when your friends visit your home.

Re:Who bought them anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47196589)

you don't have multiple controllers synced to your PC?

http://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments/1oef5j/list_of_games_with_split_screenlocal_coopcouch/

http://www.co-optimus.com/system/4/pc.html

Re:Who bought them anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47194825)

Bad examples. Transistor and Mercenary Kings are both on Steam, as is pretty much every indie game of consequence. In fact, what most indie developers are learning is that they get more sales on Steam than they ever did on the consoles - and Steam will allow them to support their games past release without placing stupid restrictions on it.

Re:Who bought them anyway? (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | about 2 months ago | (#47196073)

Bad examples. Transistor and Mercenary Kings are both on Steam, as is pretty much every indie game of consequence. In fact, what most indie developers are learning is that they get more sales on Steam than they ever did on the consoles - and Steam will allow them to support their games past release without placing stupid restrictions on it.

This is one of the reasons I don't plan on buying any current gen consoles.

Not only that, but on the WiiU front, Nintendo has released the first game I might actually be interested in for the WiiU, but I'm not about to shell out a bunch of money just for one game.

To add to this, the WiiU's other big upcoming title (Smash Bros.) is also going to be on the 3DS... which nearly all my friends already have. As opposed to the two of them who have WiiU consoles.

A competition that is dying (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | about 2 months ago | (#47194233)

The 3DS is outselling both of these ...

Smartphones out sell all of these and make more money and sell more games

The console market is now for gamers only, the Wii was the last console bought by non-gamer

Re:A competition that is dying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47194673)

> The console market is now for gamers only,

As opposed to before where it was just for half-witted Shakespearian platypuses.

Re:A competition that is dying (1)

MitchDev (2526834) | about 2 months ago | (#47194707)

Smart phone and tablet games also tend to be much shallower...

wii... previous generation? (1)

csumpi (2258986) | about 2 months ago | (#47196427)

the wii part of the previous generation of consoles? as in ps3 and xbox360?

no way. i'd put it in the ps2/original xbox league, with a useless gimmick controller. and probably even that's a stretch.

.

The Wii ones are growing up... (1)

David_Hart (1184661) | about 2 months ago | (#47196451)

Kids who started out on the Wii, say 5 to 10 year olds, are now in their teens (Wii was released in 2006). They have moved on to the Xbox One and the PS4.

Market (1)

DarthVain (724186) | about 2 months ago | (#47196923)

The Nintendo and Sony aren't really in the same console market.

Is the real story here, that Microsoft bungled the Xbox One console launch so horribly that it drove users to the PS4, giving them enhanced sales?

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