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December 14, 2014

Gaming thread I guess....

Not much this week to report other than November's NPD numbers. Historically, the first Christmas outside of launch on a console has been a good barometer on how it's going to go gen wise. But there is a caveat this time as Microsoft did some serious mass discounts on the console.

AKA post so short I can put it above the fold

Xbox One

Xbox One moved the most units at a historic 1.24m units. Unlike the Dreamcast (which will always be humorous to me in how intertwined the Xbox brand and Dreamcast still are after all these years), the massive discounts worked to an eye popping number that has never been seen before. This is the first console to hit a million NPD number in November while still being $300+. Considering how much they cut their own throats to get that number, I'm curious how much it cost them to subsidize the price. But in the end, it still comes down to how many of those buyers also picked up a Xbox Live card which is where they will make up that money. December has always been about the same number wise so carrying it, moving 2.2-2.5m units is a nice turn around. Coming out of Christmas though, they don't have much to keep momentum though with just Fable Legends and a few download games (Ori, Below) so how far it drops should be interesting. In the end though, they nullified a third of the lead that the PS4 has (1.2m ish to 700-800k) and their price cut was a good move in the short term.

PS4

Sony came in second with pretty good number themselves with moving about 830k units while still keeping their price since launch. If they actually had their second game not slip past Christmas, the numbers would have been more interesting with being able to also sell The Order along with Drive Club. For not doing anything for the holidays, they did well in standing pat while giving themselves an exclusive to sell first of the year. They may not have won NPD which don't mean much in the grand scheme but they had to have won the profit battle. As for keeping the momentum post Christmas, they've got two games: Bloodbourne and The Order. As much as I personally love the Souls games, they've never been sellers. As Dark Souls 2 proved (best selling Souls game), the gameplay doesn't move the needle outside of the hardcore. On three platforms with a 160m+ base, it's only sold an anemic 2m copies. Being a critical darling doesn't pay the bills (I'll be surprised if it moves more than a million). The Order on the other hand can move units, graphically it's a stunner and gameplay is well worn territory that hasn't had an game on the new consoles. That being said, I personally think they really need to go back to the drawing board in promoting it. When the game looks worse and worse every time you show it, you're on the wrong track.

As for Vita numbers....lol. Even though it's been selling more than it did in 2013, the number still proves that there is no market for a second handheld in a world dominated by mobile (and even saying there is a market for 1 handheld is becoming laughable).

Wii U / 3DS

Man, even for a loaded holiday release schedule, Nintendo just can't get any traction with moving a pathetic 243k Wii U units. You're dead if you can't do more than that with Mario Kart, Smash Brothers, Bayo 2 and Hyrule Warriors. On the positive note, they did move a very nice 700k Amiibo figures even with not actually having a plan in how to utilize them in games. They've got the games coming out next year but nothing really inspiring coming out of the holidays (no, a new Kirby is not something to move the needle).

The 3DS has had a big drop in sales. From 770K last holidays, it's found itself only moving 550K units. Getting a drop with Smash Brothers and new Pokemon, it's coming to the point where the market is saturated with the handheld.

With Nintendo, what should happen and what is realistic are going to be two different things. What should happen is have Zelda be the Wii U's swan song (like the Gamecube) with a new console in 2016. But with how quick the 3DS is dropping on a global level, they also need to release a new handheld. All in told for their sakes, those combined console & handheld hybrid rumors were true.


Of course, Apple and Google just sit in their chairs and laugh at these numbers


digg this
posted by Gang of Gaming Morons! at 03:14 PM

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