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  1. #1
    Senior Member CantGetAWii's Avatar
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    2007 Console War In Review

    Today we bring you a look into the long running tradition which keeps so many gamers frothing at the mouth, the Console Wars. Over the course of the year video games hit the headlines for numerous reasons, from the hard to find reports to the groundbreaking and highly-polished titles that we will be playing with for years to come. Despite all of this, there is a large number of gamers who enjoy nothing more than an argument over which platform is better than which. Many will claim it's the total system sales that define the clear winner, while others will simply says it's the software sales. The third camp will loudly state that which system you play the most is more important, but then they become hypocrites for not supporting one uber system but multiple systems, causing their opinion to be ignored completely. The fourth, and surely the most enlightened, realizes that it is not that simple, one factor cannot tip the scales completely in most cases. Instead the critical minds should take in all of these angles and analyze them as completely as possible which is exactly what we have done for you today.

    Hardware Sales
    The year of the Boar was the first full year that all three current-generation consoles were on sale, enabling one to compare the hardware sales a bit more evenly. As shown by the failure of the Sega Dreamcast, just selling systems is not enough to win the war, but it certainly does help! It should be no surprise to anyone that the media-darling Nintendo Wii stole the show, pushing some 6.29 million units in North America and raising their domestic total to 7.38 million. In a distant second was the Xbox 360 which managed to push 4.62 million units and brought their life-to-date total to 9.15 million units. The PlayStation 3, which has been struggling to meet expected sales quotas since shortly after its release, sold over 2.56 million units, almost 800,000 of which came in December alone, after the unit was discounted. Sony's little Blu-Ray player has sold more than 3.25 million units since its release in November 2006.

    For those with good reading comprehension skills and a solid short-term memory you can see that the Wii kicked butt in the new-generation of hardware. Although the Wii lost to its little brother, the Nintendo DS, for the overall hardware title the little white box stomped the PlayStation 3's sales figures by more than double while managing to push 31% more units into the market than the Xbox 360. The success of the Wii hardware can be attributed to numerous things such as a great marketing campaign, innovative play mechanics, mass-market appeal and a good line-up of software (buried in a mountain of shovelware) but the biggest factor for many is the low, low, price when it is compared to the more technically advanced PS3 and 360.

    The Nintendo Wii is still behind the Xbox 360 in sales for North America by almost 2 million units, but due to it's banner year, the Wii has taken over the lead for global hardware sales. It's obvious that the least powerful of the new consoles has taken the crown for hardware sales in 2007, but no console is dead by any means. All three machines were met with decent to solid to uncanny sales, and as shown by the PS3's sales push after it's price drop, ripe with potential. Nintendo of all companies missed out on much of this potential due to supply issues. If the Kyoto-based company could have kept the Wii in stock throughout the year they really could have had an astounding year with the Wii more than likely surpassing the Xbox 360 in sales in all territories. Now Nintendo will have to settle for second in North America for a few more months.

    Software Sales
    Analyst's Note: The NPD kind of fails analysts in this department since they only made the numbers for the top 10 best selling titles of the year widely available. Despite the lack of detailed, in-depth information we will read into what is presented as best we can.

    For those who may not know, console manufacturers make their bread and butter off of the software that they and third-party companies sell. Every title sold has a licensing fee, allowing the title to be released on the machine(s) it was designed for, so when Capcom or Take-Two Interactive release a title for Xbox 360 or whatever, Microsoft gets a small fraction of the action, for EVERY copy. Therefore, they absolutely love filling up their platinum/greatest/player's hits rosters since it means that games have already sold very well on their respected system. The year of 2007 saw no shortage of best selling titles such as Activision's multi platform titles Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. But the multi platform sales are not really what one must compare when they are trying to determine which platform performed the best in a given year, instead one must look at the individual sales figures for each title broken up by platform. Therefore, in this manner the sales data of Madden '08 for PS3 will go up against the sales data for the 360 and Wii versions.

    Unfortunately for all, we only have access to the NPD numbers for the top 10 best selling games of the year, but we can still gain a little insight from this and from how the console manufacturers spun the numbers they received. First and foremost Microsoft's flagship franchise, Halo, took the top-selling spot this year with the release of Halo 3 back in September. In just one quarter on sale the trilogy's closing chapter managed to sell 4.82 million copies, beating out Nintendo's Wii Play by about 700,000 units. It is worth mentioning that Wii Play has seen a sales push due to limited availability of the Wii Remote at times, as the game comes bundled with one, but nevertheless the mini-game package has managed to push some serious units since its February release in North America.

    Outside of the top two titles, only four more current-generation releases make the list, with none of them being for PlayStation 3. Therefore the PS3 did not have a single title on the best sellers list, while its predecessor the PlayStation 2, had three titles including a game from 2006, Guitar Hero II. 360 grabbed the third and ninth slots with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and respectively, while the Wii captured the fifth and tenth spots with titles from the Mario franchise, Super Mario Galaxy and Mario Party 8 respectively. On the back of their most successful franchise Microsoft has managed to steal the top 10 chart away from Nintendo although only by the skin of their teeth. Cumulative sales for all titles on their respected consoles have Microsoft's Xbox 360 leading the Wii by only 3% in software sales but to reiterate we only have a very small amount of data.

    Software Scores & Exclusivity

    Software is the lifeblood of the console maker. Sony and Microsoft have been selling their consoles at a loss for years in hopes of making up the difference off of licensing fees from third party companies. On the flip side, Nintendo has stated that their little machine has been profitable since launch due the the low cost of the machine. Regardless of whether the company is losing tons on their machine like Sony, or making chump change on the sale, as in Nintendo's case, the bulk of profits will always come off the software. This brings about two different, but equally important topics. First off is the notion that the machine with the highest rated software will have an advantage. Lucky for gamers in this day in age there is an incredible amount of free resources to go to for reviews of the latest titles. Gone are the days of talking to people you barely knew at the local game store for their input thanks to the new invention of the Internet. Assuming the crazy little arrangement of tubes sticks around for the foreseeable future, gamers will be able to check out meta scores via sites like Metacritic, Rotten Tomatoes and Game Rankings. Although meta-review sites shouldn't replace the act of getting familiar with certain reviewers (I am personally attached to this guy) as they can offer another facility for the learned gamer to judge a prospective purchases credibility by.

    With that in mind this analyst decided to take advantage of such resources for ammo in the console war. First and foremost the Top 50 titles are selected from a pool of only PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360, downloadable games included. This means that although there were higher ranked games released for PSP, DS and PC, they were not counted. Therefore all 50 of the titles included in this breakdown are for the three platforms in the current generation's console war. As you can see below, Nintendo's little media darling, the Wii, fairs pretty badly when shown in this light. The little machine that leads the global hardware sales and continues to be hard to find only has 16% of the titles in the top 50. The PlayStation 3, which many have bashed since it's release and is currently in last for hardware sales, and by a good margin, managed a respectable 38% software penetration of the top 50. Xbox 360 took the cake in this category with nearly half of the top 50's titles at 23 of 50 including six titles in the top 10 to PlayStation 3's three and Wii's singular appearance. Of note is that the Wii did have the highest rated title of the year in Super Mario Galaxy.

    But the kicker is that second topic that was so eloquently unmentioned above. When most buyers look into a new console they want to see what kind of exclusives the machine has to offer. In recent years exclusivity has become less and less of a worry, causing many publishers to release ports to everything under the sun be it console, handheld, PC or mobile. To be considered an exclusive here, is to be part of an elite club. Of this year's top 50 rated titles, only 21 are considered exclusive in our eyes. Our eyes are simple, the title in question only needs to be console exclusive, a PC port does not matter but the title in question must not be available to any other console, this generation or the previous one. We also feel that the 'windowed exclusivity' that has become popular lately holds no water when speaking in console war terms, therefore a title such as The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles which was released months apart for PS3 and Xbox 360 cancel each other out.

    When taking exclusives into account we can see that the playing field becomes a lot more level. It's incredibly difficult to to call who would win this battle as even the placement of the exclusives in the Top 50 are spread pretty evenly between each platform. The most telling thing to gain from such a view is the realization that Wii's exclusives are generally the platforms high performing releases. At the same time the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 cannibalized each others software market just as Nintendo predicted back when they decided to leave the arms race and create the Wii. But in the end, despite the closeness of the numbers, Microsoft's Xbox 360 pulls away with the highest count again, barely.


    Until you break down titles by exclusives, then the playing field becomes more even, but Xbox 360 still claims this round either way.


    NPD Spin Breakdown
    Naturally with the release of the NPD numbers for the entire year comes the quick spin. Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo have all issued their usual spinmeister upon the data, claiming that each company is the ruler of the world, or will be shortly. For their part Microsoft details how video game consumers spent more money on their goods than any of their competitors. So much so that Microsoft claims to have captured 45% of all the industry's money with just the Xbox 360 alone. Nintendo on the other hand touts that their machines (the Wii and DS) were home to half of the top 30 best selling games of 2007, listing two Wii titles we didn't see on the top 10 list, Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games and Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, as two of those fifteen video games. The big N closed their argument by confirming that the market grew 43% from 2006 to 2007 and added in that Nintendo alone was responsible for 60% of that growth. Sony's PR department had a more difficult time spinning the year numbers in their favor though. As shown above, Sony did not manage to win a single category, although the last generation champion did come in a close second for software scores. Instead of playing with the 2007 numbers the firm decided to spin the December 2007 numbers, stating that the PS3 had it's best month since it's launch and that Sony's video game products pushed more than $714 million worth of merchandise, eclipsing Nintendo and Microsoft. So according to their press releases, everybody did win, somehow.

    All three companies spun the numbers pretty well but it is all just spin really. While Sony touts that they pushed more PlayStation merchandise in December than their competitor's they did include all PlayStation merchandise in that fold, including the PS2 and PSP, and as far as we know, they only lead for that one month, even if it is a lucrative one. Microsoft probably didn't take into account that Nintendo's products cost far less than their Xbox 360 goodies. Nintendo's system is $30 cheaper than the cheapest 360 package, the Xbox 360 Arcade bundle, and $200 less expensive than the Xbox 360 Elite package. Add to that that Wii games still MSRP for $49.99 on average compared to the new generation price of $59.99 and you can see numerous reasons why Microsoft might have pushed more total sales than Nintendo. Although seeing as the PS3 stuff is on par or even more expensive than the Xbox 360 goods make it's numbers even less impressive compared to the Wii. Nintendo joined in on the spin as well, boasting that their platforms accounted for 60% of 2007's growth, yet the actual fact stands that the Xbox 360 still maintains the best attach rate for the new generation consoles with an impressive seven titles purchased for each machine.

    Graph of current generation sales revenue. Red area of Wii column shows the discrepancy generated by how much less the Wii costs (doesn't include software differences) compared to it's competitors. All spin regardless, no one wins here.

    And The Winner Is...
    Despite what the Sony Defense Force may say and how the numbers are spun, certainly not the PlayStation 3. Although Sony's little George Forman Grill may be the best media hub available it has not performed up to expectations. Although the little black box can run Blu-Ray and bang out some serious number crunching for Folding@Home, the machine has not been privy to solid sales or a great number of exclusive hits. As the breakdown shows, the PlayStation 3 couldn't pull a win in any category that we covered but did perform well in overall title quality, crushing the Wii and grabbing a close second to Xbox 360. The picture did change a bit when one took into account exclusives but the PS3 still kept its second place finish. Overall though, PlayStation 3 would receive a somewhat distant third to the Wii and 360.

    So this is really the hard choice. One the one hand the Wii managed to outsell the Xbox 360 throughout the year, even surpassing the worldwide sales of it's more powerful competitor despite launching a year later. But the 360 does not go down easy, picking up not only the higher selling games category but also better overall scores and two more exclusives. In the end that simply gives three victories for the 360 and only one for the Wii. The Wii really picked up some serious ground this year and could have taken the win if only enough consoles hit the market, along with solid titles to back up the new control scheme. Like so many other media darlings, it seems that the Wii could not live up to the hype this year but the Xbox 360 should have a hell of a fight next year as developers begin releasing titles for the Wii after having some time to get used to it's innovative controls and Nintendo continues to fill the hardware demand. Bottom line, Xbox 360 claims 2007 in our books.
    Source and Graphs

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  2. #2
    Uber Kenny Vs Spenny fan Pelgor's Avatar
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    very interesting. good data. its good to know that the wii is kickin' butt

  3. #3
    WiiChat Member CKmisfits's Avatar
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    Good to hear, but Wii is gonna have to give those of us who aren't 15 or 80 some love. Even Smash Bros. just isn't enough for me to ignore the fact that we've got ass tons of shovelware and boring kid games.

  4. #4
    Conquistador T3kNi9e's Avatar
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    Whoever wrote this article uses about the same logic I do when I look at the "console war"

    Which is looking at both hardware sales + software sales + overall game quality. Which I agree with their standings being:

    1. 360
    2. Wii in close 2nd
    3. PS3, sorry :/
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  5. #5
    Guru of everything Ninty wezeles's Avatar
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    Good look at it from the American view of gaming, but using NPD "US" numbers means very little in the big picture of a World Console War, and thats what this is... When shown as the world view it would be at best a Tie right now.
    360 is not doing as great outside America and currently there are more 360's in America than Wii's. so its no big shocker they sold more games in America

    World wide Wiiplay has sadly outsold a game as good as Halo3 because of the lack of popularity 360 has outside the states...
    Super Mario Galaxy and Twilight Princess are right up there with Gears of War and Call of Duty 4 with world wide sales...

    Still Nintendo needs to step it up a notch "atleast in 3rd party titles" to keep the hardcore gamers respect...

    It is a good break down of overall console progress in the States..

    Over the next year should be intresting to watch. Microsoft fighting to keep its software dominace,Nintendo trying to push out some good games to put on all the millions of consoles the sold...

    Sony just pick it up already this is a war not a boxing match.. Get in and fight already...
    Last edited by wezeles; 01-30-2008 at 09:28 PM.


  6. #6
    Conquistador T3kNi9e's Avatar
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    You actually think Wii play sold more than Halo 3 because lack of outside popularity...? Please tell me that was sarcasm. Wii play sold more because it came with a Wii-mote. Almost everyone got Wii play for the Wii-mote not that game.

    Though I do admit Xbox has bad popularity in Japan, but not really outside of America. Just like your chart shows, its "Others" have decent sales close to Wii's, but the Japan sales are extremely horrible. Its because the lack of Japanese titles. There's alot of Japanese games that PS3/Wii has thats not in the US, but there are very little Japanese games on 360.

    SMG and Twilight Princess are up there with Gears, its true. Because those two games are great. But Call of Duty 4 sold 7 million, there's a post about it in the 360 forum and most of the sales were from 360.
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  7. #7
    Guru of everything Ninty wezeles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T3kNi9e
    You actually think Wii play sold more than Halo 3 because lack of outside popularity...? Please tell me that was sarcasm. Wii play sold more because it came with a Wii-mote. Almost everyone got Wii play for the Wii-mote not that game.

    Though I do admit Xbox has bad popularity in Japan, but not really outside of America. Just like your chart shows, its "Others" have decent sales close to Wii's, but the Japan sales are extremely horrible. Its because the lack of Japanese titles. There's alot of Japanese games that PS3/Wii has thats not in the US, but there are very little Japanese games on 360.

    SMG and Twilight Princess are up there with Gears, its true. Because those two games are great. But Call of Duty 4 sold 7 million, there's a post about it in the 360 forum and most of the sales were from 360.
    You don't think it would have done better if it was more accepted? of course people bought Wiiplay for the Wiimote,Thats why i said "sadly Wiiplay beat Halo 3".. a game like Wiiplay doesn't deserve that honor...
    But if 360 had the same influnence in other regions that Wii/Ps3 has including japan they would probbaly not have been beaten by a cheep minigame-controller combo pack... They are doing decent in consoles in the "other" region but still in last place when you go on a year by year rating... and barely any console sales in japan at all..

    Microsoft is doing amazing but only in the United States..
    They need to start focusing some of there marketing worldwide if they ever want to be number 1...

    Call of duty 4 did do well on 360 but not any better than SMG or TP did on the Wii worldwide...
    2.5 million reached the PS3 based on reports and about 4.5 million hit 360 Still a great selling game no question! Still not enough to take the title from SMG, and just a hair better than TP...
    Last edited by wezeles; 01-31-2008 at 07:31 AM.


  8. #8
    Conquistador T3kNi9e's Avatar
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    No, you said, and I quote:

    World wide Wiiplay has sadly outsold a game as good as Halo3 because of the lack of popularity 360 has outside the states...
    So you are not downplaying Wii Play and claiming it shouldn't have outsold Halo 3, you are basically saying 360 has no popularity therefore it was unable to outsell Wii Play. I guess Wii has no popularity cuz SMG/Zelda did not outsell it also?

    Trust me if Halo 3 came with a free controller or even a free wireless headset that would have boosted the sales tremendously. So comparing Wiiplay vs Halo 3 sales is not even logical.

    You can't expect a game to beat the sales of a minigame + controller when Wii has sold 20 million, most of those people are going to want another Wii-mote. After all... Wii is a console about party gaming, therefore you need more Wii-motes.

    Again on sales you go by that shitty vgchartz website. No one uses that trash because its not an effective way to count the sales. Go apply to be a news poster on a website, they will not allow you to use that crap.

    and why still all the talk about sales? Does that make a console better? Because even with 20 million sold im having trouble playing my Wii again after beating the games. My 360 is going in for repairs and instead of playing my Wii im playing God of War on PS2. I wouldn't expect you to understand though, seeing as you love your Wii and you probably play it all the time. But so far I havent seen anyone here who has bought a PS3/360 along with their Wii and have regretted it. Because the sad truth is Wii lacks games. If you ever buy a 360/PS3 you will see what I mean.

    That sir is how a Console War is measured IMO, not stupid sales. Sure its nice if your console/games sell, but that doesn't automatically make it better.
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  9. #9
    Guru of everything Ninty wezeles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T3kNi9e
    and why still all the talk about sales? Does that make a console better? Because even with 20 million sold im having trouble playing my Wii again after beating the games. My 360 is going in for repairs and instead of playing my Wii im playing God of War on PS2. I wouldn't expect you to understand though, seeing as you love your Wii and you probably play it all the time. But so far I havent seen anyone here who has bought a PS3/360 along with their Wii and have regretted it. Because the sad truth is Wii lacks games. If you ever buy a 360/PS3 you will see what I mean.

    That sir is how a Console War is measured IMO, not stupid sales. Sure its nice if your console/games sell, but that doesn't automatically make it better.

    It All has to do with your own opinion and taste in games than anything...

    Your on a Wii site yet most the time claim you don't like the majority of Nintendo 1st party games, and then you act suprised at the lack of 3rd party on a Nintendo console... You say you have owned all the Nintendo's growing up, but constanly say how you dont like what they offer, you should know thats how nintendo has worked for years... It sounds retarted when you claim to know what Nintendo is about but continue to want them to become something else..

    Now i don't know if you just had your ass handed to you too many times by some little kid on Mario Kart or Smash Brothers, or if you just dont have the paitence to finnish a Link game. This is what Nintendo gives us, and its enough to have its own "fanboy" following aswell as large appeal to the casual market... If you dont like it why did you buy a Wii?

    All you do is constantly stick up for your Xbox and claim its dominace over all even in areas that are obviously "xbox territory" and ignore the short commings of the xbox and what they offer.
    You try to act as if your open minded to all systems but come off as a Xbox fanboy just about everytime you speak..

    I said it was a Good article but is only the American view, and that Microsoft needs to step it up a bit to have the same claim in the real worldwide console war... Outside America How many people have Halo 3 or even care about it? Its not a universal game.Every region has there own style of games that do well. And some games like Wii play are obviously going to do well because of the bargain of a game and controller. Whos fault is that the consumer's? They picked up a deal!

    Maybe Halo 3 should have came with an extra controller or headset to garantee large sales,even among casual gamers picking it up for the first time.
    Its still the best selling game in the States Being out for what 4 months so far and selling about 8 million world wide now, a few million more the SMG at a little over 5 million and being out 3 months...

    Of course Halo sold well its the biggest title microsoft has nothing else will probably even touch it... Some people buy the Xbox just for Halo and nothing else.. Its the only Title they have like that... But people go out of there way to buy the Wii the same way just for SMG and TP.. the fact is nintendo offeres more in its 1st party and its fan base is acctually more deverse than that of 360 you can see that in the type of game sales...

    Still Halo 3 gets trumped by a cheep minigame-controller combo because it had been out all of 2007 not just the end of it... Hopefully soon they will overtake it, but if microsoft wants to be anything better than "fanboys" favorite console and appeal to the mass audience to acctually win the console war in every aspect, then they are going to have to change some things, including the games they offer..

    I'm sure you could care less because you still have to get your Xbox Fanboy tattoo removed..
    But on the buisness side they Lost 2007... Any other view of it is just a Fanboy's opinion not buisness based, much like this article
    Last edited by wezeles; 01-31-2008 at 11:17 AM.


  10. #10
    WiiChat Member WiitnessID's Avatar
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    This article made me laugh a little. This guy is trying to say who won last year, right? In the mist of halo , mass effect, bio shock, and what ever else you can point out on the xbox 360 it still barely kept up with the Wii which does hold the crown for most consoles sold. The Wii has been an avalanche and it's about to bury the other systems. This is the first article to show just how bad the PS3 is doing yet they also for get the PS3 IS out selling the xbox 360 currently.

    One problem is the xbox 360 may be very close to saturating it's user base at it's current price point yet I'm not sure more people will buy one at a cheaper price. Who knows though... I know plenty of people that are just not liking what the box offers. Sales of this system has stalled many times. It has so many good games on it that this should not be the case. Yet it is...

    Last year should have been way bigger for the xbox 360 yet it has failed in away since it is not killing the hype of the PS3 in other places. Their only bragging rights will soon be lost in the US also since you know nintendo is upping the out put of the Wii. So far it seems the xbox 360 has peaked and it still got pasted by the Wii. That to me this makes the Wii the winner of 07. Had MS even though about broaden the user base this wouldn't have happened.

    Looking at US sales is not enough to make a judgment. And actually if you look at the numbers it is clear that the PS3 is not welcome in the US so how come those buyers did not translate into xbox 360 numbers? Not sure and then on top of that the PS3 helped blue ray win the format war...LOL

    With the ring of death still being rumored to be a problem and the PS3 about to have it's strongest line up next year I see this year as a year they came up a little short. Yet they will still do fine and actually they are still a force to be reckon with. Maybe the xbox did win if you take out the Wii. Every body knows you have to play nintendo's game and then turn around and call them stupid to beat them. I mean the PS2 had plenty of kiddy games yet they where successfully able to call nintendo kiddy last gen. So basically Rare failed MS as Bungie crushed all comers.

    Nice post though. Every body was kung fu fighting!

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