Last year we had an article on VGC that focused on the subject of Sony is the next Nintendo. While back then it was vigorously mocked by the rabid Nintendo fanbase on this website, now is a good time to take another look. Why? Because the PlayStation Vita just recently launched worldwide.
VGC lists total PSV software sales as 1.55m, but we know from an official Sony statement that, including digital sales that are not counted by VGC, the software total has already exceeded two million units. Of these 1.55m units, Sony Computer Entertainment accounts for 0.77m units, so roughly 50 %.
|1||Uncharted: Golden Abyss||PSV||2011||Action||Sony Computer Entertainment||0.10||0.10||0.10||0.02||0.33|
|2||Hot Shots Golf||PSV||2011||Sports||Sony Computer Entertainment||0.01||0.01||0.12||0.00||0.15|
|3||Little Deviants||PSV||2011||Platform||Sony Computer Entertainment||0.09||0.02||0.00||0.01||0.12|
|4||Gravity Daze||PSV||2012||Action||Sony Computer Entertainment||0.00||0.00||0.06||0.00||0.06|
|5||Wipeout 2048||PSV||2012||Racing||Sony Computer Entertainment||0.02||0.03||0.00||0.01||0.05|
|6||Shinobido 2: Tales of the Ninja||PSV||2011||Action||Sony Computer Entertainment||0.00||0.00||0.02||0.00||0.02|
|7||Modnation Racers: Road Trip||PSV||2012||Racing||Sony Computer Entertainment||0.01||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.01|
|8||Minna to Issho||PSV||2011||Misc||Sony Computer Entertainment||0.00||0.00||0.01||0.00||0.01|
|9||Monster Radar||PSV||2011||Action||Sony Computer Entertainment||0.00||0.00||0.01||0.00||0.01|
|10||Reality Fighters||PSV||2012||Fighting||Sony Computer Entertainment||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.01|
Since it's reasonable to assume that SCE holds at least the same share in digital sales for titles that are available in both physical and digital forms, plus a higher share in sales of digital only games because of titles like Super Stardust Delta and less third party competition, it's plausible that SCE accounts for the majority of PSV software sales. In other words, Sony clearly dominates software sales on their own platform.
Therefore, Sony is the next Nintendo.
So the question I ask is this a good strategy for Sony going forward? If they don't leave much room for third party software to succeed, then why should third parties continue to support this system? The only three games to break the 100k barrier in retail sales so far are all Sony titles which suggests that only Sony games can sell on this Sony system.
And let's suppose third parties do continue to support this handheld. What kind of games can we expect? If casual games like Hot Shots Golf and Little Deviants account for 66 % of the PSV's topselling games, then why should third parties bother with development of hardcore games? It seems to be pretty clear what kind of game the average PSV owner wants and it's not Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, BlazBlue, Rayman Origins, Disgaea or Ninja Gaiden.
Update: Week ending March 3rd brings the retail software total to 1.74m, SCE accounts for 0.88m. Sony's share increases from 49.1 % to 50.6 %.
Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.