What if Wii and 360 released side by side during holiday 2006 and PS3 was delayed until summer 2008?
In Nov 2006 both Wii and 360 were released and were very different. Wii retailed for $249 with its innovative motion controls being the main selling point. It came packed with a Wii controller and nunchuk and bundled with Wii Sports. 1st party software titles were Zelda:Twilight Princess and Wii Sports. Most of the 3rd party releases were multiplats of PS2/Xbox games or licensced titles, with Red Steel being the major 3rd party exclusive. Xbox 360 was the first console to support HD. It launched with two models, first the Core Edition which retailed for $299, which came packed with a wireless controller and a 256MB memory card. The Premium Edition sold for $399 and included a 40GB hard drive, wireless controller and headset. 1st party releases were Gears of War and Forza Motorsport. Most of its 3rd party games were also ports of PS2/XB games with slighlty updated visuals and a few exclusives like Elder Scrolls 4. By the end of the year Wii had sold 1.1 million units with Zelda selling 850,000 and 360 sold 800,000 units with Gears selling 500,000.
The early months of 2007 saw big releases for both consoles, Wii Play and Super Paper Mario for Wii and Crackdown and Advanced Warfighter 2 for 360. The Wii was virtually sold out for most of 2007 due to the huge demand to play with motion controls. 360 sales weren't extremely impressive mostly due to the price and lack of exclusives. Most 3rd party games were built from the ground up for PS2 since it was still selling well, had a huge install base and was way less expensive to make games for than 360, this was beneficial to Wii since it was similar in power and easy to port over. Most of these 3rd party games also came to 360 but were just slightly better looking ports that didn't show off the systems power. In August both consoles had high profile games release, Bioshock for 360 and Metroid Prime 3 for Wii. During the holidays season 360 sales picked up alot with Assassin's Creed, Modern Warfare, Mass Effect and Halo 3 releasing. Wii continued to sell out and had Fire Emblem and Super Mario Galaxy come out. Sales for the year were PS2-5.3 million, 360-3.4 million and Wii-6.4 million.
Nintendo started out the year strong with two of its biggest franchises releasing games in the first few months: Super Smash Bros and Mario Kart. In April the price of 360 dropped to $199 for Core, $299 for Premium and introduced the Elite 120GB for $399. This is when PS2 sales started to decline drastically with PS3 around the corner, continued demand for Wii and 360 coming into its own. In June the PS3 was released in two models, 60GB for $399 and $479 for 120GB, both version also had the ability to play Blu-rays. In this timeline Sony skipped the original bulky version and went straight to the Slim version. The reason Sony waited so long to release PS3 was due to the high cost of Blu-ray and they believed PS2 sales were strong enough to hold off the Wii/360. Top 1st party games during launch were Uncharted and Ratchet & Clank Future with ports of 360 titles as the majority of its 3rd party games. Initial sales were strong and sold close to one million units in the first month. The holiday season was very good for PS3 as well with Resistance 2, Little Big Planet and Metal Gear Solid 4. Top 360 games of the year included Gears 2, Fable 2, Dead Space, Left 4 Dead and Fallout 3. Sales for the year were 360-4.8 million, Wii-9.8 million and PS3-3.3 million.
3rd party releases for the Wii had pretty much dried up by now since it couldn't piggyback off of PS2 anymore and most multiplats were being released for 360/PS3. It proved though that it didn't need them and continued to sell huge numbers thanks to Wii Fit Plus, Wii Sports Resort, New Super Mario Bros. and a price cut to $199. PS3 sales were slightly higher than 360 throughout most of the year. 3rd party multiplats like COD:MW2, Assassin's Creed 2, Resident Evil 5 and GTA 4 sold better on 360 due to having a bigger install base but PS3 was able to counter with high quality exclusives like Infamous, Killzone 2, R&C:Crack In Time, Demon's Souls, Uncharted 2 and a price drop to $350/$400 right before the holiday season. 360 did have its fair share of exclusives as well such as Forza 3 and Halo 3:ODST. Total sales for the year were 360-4.4 million, Wii-9.2 million and PS3-4.7 million.
360 sales began to decline throughout the first half of the year due to the Wii craze still going strong and the increasing popularity of PS3. To combat this Microsoft released a redisgned 360 Slim with a price cut to $199 for the 4GB version and $299 for the 250GB version. Around this time Wii sales began to slip despite solid 3rd games like No More Heroes 2, Red Steel 2 and Monster Hunter Tri and 1st party heavy hitters Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Metroid: Other M. PS3 was still releasing top quality exclusives like God of War 3, Gran Turismo 5 and Final Fantasy 13. During the holidays Microsoft released its hands free motion device, the Kinect for $150. Sales shot thru the roof and from that point on 360 began to dominate the hardware charts. Its top exclusives for the year were Crackdown 2, Alan Wake and Halo Reach along with top 3rd party PS3/360 games Bioshock 2, AC:Brotherhood, Red Dead Redemption and Mass Effect 2. Total sales for the year were 360-7.0 million Wii-7.4 million and PS3-5.5 million.
360 sales continue to be impressive thanks to the Kinect, while Wii sales begin to nosedive. At E3 Sony announces there own Slim PS3 (our current Super Slim) to go alongside a price cut to $250 for 160GB and $300 for 320GB. Other than that not much would be different from this point on. 2011 sales 360-6.8 million, Wii-4.8 million and PS3-5.8 million with lifetime to date sales being 360-27.2 million, Wii-38.7 million and PS3-19.3 million
When the herd loses its way, the shepard must kill the bull that leads them astray.