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Switch Close to Passing Sales of N64 (UPDATE: Now Passed!)

Forums - Sales Discussion - Switch Close to Passing Sales of N64 (UPDATE: Now Passed!)

Illusion said:

The_Liquid_Laser said:

4 controller ports is a legitamitely great contribution.  I'll give you that.  Because that lead to games like Smash Bros which is still growing in popularity today.


All of the other "contributions" you listed actually helped Sony more than Nintendo.  They solved 3D camera and combat for Playstation games.  They brought FPS to consoles so that it could be done better by Playstation games (and the third party games that are mostly on Playstation/XBox).  They solved a lot of technical problems that helped their competitors more than it helped Nintendo.  If the N64 influenced anything, then it influenced Nintendo's downfall.

On top of that, while N64 may have innovated in very technical ways, it actually had very few great games.  Donkey Kong, Duck Hunt, Super Mario Bros (1&3), The Legend of Zelda, Tetris, and Mario Kart are really some of the greatest and most influential games ever made.  That is the Nintendo from the arcade/8-bit-16-bit eras.  All of the games I just listed are more important than anything the N64 turned out.  And all of the games I listed made Nintendo a crap-ton of money.  They excited fans like the N64 games never could.

That is why I compare the N64 to the Wii U.  It sold better objectively, but Nintendo had a lot of momentum and positive good will going into the N64 era and they squandered it all away.  By the Wii U era, Nintendo had already pissed off lots and lots of people.  Both have a few good games, but neither is really successful as a whole.  But I feel the N64 did a lot more permanent damage.  Nintendo started focusing on games that most people don't want, and it had just kept doing this sort of thing for several generations now.

The difference is that, at least in North America, the N64 succeeded in achieving massive mainstream appeal.  If you were a kid in 1997 and you had an N64 in your house, every kid on the block wanted to come over.  If you were a kid in 2013 with a Wii U, most of your friends would roll their eyes and go back to their smartphone.  

Games like Goldeneye, Star Fox, Smash Bros, Mario 64, Ocarina of Time created massive popularity and hype and made the N64 a household name for at least the first half of its life.  Even though the Wii U had some great games, Mario Kart 8 was probably its biggest title from a popularity standpoint and it faded from memory after a month or two.  

What really kills the Wii U though is how its legacy got cannibalized by the Switch.  Nobody is going to remember that Splatoon or Mario Maker were Wii U games because most people will have played these games for the first time on the Switch.  Very few people 10 years from now will think back to their childhood and remember the Wii U fondly like people today remember those sleepovers in the 90's playing Goldeneye with their friends.  I would argue that the Wii U isn't even as impactful as the Dreamcast was despite selling more units just because so many of the special experiences that the Wii U had have been completely recreated and enhanced on the Switch.  The Wii U's legacy was destroyed in order to make the Switch a success.

The problem with this post is that it does not describe reality.  Was N64 popular with kids?  Of course.  Every Nintendo console is popular with young kids.  That includes the Wii U.  Kids did not roll their eyes at the Wii U.  (Everyone else did, but young kids did not.)  The issue Nintendo has is getting people other than young kids to like their console.  Also the N64 did not have massive mainstream appeal.  It was, at best, tied with the PS1 in North America.  And that was during it's best years which did not last.  Also people still liked games like Mario Kart 8 and Smash Bros on Wii U.  But this was not enough to get people to buy a Wii U. 

And I am not saying all of this because I think the Wii U was great.  I am saying all of this as a reality check on the N64.  So much of what you describe as great about the N64 also applies to the Wii U.  Maybe this is not really why the N64 sold better than the Wii U?  Nintendo had a huge amount of positive momentum going into the N64 generation.  The name Nintendo was synonymous with gaming in those days.  The Wii U did not have that kind of positive momentum.  Other than that the N64 is not really that different than the Wii U.  Although the Wii U gamepad was even worse than the N64 controller.  One positive the N64 had is that it's controller was less terrible.  Other than that it's main advantage was Nintendo as a brand.  Nintendo's name used to be a lot stronger.




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I must be in a twilight zone. N64 as bad as the Wii U someone said worst Nintendo console, Gamecube better? different strokes I guess



Baddman said:
I must be in a twilight zone. N64 as bad as the Wii U someone said worst Nintendo console, Gamecube better? different strokes I guess

Don't forget the most recent post that the Wii U did not have positive Nintendo brand momentum going for it, because Nintendo only sold ~255m units between the Wii and DS combined while the 3DS had already wiped the floor with PlayStation Vita leading up to Wii U's launch.



Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

A Biased Review Reloaded / Open Your Eyes / Switch Gamers Club

Called it last year in a drunken moment if i remember correctly



 "I think people should define the word crap" - Kirby007

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RolStoppable said:
Baddman said:
I must be in a twilight zone. N64 as bad as the Wii U someone said worst Nintendo console, Gamecube better? different strokes I guess

Don't forget the most recent post that the Wii U did not have positive Nintendo brand momentum going for it, because Nintendo only sold ~255m units between the Wii and DS combined while the 3DS had already wiped the floor with PlayStation Vita leading up to Wii U's launch.

I think you know that the 3DS caused Nintendo to post their first loss.  Also the annual sales of the Wii plummeted before the Wii U released.  Yes, they didn't have momentum going into the Wii U's launch.



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The_Liquid_Laser said:
RolStoppable said:

Don't forget the most recent post that the Wii U did not have positive Nintendo brand momentum going for it, because Nintendo only sold ~255m units between the Wii and DS combined while the 3DS had already wiped the floor with PlayStation Vita leading up to Wii U's launch.

I think you know that the 3DS caused Nintendo to post their first loss.  Also the annual sales of the Wii plummeted before the Wii U released.  Yes, they didn't have momentum going into the Wii U's launch.

Yes, the 3DS caused a loss, but you've been speaking about brand momentum. Consumers at large are oblivious to the financials of companies, because they don't care about that. As such, only unit sales of consoles and games matter for brand momentum, because the prevelance or lack thereof is what consumers perceive by way of their relatives and friends owning or not owning something.

https://www.neogaf.com/threads/nintendo-historical-shipment-data-1983-present.701305/

In the above link you can check the shipment numbers of Nintendo consoles going into the N64 era and the Wii U era, respectively. There were more Nintendo consoles sold leading up to the Wii U launch than there were leading up to the N64 launch.



Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

A Biased Review Reloaded / Open Your Eyes / Switch Gamers Club

SNES to be overtaken this year.
NES next year
And the ~80Mish consoles the following year.
And before it is discontinued, wii and psone.



RolStoppable said:
CosmicSex said:

While I understand how sales curves work, it is also my belief that Nintendo will end, of it's own free will, the Switch.  I believe the rumors that say that there is a new version on the horizon.  That is why I insinuated that if we really treat it as a Pro then it will change the nature of the conversation.  

I hold that the Switch, in its current incarnation, will top out at 65 to 70 million before that happens.  An informed response would simply to suggest that the new model will in fact be a pro numbers and then I could have reevaluated.   

It sounds like we need to have a more grounded conversation where we try to understand each others projections or predictions. 

The source of said rumor - which talks about two revisions, one being an upgrade and one being a cheaper version - states that the upgraded version will not be like what Sony did with the PS4 Pro. This means no notable increase in processing power, because a bigger jump in processing power than the Pro can be ruled out due to Nintendo not going to phase out Switch after 2.5 years. But the main point is that regardless of what is speculated within reason, the rumored Switch revisions will be counted towards the grand total of Switch consoles sold.

Your speculation is not within reason, because you expect a Switch replacement after only 2.5 years when today's development times of video games can exceed such a timeframe. It makes no sense to move on with hardware faster than games can be made.

Nintendo is on record saying that it wants Switch to last till 2021 or 2022 at the latest.  If they support the Switch beyond that with a Pro model, then we can go higher than 65 million.  But outside of that you need to be asking yourself how much can they sell in the next 2 years.

My prediction makes more sense because I am listening to them and not to my imaginary beliefs.   

I think Nintendo's plan is to release a new system that will be both back compatible and competitive to some of the larger studios like Rockstar so that the next GTA will launch on it with Xbox and Playstation. 

The strategy is meant to keep their base and attract more mainline gamers who like COD and what not.



RolStoppable said:
The_Liquid_Laser said:

I think you know that the 3DS caused Nintendo to post their first loss.  Also the annual sales of the Wii plummeted before the Wii U released.  Yes, they didn't have momentum going into the Wii U's launch.

Yes, the 3DS caused a loss, but you've been speaking about brand momentum. Consumers at large are oblivious to the financials of companies, because they don't care about that. As such, only unit sales of consoles and games matter for brand momentum, because the prevelance or lack thereof is what consumers perceive by way of their relatives and friends owning or not owning something.

https://www.neogaf.com/threads/nintendo-historical-shipment-data-1983-present.701305/

In the above link you can check the shipment numbers of Nintendo consoles going into the N64 era and the Wii U era, respectively. There were more Nintendo consoles sold leading up to the Wii U launch than there were leading up to the N64 launch.

Thank you for the data.  Let's analyze it.


The total sales of generation 4 and generation 7 and extremely different, so lets put the numbers in relative terms, in terms of market share.  How strong was the SNES's market share transistioning into generation 5 compared to the Wii's market share transitioning into generation 8?  

In all cases sales are listed in millions, and the denominator in Market Share comes from total console sales in each region.

Japan 
Gen 4 = 26.8m = 17.2 (SNES) + 3.6 (Gen) + 6 (TG16)
Gen 7 = 24.9m = 12.7 (Wii) + 10.5 (PS3) + 1.7 (X360)

annual sales 1 Year before successor Market Share Year of Successor Market Share
SNES 1.78 6.64% 0.62 2.31%
Wii 0.86 3.45% 0.26 1.04%


North America
Gen 4 = 42.9m = 23.4 (SNES) + 17 (Gen) + 2.5 (TG16)
Gen 7 = 126.3m = 47.8 (Wii) + 29.4 (PS3) + 49.1 (X360)

annual sales 1 Year before successor Market Share Year of Successor Market Share
SNES 2.86 6.67% 1.9 4.43%
Wii 4.53 3.59% 2.05 1.62%


Other 
Gen 4 = 19.6m = 8.6 (SNES) + 9 (Gen) + 2 (TG16)
Gen 7 = 121.4m = 39.4 (Wii) + 47 (PS3) + 35 (X360)

annual sales 1 Year before successor Market Share Year of Successor Market Share
SNES 1.14 5.82% 0.78 3.98%
Wii 4.45 3.67% 1.68 1.38%



As you can see the SNES was performing much better than the Wii in terms of market share, both in the year before the next gen release and the year of the next gen release.  Nintendo was coming from an extremely strong position going into generation 5.  That translated into strong sales the first year or so for the N64.  Those sales withered away after the first year especially outside of North America. 

In generation 5, Nintendo went from a perfect record of always winning to getting outsold more than 3 to 1 by the PS1.  That is why I lump the N64 in with the Gamecube and Wii U.  It was a total disaster compared to their previous track record.



CosmicSex said:
RolStoppable said:

The source of said rumor - which talks about two revisions, one being an upgrade and one being a cheaper version - states that the upgraded version will not be like what Sony did with the PS4 Pro. This means no notable increase in processing power, because a bigger jump in processing power than the Pro can be ruled out due to Nintendo not going to phase out Switch after 2.5 years. But the main point is that regardless of what is speculated within reason, the rumored Switch revisions will be counted towards the grand total of Switch consoles sold.

Your speculation is not within reason, because you expect a Switch replacement after only 2.5 years when today's development times of video games can exceed such a timeframe. It makes no sense to move on with hardware faster than games can be made.

Nintendo is on record saying that it wants Switch to last till 2021 or 2022 at the latest.  If they support the Switch beyond that with a Pro model, then we can go higher than 65 million.  But outside of that you need to be asking yourself how much can they sell in the next 2 years.

My prediction makes more sense because I am listening to them and not to my imaginary beliefs.   

I think Nintendo's plan is to release a new system that will be both back compatible and competitive to some of the larger studios like Rockstar so that the next GTA will launch on it with Xbox and Playstation. 

The strategy is meant to keep their base and attract more mainline gamers who like COD and what not.

What are you talking about? Nintendo said that they wanted the switch to last for more than 6-7 years