That's Madden Analysis for those who may not have gotten the poorly-conceived pun.
Before I begin I'll repost my remarks from the August 18th America Weekly chart comment board.
"VGChartz finally caught up to reality this week and a more accurate representation of Wii's market leadership is on paper. Based on those figures from Nintendo's 1st quarter report, however, I believe quite strongly that Wii surpassed XBox 360 in July like I always said. Nobody's perfect and VGChartz the best week to week tracker we got so I can forgive.
Now to Madden. The sales figures this week tell quite a tale. XBox 360 has definitively become the #2 overall. In USA it functions as Sega's Genesis to Nintendo's SNES. It looks so far that XBox 360 despite its hardware problems will remain the refuge for the self-defined "hardcore" who don't want to follow the new Revolution in gaming. Until Wii surpasses or at least matches XBox 360 in cross-platform titles XBox 360 will remain a viable #2 in the USA markets. XBox 360's performance still won't have any great sway over Nintendo taking and maintaining the overall lead in any region because of the N's stellar 1st party efforts and opening audience titles but it will keep Nintendo from becoming Japan-dominant in the USA so long as it keeps it up.
Now this is just the first week of course. The story will be told in the coming months about how the platforms stack up against each other on Madden. PS3 has to fight hard to keep XBox 360 from usurping its position. Not just that but it has to fight its predecessor the PS2. The longer the PS2 stays around the tougher it is for the PS3 to gain significant ground. Once PS2's day in the sun is finally over how can the PS3 stand?
USA & Eurozone/PAL-TV regions are the last battleground for those who like to keep the speculation interesting. MS & Sony will have to do their best to stave off the Nintendo juggernaut because once Nintendo's systems close the gap, they are done for and Nintendo virtually owns the market by itself. We'll see how things go."
Now I want to go a little further with this in this thread. Right before Madden's launch I finally put to paper my long held thoughts on Madden across the platforms.
Madden NFL 08: The Dividing Line
Madden was going to be the telltale sign of how the rest of the generation developed. It was inevitable that Wii would take the lead in all markets and worldwide overall. That couldn't be stopped and only the American markets (maybe also the Australian-region markets) remain untopped by Nintendo's machines which won't last long either.
XBox 360 was designed to perfect the traditional console. That old NES standard of control (controller plank rooted in palms of hands operated by thumbs/fingers) evolved so much over the years by Nintendo and its emulators in Microsoft's special vision. XBox 1 was the practice console, the 360 was supposed to be Perfect Cell that merges MS's network capabilities and PC-in-a-console-box design with tried and true implementations in control design and gameplay mechanics with a healthy glaze of power to make it shine. It was the familiar and traditional. It was the expected. The old way of making game machines.
While with Wii a new direction was started by the masters of videogaming. This approach alienated those who couldn't leave the familiar rock behind with naysays and gripes following the weird console's every footstep forward. As Wii proved its promise (you like that?) it scared the tradition-keepers into thinking that this new console would destroy gaming as they knew it forever...and they were right. It WOULD destroy the current design of gaming as it stands right now forging a brand new path to replace it. A remote in hand and crazy motion controls with new people playing who would never play before. That's unacceptable to those used to the house as it looks like at the moment with corn chips, soda bottles and sweatsocks laying all around. It's the No-Homers Club, the proverbial boys' clubhouse and no cooties allowed. Games are supposed to be a certain way and only that certain way because that's how it's been for so long. XBox 360 represents everything they believe in and Wii represents everything that runs directly counter to that.
The loyalties were forged and those who voted to remain the same largely aligned behind the 360. Those who were ready for change aligned themselves behind the Wii. Of the traditionals some never even picked any 7th gen console vowing to stick to the 6th gen classic the PS2 hoping this new revolution will run its course and fade out. The PS3 followers were a strange 3rd party- mostly traditional/partially ready for change who were somewhat on the fence with both components of that identity compromised by their chosen system's competition. Eye of Judgment is representative of the change while Resistance: Fall of Man is a gripping of the traditional. XBox 360 has steadily usurped PS3 position as tradition making it almost redundant and superfluous while Wii is fully committed to the change diminishing most efforts of the PS3 to significantly stand out. Being part of the Sony camp the fact that most stick to its predecessor the tradition heavy PS2 it shows that not enough believe in Sony's particular vision for the 7th gen. It functions as the runoff between the fight of 360 (& PS2) Vs. Wii. It's basically like the Republicans who no longer want to identify with the Republicans becoming Libertarians. Similar identity but in a different camp. Those who don't identify with Microsoft's vision of tradition pick either PS2 or PS3 (and PSP).
This is reflected on the charts for this week's Madden sales from week ending August 18th.
Who's at the top of this cross-platform monster at the daybreak of the American football season?
XBox 360 with 889,072 sold. Nearly a million in one week showing that in the USA at least there's a serious resistance to the vision of the Gaming Revolution.
Who's next at #2?
PS2 with 546,403 sold. Half a million in a week's time. It's like Conservative and that Neo-Conservative designation. Some don't particularly like the new brand of ideology sticking with the well-tread road that's familiar and comfortable. A significant number of buyers are not ready for any 7th gen machine much less Nintendo's crazy Wii. They don't particularly trust Microsoft in the Tradition party and they're not quite warm on Sony's new candidates quite yet for a host of reasons. The core traditionalists reside here.
Now who's at #3?
PS3 at 204,025 sold. About 40% 'til Gold status. Those "Libertarian conservatives" represent for this particular brand of tradition. They want a little difference but not in the ways that wild Wii is asking for. But like Libertarians they don't usually have enough representation overall to make their stance stick long-term. They just take pride at being the few who've seen the light hoping that their sustained efforts will slowly awaken others to join their cause. Underdogs 'til the end.
Look who's at #4 and last of the significant consoles.
Wii at only 57,247 sold. Didn't even crack 6 figures. Nearly 1/10 of the PS2's Madden sales. And not even 500 over the original XBox. Perhaps Madden is a game so tied to tradition that it cannot find its audience on the system of change. This grass-roots Progressive party won't win the traditionalists overnight obviously. Long-term will fully tell the story but based on these opening week figures it looks like tradition will have its refuge in the USA for a good while longer. And the USA gaming audience will be sharply divided in response. The sea of change won't so easily wash out these deeply-rooted grounds and this Progressive Revolution has more work to do to get its message across.
This Madden battleground will most likely represent future sports titles and other titles that cross-platform. Nintendo's strength will like always come from the 1st party and their new market strategy to reach the non-players. XBox 360's strength comes from its ethnic center of origin (American system, 1st doable one in over 20 years) and its support of tradition as well as its usurping of PS3's claims on the position. PS3's strength will come from how it balances its schizophrenic identity to reconcile change with tradition as well as some much needed blockbuster titles which are in short supply. PS2's strength is based on its seniority and familiarity not to mention low accessible price. Sadly these things hurt the PS3 who has a hard enough time fighting off its 7th gen competition much less its own console sibling.
In the overall, tradition as it is currently known is dying and a new way is taking its place. But with Madden's sales this week it looks like there's shelter from the winds of change. With Wii finally taking top spot in the industry in consoles XBox 360 and company needed this to keep the old ways alive. Once Wii starts beating competition in 3rd party cross-platformers, the generation will be nearly 100% Nintendo-ran. Which is actually a scary thought believe it or not.
As much of a Nintendo fan I am, choice is good.
Words from the Official VGChartz Idiot
WE ARE THE NATION...OF DOMINATION!