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Madden-alysis

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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

http://www.popzart.com/?page=view&topic=894

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.

John Lucas



Words from the Official VGChartz Idiot

WE ARE THE NATION...OF DOMINATION!

 

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Great post john, i hated some parts i loved others, it was like my first time with another man ;)

Most of it was pretty good and proves that Sony can still take the lead once PS2 dies off but the wii is just something else and is here for the non gamers.



let's look at it this way:

wii60 owners: if i'm a big football fan, i'd go for the 360 version of madden. motion control not a big deal, extra features and crisp graphics more important. i also wouldn't care about the party modes; party-mode video game football almost seems contradictory. ditto for NBA, and possibly NHL and FIFA (not sure about controls). but for MLB, i'll probably get the wii version--motion controls add so much there.

wii ps2 owners: i'd go the the wii version. the choice is clear here.

wii ps3 owners: same logic for 360 applies.

ps2-360 or ps2-ps3 owners: the next gen version.

ps3-360 owners: the overlap is probably small. let's just say 50-50.


to get a better idea of just what Madden numbers tell you, you need to look at PS2-Wii comparisons. the makeup of those 2 separate console owners are much more likely to be similar.

PS2 install base: ~50 mln in americas. Wii ~ 4mln. ratio: 12.5:1. madden sales ratio: 546,000:57,000 ~ 9.6.

now assume all 360/ps3 owners own a PS2, and no overlap in 360/ps3 ownership. 360/ps3 ownership is around 10 mln. 50mln - 10mln, you have 40 mln. wii/ps2 overlap? say 1 mln (i.e. a quarter of wii owners own a ps2). you're down to 39 mln effective ps2 owners (i.e. those who will buy madden). wii/360 overlap: say 1/10 of wii install base (i.e. a 1/10th of wii owners own a 360), 400,000. effective wii owners: 3.6 mln.

39mln : 3.6 mln ~ 10.8.

the ratios 10.8 and 9.6 are very close. this also tells us that the difference in wii audience makeup and the ps2 audience makeup is not NEARLY as far as many people think.

in fact, it says that only about 10% of wii owners are those who WOULDN'T own a PS2.

i.e. only 10% of wii owners are truly people like soccer moms, old folks, and the likes.

there are some assumptions in the above number crunching that's worth a second look; but when it comes down to it, i do not believe "soccer mom" wii owners exceed 20% of wii buyers. and this is really the first case we take a truly insightful look at the wii buyer makeup.

you also get to look at HOW the ps2 market will be replaced by Wii and the 360/ps3.



the Wii is an epidemic.

Nice post John and interesting Lingysis.

I know I am a little disappointed in EA and Wii ports. Madden could definitely have been better. I can't wait for the PS2 to die off so EA and others will make true Wii versions. It could easily do the 360/PS3 Madden effects. I think this is one major reason why the Wii version has sold so much less that the others.



BTW, I posted this in the US weekly analysis thread:

 

Too right with the Madden comparisons:

Week#1 sales --> '06, '07

PS2: 1.15m --> 546k (47% of '06 figure)
360: 625k --> 890k (145% of '06 figure)
XBOX: 284k --> 56k (19% of '06 figure)
PSP: 63k --> 39k (62% of '06 figure)
GC: 61k --> 5k (8% of '06 figure)

PS3 & Wii versions launched later, with these week#1 sales:

Wii: 52k --> 57k (109% of '06 figure)
PS3: 17k --> 204k (1200% - but PS3 sales were limited week#1)

So in other words, there was a huge fall in week#1 Madden sales from last year. Most of this was due to the PS2 version selling 600k less, with a little made up with the 360 selling 270k more. Sales also picked up on the PS3 version, although limited hardware sales (at launch) would distort this figure.

Total '06 (week#1): 2,252k
Total '07 (week#1): 1,797k

This represents a 21% drop in week#1 sales on last year - with more consoles available, and much larger Wii, 360 & PS3 install bases.

(DS version was missed, but should have a minimal impact on results)

 

I'm not sure how EA feels about these sales. In theory, they should have been 10%-20% higher than last year across the board - not 20% lower. I personally wonder if word-of-mouth about issues with the game has hampered it, and many a fan has settled for last years version.

This also reinforces by belief that "core" Ninty gamers won't buy something until the quality is really evident - which it isn't with Madden. Many of the people who purchased Madden also picked it up last year - so it was never in doubt which platform they would get it for (360 or PSx).

Its also a title where gfx are more essential than any implementation of mini-games or motion control.

Anyway - we'll see in the coming weeks how it holds up on all platforms.

(its also curious to see that is has had a minimal impact on hardware sales - esp. the 360) 

 



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Lingyis said:
let's look at it this way:

wii60 owners: if i'm a big football fan, i'd go for the 360 version of madden. motion control not a big deal, extra features and crisp graphics more important. i also wouldn't care about the party modes; party-mode video game football almost seems contradictory. ditto for NBA, and possibly NHL and FIFA (not sure about controls). but for MLB, i'll probably get the wii version--motion controls add so much there.

wii ps2 owners: i'd go the the wii version. the choice is clear here.

wii ps3 owners: same logic for 360 applies.

ps2-360 or ps2-ps3 owners: the next gen version.

ps3-360 owners: the overlap is probably small. let's just say 50-50.


to get a better idea of just what Madden numbers tell you, you need to look at PS2-Wii comparisons. the makeup of those 2 separate console owners are much more likely to be similar.

PS2 install base: ~50 mln in americas. Wii ~ 4mln. ratio: 12.5:1. madden sales ratio: 546,000:57,000 ~ 9.6.

now assume all 360/ps3 owners own a PS2, and no overlap in 360/ps3 ownership. 360/ps3 ownership is around 10 mln. 50mln - 10mln, you have 40 mln. wii/ps2 overlap? say 1 mln (i.e. a quarter of wii owners own a ps2). you're down to 39 mln effective ps2 owners (i.e. those who will buy madden). wii/360 overlap: say 1/10 of wii install base (i.e. a 1/10th of wii owners own a 360), 400,000. effective wii owners: 3.6 mln.

39mln : 3.6 mln ~ 10.8.

the ratios 10.8 and 9.6 are very close. this also tells us that the difference in wii audience makeup and the ps2 audience makeup is not NEARLY as far as many people think.

in fact, it says that only about 10% of wii owners are those who WOULDN'T own a PS2.

i.e. only 10% of wii owners are truly people like soccer moms, old folks, and the likes.

there are some assumptions in the above number crunching that's worth a second look; but when it comes down to it, i do not believe "soccer mom" wii owners exceed 20% of wii buyers. and this is really the first case we take a truly insightful look at the wii buyer makeup.

you also get to look at HOW the ps2 market will be replaced by Wii and the 360/ps3.

Before I get started...Thanks ballsonyourchin for the shout-out. How's that for a creepy sentence?

I like your logic Lingyis. That's a fresh angle to look at it from. Overlapping console audience. I only counted solo owners not duo or trio owners.

Good point on party modes for football games possibly being redundant since playing football games are usually a party affair in the first place. Most sports games are like that come to think of it. The sports sims concentrate on the straight maingame action not the side modes like arcadey sports games do.

Those ratios you deduced paint a clearer picture. I don't know necessarily if those numbers absolutely tell the tale of Wii's audience makeup but it most probably signifies what is called the gamer's makeup. I hate that term "soccer mom" by the way. Sounds like some focus group "bullshoot" to me. Lindsay Naegle from the Simpsons musta came up with that one when she first came up with "synergy" and "proactive". I just hate that kind of talk! Blech!!

I think the new audience is unknown for the most part of what makes up Wii's total audience by percentage. It could very well be that Madden is just not interesting enough for the Wii buyers no matter what they put into it. Could be simply a case of lack of appeal regardless of our traditional viewpoints on hot games. I'm trying to break that mindset myself so as not to get to trapped into seeing certain games as the Holy Grail even though there are exceptions (Brawl! Where ARE you?!?!). I'm trying to understand the NEW system sellers (that Happy Squirrel doesn't believe in anymore) or rather the games that will consistently hover high on the charts not always looking toward the predictable categories.

Madden is a hot game obviously but maybe not so much on Wii systems at least not at the moment. I need to see how much Madden 07 on Wii sold so I can get some insight. If Wii sells like this for sustained period of time then another story will have to be told. XBox 360 may still have the lead with such a big headstart but could Wii slowly but surely catch it with those kinds of sales we see on DS like Mario Kart DS & Animal Crossing: Wild World among others? Will it be a lingerer rather than an exploder? If word gets out that the play experience is better on Wii rather than another than I think that may make the difference.

I can tell you from personal experience that I'm now interested in football games thanks to Wii. I wanted to test out Madden 07 to see how it would play. I'm not anywhere NEAR a football fan and I don't like and never liked football games outside of maybe the original NFL Blitzes long ago. Though not a fan I understand how football operates and what the downs mean and all that so football wouldn't be totally foreign to me and I could appreciate the gameplay. I may still buy to own both Madden 07 & 08 to check out how they play. I'd rename Michael Vick "Atomic Dog" on his jersey or something. Joking.

PS2 has one last big holiday season before it heads off to pasture. And with 360 it no longer has the distinction of most poorly put-together product . It's cheap, plentiful with the vast library and name recognition/familiarity. It will be replaced and I think you may be hitting on a point somewhere in there about how the PS2 audience will break down as most of the holdouts filter into the 7th gen systems.

One sports title I will have vested interest in seeing how it performs cross-platform is Fight Night.

John Lucas 



Words from the Official VGChartz Idiot

WE ARE THE NATION...OF DOMINATION!

 

After wading through much of the borderline-unreadable text in this thread...

The most interesting numbers by far:

Week#1 sales --> '06, '07
Wii: 52k --> 57k (109% of '06 figure)

If those numbers are accurate, that's just crazy. What could be the explanation?



We don't provide the 'easy to program for' console that they [developers] want, because 'easy to program for' means that anybody will be able to take advantage of pretty much what the hardware can do, so the question is what do you do for the rest of the nine and half years? It's a learning process. - SCEI president Kaz Hirai

It's a virus where you buy it and you play it with your friends and they're like, "Oh my God that's so cool, I'm gonna go buy it." So you stop playing it after two months, but they buy it and they stop playing it after two months but they've showed it to someone else who then go out and buy it and so on. Everyone I know bought one and nobody turns it on. - Epic Games president Mike Capps

We have a real culture of thrift. The goal that I had in bringing a lot of the packaged goods folks into Activision about 10 years ago was to take all the fun out of making video games. - Activision CEO Bobby Kotick

 

Intelligent post...as usual...



Why not add me on msn... ish_187@hotmail.co.uk

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Games purchased since December 30th 2006:
GBA:The Legend of Zelda:The Minish Cap
DS:Lunar Knights, Pokemon Diamond, The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass ,Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Hotel Dusk:Room 215, Mario vs DK 2: March of the Mini's and Picross DS
PS2: Devil May Cry 3:Dante's Awakening, Shadow of the Colosuss, Sega Mega Drive Collection, XIII , Sonic Mega Collection,Fifa 08 and Fifa 09.
GC:Fight Night Round 2
Wii VC:Super Mario 64 ,Lylat Wars ,Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, Super Castlevania IV, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Streets of Rage, Kirby's Adventure, Super Metroid, Super Mario Bros. 3, Mega Man 2Street Fighter 2 Turbo: Hyper Fighting,Wave Race 64 and Lost Winds

Wii: Sonic and the Secret Rings, Godfather:Blackhand Edition, Red Steel, Tony Hawks Downhill Jam, Eledees, Rayman Raving Rabbids, Mario Strikers Charged Football,Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Super Mario Galaxy,House of the Dead 2 and 3 Return, Wii Fit, No More Heroes and Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

X360: Spider Man
PS3:
Resistance: Fall of Man

 

 

 

 

As a Wii60 owner, I ultimately choose the 360 version. From all the reviews I read and the gameplay impressions that I heard, the 360 version seemed to be the most polished. At lot of Wii owners that bought Madden 07 on Wii seem to think that the 08 edition contains more bugs. I don't know if I am going to buy Madden at all next year. If they do fixe the bugs and on-line play, I may pick up the Wii version because the control scheme will make it a new experience. Madden 08 for 360 is a good game, but its what Madden 06 should have been in the first place. The presentation is still leagues behind NFL2K5.



I think some of you are focusing a little to much on one game and region :)