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Great first post, sinha! Tons of information and statistics here. You gave a lengthy introduction, so here's a lengthy response.

I would note first of all that reading IGN's summer preview may not necessarily be the best way to grasp the summer performance of each console. As a traditional gaming website, IGN focuses attention on the titles most likely to cater to the traditional gaming base. This is very clear from the titles you listed; there is only ONE PS3 game due out this summer not discussed by IGN, while 11 different Wii games were left unmentioned. Granted, those Wii games look pretty crummy, but such a preview distorts the picture of summer sales. I think that MySims will definitely be a major surprise seller, and Carnival Games has the potential to do decently as well. The fact that these casual titles don't even merit discussion from IGN merely indicates how the website continues to cater to the small niche of "hardcore" gamers.

Let's see if we can clarify the picture a bit further. With IGN leaving so many games off of its list, the numbers are simply not accurate. Plus, the list is further flawed because some games are getting listed TWICE for PS3/360 (like Virtua Fighter 5 - it's not coming out again on PS3 this summer!) And you also listed games like Brothers In Arms as summer titles for PS3/360, even though there are no such games coming out - only PS2/Xbox versions from last gen (huh?) Here's how it should look:

Wii: 28 total games (8 unique listed by IGN, 9 multiplatform, 11 unique not listed by IGN)

PS3: 31 total games (5 unique listed by IGN, 25 multiplatform, 1 unique not listed by IGN)
360: 38 total games (8 unique listed by IGN, 23 multiplatform 7 unique not listed by IGN)

Now that's still a blatantly unfair comparison, because it lists downloadable games from the PSN store without counting Virtual Console/Live Arcade offerings, but there you have it. There are definitely more multiplatform games for PS3 and 360, but the Wii has a clear edge in the number of exclusive titles upcoming. It's even more of a disparity if you recognize the somewhat embarassing fact that 2 of the 5 PS3 "exclusives" are PSN downloadable games (Warhawk + Super Stardust HD). Whoops. Either you need to include XBox Live Arcade/Virtual Console games into the comparison, or take out the PSN ones. Can't have it both ways.

sinha said: 19 other multi-platform games are coming to both the PS3 and the 360, but not to the Wii. This is a staggering number, two-thirds of all multi-platform games. Considering the Wii has been out for just as long as the PS3 (they were both released over 30 weeks ago), one has to wonder why so many of those games are available for the PS3, but not the Wii.

That "19" number is again vaporware (there are only 15 new games on PS3/360 this summer), but this IS a very good question. The current best guess is that these games went into development when it was widely expected that the PS3 and 360 would be dominating the market, and the Wii would be a distant third place. By the time that the current market trends became clear, it was too late to shift resources for these projects. Of course, I could certainly be wrong, but it seems unlikely that publishers would continue to ignore such a successful console. We'll have to watch and see what the annoucements look like at E3 next month.

sinha said: Is it that the Wii console isn't powerful enough to handle many of these games? As games become even larger and more complex, will the situation get even worse for the Wii in the future? Will the Wii still be able to compete with the other consoles despite having fewer games available on the system, due to the innovative Wii-mote controls and low price? Will more multi-platform games be made for the Wii in the future because the system is selling so well?

Well, now you're just playing devil's advocate.  I'll tell you what I tell my students when they have to do formal writing: avoid rhetorical questions when making a point. They are not persuasive, and they easily reveal the writers's bias. I enjoyed reading your post very much up until I saw this.

To answer the questions: no one seemed to care that the PS2 was less powerful than the Gamecube and XBox last generation. If the Wii continues to hold 50%+ of the sales in the market, it will get the bulk of the new releases. Money has a way of being very persuasive.

sinha said: Most of these other games [not listed by IGN] will probably get mediocre to bad ratings and not sell many units. Some of the Wii titles (High School Musical? My Word Coach?) seem particularly uninteresting.

I agree, most of those games are not going to do much. But it's dangerous to dismiss casual titles out of hand; hardcore gamers laughed at the Sims ("it's an electronic dollhouse!") and it went on to become the best-selling PC game of all time. The original Playstation largely beat out the N64 on the basis of having 10 crummy games for every game put out by Nintendo, drowning the system in sheer number of titles. I would not write off a game like MySims until we see how the (very large) casual market responds.

sinha said: The Wii doesn't have anything big scheduled to come out in early fall, whereas the 360 and PS3 both have Half-Life and Grand Theft Auto. The 360 also has its biggest selling game, Halo, coming out in this period.

Based on these games, one would expect the 360 to do the best in the next few months in terms of both game and console sales, followed by the PS3, and with the Wii trailing behind the other two.

I know you're new here, but if you actually think that sales will go 360/PS3/Wii in the new few months, you're crazy. The best-case scenario for the 360 and PS3 is that their high-profile releases will raise their systems up to the level of Wii sales. You may not be aware of this, but the Wii has been outselling 360 and PS3 combined pretty much every month this year - and I'm talking about America, not Japan (where it's just ugly). And while Grand Theft Auto and Halo will be major sellers, a port of Half-Life appears unlikely to be one. A new version for the PC, yes, a port for the console market, no.

The Wii doesn't have anything big scheduled for the early fall? Hmm... not going to touch that one. I'll let one of the raging Nintendo fanboys on this website try to respond to that instead.

sinha said: In the past six weeks, the 360 has sold 8.3 new games for every new console sold, the PS3 has sold 5.5 new games for every new console sold, and the Wii has sold only 3.2 new games for every new console sold.

Is this sizable difference because there are fewer games available for the Wii?
Is it that the Wii is being purchased by "casual gamers" and these people buy fewer games than "hardcore gamers"?
If Wii owners buy fewer games than PS3/360 owners, do software companies have less incentive to make games for the Wii?


Also an interesting comparison. I would agree that Wii owners are probably buyer fewer games than PS3 owners, and are definitely buying fewer games than 360 owners. And the casual appeal factor probably plays into this. But the Wii also is moving enormously more quantites of hardware than either of the other systems; this will naturally have a huge effect on the tie-in ratios. You're comparing apples to oranges when addressing Wii's 350,000+ sales last month to the 80,000 done by PS3. If one company is moving 4x the harware of another, well of course it will have a lower tie-in ratio! But the overall software sales will be much, much higher due to a larger installed base. Since publishers are interested in selling the most total number of software units (rather than units per console), they will gravitate towards the console with the largest installed base.

Incidentally, in Japan Wii Sports is not packaged along with the Wii, but sold separately. This is why you had a conflict in your Japanese numbers.

sinha said: Wii games are less than half as likely to be rated 75-100 as PS3 and 360 games. Given all the buzz surrounding the Wii and all the praise from both the gaming and mainsteam media, this is rather shocking. And the PS3 doesn't have many games, but they are of surprisingly high quality for a console that was proclaimed a "bust" in mid-December 2006.

While it's obvious by now that you're trying to discredit the Wii for some reason, I still feel compelled to type something here. One of the running discussion topics on this board has been whether or not traditional review sites are able to review Wii games fairly; there have been some indications that review sites simply dismiss casual titles with low scores, which then go on to be very successful sellers. I don't fully buy into that logic, but I do believe there's a kernel of truth there.

The larger issue is that taking all the average scores, for all the titles out on a console, and then putting them together to make some kind of a comparion is a totally meaningless gesture. It proves nothing. Mere playing around with numbers. If the Wii gets a crummy port of, say, "Happy Feet" (the animated movie with penguins) and it gets a score of 5/10, does that mean that the Wii is a "bad" console? Would it have been better off having that game never appear at all? Of course not. Such logic is silly. The PS2 had reams and reams of absolutely dreadful games - so what? It also had lots of really good ones too.

Consumers buy consoles and games that they want to play. Right now, a lot of them want to play games that are exclusive to Nintendo. Wii Sports was largely panned by review sites, but it consistently gets great user reviews - and has probably moved 2-3 million Wii consoles by itself (and possibly more than that). In the long run, review scores are pretty meaningless compared to the workings of the free market.

I appreciate the statistics, sinha; perhaps you could explain why you seem to be unhappy with the Wii's success? I know you said you weren't trying to bash any particular console, but the tone of your post argued otherwise.

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End of 2008 totals: Wii 42m, 360 24m, PS3 18.5m (made Jan. 4, 2008)