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Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Retro system sales - how to count?

In the time that retro console plug-and-play re-releases (NES Classic, SNES Classic, Genesis Mini, etc) are becoming all the rage, how do you personally believe their sales numbers should be counted?

The way I see it, there are three schools of thought.


(1) Added to their original console's sales - after all, while it is very different hardware, it is an official release from the same company, designed to play only games from that specific console, and to play them the same way as when first released.

(2) Considered separate, but related - ie, "SNES Family". SNES at 49.1m, SNES Classic at (as of last report that I'm aware of) 5.28m, for a SNES family total of 54.29m.       
 
(3) Entirely separate. They may be playing similar software, but they're different systems and numbers shouldn't count any more than Wii systems bought for Virtual Console would count, either.


Furthermore, how would you consider software sales here? They're plug-and-play consoles, which means they (by design) can't have additional software added, and all games that are intended to be played with them come with the hardware purchase, so that certainly muddies the water, but after all, Super Mario Bros. numbers were counted with each NES console with which they were packed. Why wouldn't you, therefore, count these as well?

This is a discussion that likely happened a few years ago with the announcement of the NES Classic, but it's been a while and I'm curious what today's opinions are.



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I'd like clarification on point 3. You are saying that a Wii bought to exclusively play SNES games wouldn't count towards the SNES total, right?



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

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

RolStoppable said:
I'd like clarification on point 3. You are saying that a Wii bought to exclusively play SNES games wouldn't count towards the SNES total, right?

It would be only an option for the japanese wii sales since it didnt include wii sports



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RolStoppable said:
I'd like clarification on point 3. You are saying that a Wii bought to exclusively play SNES games wouldn't count towards the SNES total, right?

I think that is a difficult point to justify, counting Wii sales toward SNES in that circumstance, so yes, that's what I'm saying.



 SW-5120-1900-6153

thetonestarr said:
RolStoppable said:
I'd like clarification on point 3. You are saying that a Wii bought to exclusively play SNES games wouldn't count towards the SNES total, right?

I think that is a difficult point to justify, counting Wii sales toward SNES in that circumstance, so yes, that's what I'm saying.

What a relief. For a minute I thought that you had completely lost your mind. Option 1 and 2 are both nonsensical, but option 3 is the correct one.

As for software sales, there's no reason to count them because those Classic consoles are one complete product. Everyone who buys such a console will own exactly the same games.



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

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

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I would personally agree that 1 is nonsense, of course, but given that it is the SNES that sells the SNES Classic, NES that sells the NES Classic, Genesis experience that sells the Genesis Mini, etc, I would argue that #2 is certainly within the realm of reason.

If you don't count the software sales by any means, then would you therefore argue that SMB sales are skewed from everybody getting that when packed in with their NES consoles, or Wii Sports sales numbers invalid from NA and EU Wii sales?



 SW-5120-1900-6153

thetonestarr said:
I would personally agree that 1 is nonsense, of course, but given that it is the SNES that sells the SNES Classic, NES that sells the NES Classic, Genesis experience that sells the Genesis Mini, etc, I would argue that #2 is certainly within the realm of reason.

If you don't count the software sales by any means, then would you therefore argue that SMB sales are skewed from everybody getting that when packed in with their NES consoles, or Wii Sports sales numbers invalid from NA and EU Wii sales?

There's a stronger argument to be made about skewed figures when one looks at bundled games that were definitely not titles that the market would have bought if given the choice. Both SMB and Wii Sports rank high in Japan's all-time software chart without being bundled, so it would be dishonest to say that their high worldwide sales were only achieved because of bundling. Bundled software is part of the business and the purpose of bundled games is to make the console more appealing. Both SMB and Wii Sports did an excellent job at that, so whatever people want to argue about inflated sales because there were people who didn't want the bundled game, it must also be acknowledged that there were people who put down $200-250 just to play that one game.



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

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

RolStoppable said:
thetonestarr said:
I would personally agree that 1 is nonsense, of course, but given that it is the SNES that sells the SNES Classic, NES that sells the NES Classic, Genesis experience that sells the Genesis Mini, etc, I would argue that #2 is certainly within the realm of reason.

If you don't count the software sales by any means, then would you therefore argue that SMB sales are skewed from everybody getting that when packed in with their NES consoles, or Wii Sports sales numbers invalid from NA and EU Wii sales?

There's a stronger argument to be made about skewed figures when one looks at bundled games that were definitely not titles that the market would have bought if given the choice. Both SMB and Wii Sports rank high in Japan's all-time software chart without being bundled, so it would be dishonest to say that their high worldwide sales were only achieved because of bundling. Bundled software is part of the business and the purpose of bundled games is to make the console more appealing. Both SMB and Wii Sports did an excellent job at that, so whatever people want to argue about inflated sales because there were people who didn't want the bundled game, it must also be acknowledged that there were people who put down $200-250 just to play that one game.

It certainly does make it difficult to ascertain, because for instance, I had zero interest in yet another copy of ANY version of Street Fighter II, nor in Contra III, but then Star Fox II is exclusively available through SNES Classic. 



 SW-5120-1900-6153

I'd say totally separate.

Once a console cycle has seen it's EOL and has been discontinued, any sales after that should be separate. To go back and compare hardware from early gens to find it was different than how it actually played out because the hardware was rebooted much later down the road doesn't make much sense. It's not the same type of hardware either.

Same basically goes for software. The bigger problem with the software is that it's all bundled with the classic editions and it's simply part of the entire package now, and none can be purchased and added, so it doesn't really make sense to count that towards individual game sales from a discontinued console long ago.

Things have changed in the past couple decades with slim versions of consoles and game bundles, but to try and impose that on the distant past just doesn't make much sense.



Option 4) Cash grab and we shouldn't care about the sales.