Erik Aston said:
I'd argue that Wii Sports and Zelda:TP is the best combo of two launch games since Duck Hunt and SMB for the US launch of the NES. Its telling you didn't mention Wii Sports though, since that is a faaar more important game than Zelda. Zelda may have an 85% attach ratio off the bat, but Wii Sports will be important in the long term. Look at how Nintendogs is performing--better over holiday 2006 than 2005! Hitting an underserved market is a powerful thing.
Yet in the longer run, what will matter more is what follows up on Wii:Sports and Wii Play, versus the launch titles themselves. SMB64 was a launch title that sold 6m+ units....But it didn't win the console wars. My original point is what will matter is this year and next years lineup...Sony has a pretty good lineup, just like the Wii does.
Some non-exclusive EA games (Tiger Woods comes to mind) could likely have the biggest market share on Wii, and some others (Tom Clancy, GH), publishers and developers aren't going to have any issues bringing to Wii. Sonic I believe has a sales draw over 1 million, even now, depending on the previews. My whole point was that Sega intended to bring the same Sonic game to all three systems, but instead brought Wii an exclusive, and now Sonic Wii has a lot of hype, while the other version got panned and totally bombed. If Wii has a strong start, and pubs and devs want to make games for it, lots of them are going to end up being exclusives.
Some might be exclusives, however, with the controller scheme, it might also be cost-prohibitive to design on Wii if it's not guarenteed a very good return.
Except with PlayStation and N64, PS had the early lead, it was the easier to develop for system, and Sony were empowering third parties, while Nintendo was restricting them. Just because Sony, for their own good, were able to mimic Nintendo's controller innovations (and with rumble, even one-up them in the implementation), doesn't mean that they'll be able to do the same thing now, when they have the hardest to develop for system, and there are some third party developers openly rooting for their failure!
Actually, if you look at any chart from 95-96 and so on, the N64 had a huge lead. The N64 outsold the PS1 about 2:1 for the first year or two. When Resident Evil, FF7 and other games like those came out, thats when the PS1 really took off.
And about 6.8 gazillion times more important than simply mimicing Nintendo's controller innovations, is getting the games which hit underserved markets. Nintendo has proven with DS that they know how to get at "non-gamers." It remains to be seen if they flock to a home console the same way they did to a handheld, but just imitating the Wiimote won't give Sony a killer app like Wii Sports.
I agree that getting the non-gamers is critical, but the fact is, by getting them, you can easily be sacrificing other sections of gamers. The Wii will obviously pander to the fanboys, and they are trying to get the non-gamers, but what about the other 60 or 70m people that supported the PS2 due to the software library. Where will the middle-road gamers go?
Well, PS3 is doing pretty damn poorly in Japan off the bat. Japan may flock back to Nintendo the same way they left them 10 years ago. I would point out that the systems Japan has bought into right away, and flocked to en masse, the rest of the world has often followed to over the next few years (NES, PSone, DS).
Not quite. The Xbox is a good example - no 500k units in Japan vs. 25m units in the USA and Europe.
The same can be said for Sega Master System and Genesis. The Genesis held a fraction of the Japaneese market, but in the US and Europe, did considerably better than Nintendo for quite some time.
It is certainly up in the air if Nintendo can have remarkable performance in Europe. They never have, historically. I'd have more questions about that region though if not for DS, which will end up outperforming GBA in that region. I wouldn't be surprised if the final numbers don't show the kind of complete region-for-region WW domination that PS2 showed. But I think the world is getting smaller too, and I think that the games Nintendo is focusing on will have appeal in every region.
But to what extent will Nintendo games appeal? They have garnered a great number of casual hits and child-friendly games, but thats only a portion of the market. Nintendogs and such do very well, but so did Halo 2, GTA, Final Fantasy, Ghost Recon and other non-Nintendo games.
Again, as my first statement about where h/w will stand, no one region (except for Wii in Japan) will show utter and brutal dominance like what the PS2 did. The world isn't getting smaller, it's getting bigger. There are markets that are both untapped, and have radically different tastes in games. Japan has no PC gaming market, but in the US and Europe it's huge. Koreans have a gigantic MMO community, and are huge Lineage and World of Warcraft fans - most Japaneese gamers haven't even heard of those games. And likewise, the rest of the world doesn't get J-dating sims.
PS2s sustained sales are certainly amazing. I think they are evidence of the fact that the power of a system doesn't matter in the long term.
But being relevant in power compared to the other systems of the generation, and having a strong library do. We didn't see the N64 try to compete with the PS2. In 3 years, however, I feel like Nintendo will be doing just that against the PS3 and 360. Graphics aren't the be all end all, but they do have relevancy. If they did not, then how would Final Fantasy VII do so well, or Gears of War? Both were graphically defining games of their generations, and showed what next-gen could do, and sold well, despite them really not offering a huge boon to innovative and new gameplay.
I wonder what makes you think that an uber-powerful PS4 wouldn't be a good idea in the future, but that an uber-powerful PS3 is going to work out right now? Its never worked out that way in the past, it won't be a good idea in the future, but being super-powered will help this one system reverse its own momentum a couple years into its cycle? Hm.
Very few marketing strategies and system properties work twice in a row. Sony picked a strategy that was diametrically opposed to Nintendos weak-but-innovative strategy, and 360s get-it-out-fast strategy. Even if I am right and the PS4 debuts in the wake of a PS3 that has only 60% of the PS2's marketshare, another power-hog won't work. It won't work for the PS3 either. Mind you, just because I think that the PS3 will out-sell the Wii and 360 does NOT mean it's the "winner". Going from 130m units sold to 70-75m units in just a few years is HORRIBLE. Sony is guarenteed to leave this generation a crying whimpering baby and a shadow of it's former self, just like Nintendo did exactly 10 years before when they launched the POS-64.
Without a single "uber-title"? Well, give Nintendo SOME credit. They've got 4 older franchises they can tap for a potential 5-million seller in Mario, Zelda, Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. Those alone weren't remotely enough for Gamecube, of course. (They helped the most in NA, by far, which is also the place where DS has taken off slowest.) But Nintendo is betting on games like Wii Sports far more than any of those franchises. Look at what they're doing with DS: games like Nintendogs, NSMB, Brain Training and Animal Crossing have already outperformed everything except for Pokemon on GBA. These exact franchises might not all transfer their popularity to the Wii, but don't you think Nintendo will be able to replicate, to some degree, the success of these types of games on Wii?
I am sorry, I meant to say uber 3rd party title. 3rd parties are what make or break systems. Even though their effect will be less than it was in the 90s and early 2000s, it will still matter. The Wii still doesn't have a huge 3rd party signing exclusivity rights with Nintendo for the Wii. Yes, many more companies will come on board, but they won't hand over ther ultimate selling franchises.
Why? Name ONE 3rd party game on a Nintendo console that has done over 2m units in the past 10 years. That, my friend, is why I am severely sceptical of how the Wii will beat the 360 and PS3. Both systems have proven track records with 3rd parties. Nintendo is abhorrent with 3rd parties, expecially in the past 10 years. I am sure the Wii will have much better 3rd party support. However, I still dont see it reaching 360 and/or PS3 level(s). The Wii has the great first party support, but again, 3rd parties produce the bulk of games, regardless of which 1st party you enjoy.
Now, I assume you meant to say "Nintendo software sells Nintendo systems", and in the past, that has resulted in no less than 5 Nintendo consoles or handhelds selling ~50 million or more units worldwide. DS will become the 6th, sometime this year. And after turnover at the highest levels of the company, a restructering of their development teams, increased funding for software R&D, a focus on software which is both quicker to develop and has greater sales potential because it hits underserved markets, and third party support which actually IS becoming greater than what Nintendo has had recently, I think Wii will become the 7th.
IF the Wii does over 50m, it will only be the 3rd Nintendo console to do that - and the SNES didn't massively over-do 50m. (PS1 or PS2 did both NES+SNES numbers)
Nice of you to compare GTA:SA to freakin' Red Steel, btw. Jeez. An original IP which got lukewarm reviews, and on a system that launched 2 months ago, compared to GTA?
My statement was comparing major 3rd party titles on various systems.
When third parties brought quality games in Nintendo's past, those games sold. Street Fighter, Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy. But face it, third parties just didn't bring a lot of great games to GC or N64. It has nothing to do with being scared to go against Nintendo's own titles; if Nintendo's own titles were that good and that popular, Nintendo would be market leader! Look at how the top N64 titles were just as popular as the top PSone titles; it highlights the fact that there is plenty of space for third parties on a Nintendo system, even if they won't have the very top titles. And Nintendo, with a very full plate of 2007 titles, are obviously planning on the possibility that it will take third parties a while to show up.
Again, compare the top 5, 3rd party titles on PS1 to N64 - huge difference. Top tier Nintendo games have ALWAYS been Nintendo games. Look at Final Fantasy - the highest selling FF on NES and SNES was 2.5m units. The first FF on another console did 8m+ units. Huge difference. As for Dragon Quest, it seems to have done well on any system, like you said, but it does do better on Playstation.