A strong lineup won't effect any given year or month. It's more important for the long-term health of the system. Pricing is the other big factor. And price cuts are the biggest driver of sales growth, not games. We never see any instances in the history of sales data where a system's peak year coincided with any particular lineup of games. Individual games tend to do very little to affect hardware sales, a few notable system-sellers notwithstanding. Every time we see a system reach peak sales, it was due to a price cut or new form factor being introduced, and we have repeated instances of systems reaching their peaks at a given price point, after which any further price cuts fail to result in any further growth outside a very short time frame.
And your assessment of the PS2 is completely wrong. We have sales data for it, and I have annotated charts for every system:
2002 was the peak year in the U.S. as a result of the May 2002 price cut that dropped it from $299 to $199. A subsequent price cut in May 2003 did hardly anything. It sold worse each quarter from Q3 2003 to Q1 2004 than it did in the Q3 '01 to Q1 '02 period. Another price cut to $149 likewise had a modest effect. The PS2 Slim (launched at the aforementioned $149 price point) did not have any initial effect on sales due to shortages, but it did produce the strongest Q1 ever for the PS2. However, Q2 '05 was up only 10.5% YoY, Q3 was up a meager 1.4%, and Q4 was only up 9.5% even with the previous Q4 suffering from Slim shortages. This suggests the $149 Slim's effect to be relatively small, and most of the effect was shunted into Q1 '05 because of shortages during the 2004 holidays. The Slim was itself cut to a bargain basement price of $139 in 2006, with no real effect.
Two price cuts. A Slim model, which later got its own price cut. None of that had anywhere near the effect of that initial price cut to $199. Two hundred bucks was the PS2's sweet spot price. Once the effects of that price cut wore off, it was all downhill from there. All subsequent price reductions and the release of a Slim model caused small, short term boosts at best.
It may seem counterintuitive to you that the PS2 sold better at $199 than it did at any other price, and even sold better at $299 than it did at $149, but the truth is often counterintuitive. The facts are what they are. It is most certainly within the realm of possibility that the PS4 could sell worse at $199 than it did at $299.
From what I remember FF VII was at least one game that totally changed the sales pattern of PS1.
I don't have sales data for the PS2 for Europe, just shipment data. But I could manage something. I do have to go to work shortly, but I'll get around to making something afterward if I remember to do so.
Well if you don't have precise numbers for a region on some time maybe some extrapolation based on the others could do =]
duduspace11 "Well, since we are estimating costs, Pokemon Red/Blue did cost Nintendo about $50m to make back in 1996"
Mr Puggsly: "Hehe, I said good profit. You said big profit. Frankly, not losing money is what I meant by good. Don't get hung up on semantics"
Azzanation: "PS5 wouldn't sold out at launch without scalpers."