VGChartz

I discovered this great site a while ago (possibly via Tony). One of the features I like best is the graphs.

In the following I’ve aligned launch dates so you can compare relative console sales to one another:

Consider the current generation. Wii has a far steeper line than both 360 and PS3, suggesting far better sales – but will it be able to maintain that kind of curve for long? Sooner or later sales will slow and flatline.

It’s also interesting to look at Wii (steepest curve) PS2 (longest, most consistent sales) and PS3 (next big thing?) – it looks like the PS3 has managed to keep to the same kind of line the PS2 had around the same time of launch which is a good sign, and everything suggests that it’ll also have great longevity so Sony can actually be happy despite all the bad press they’ve received about it.

See if you can spot the bumps in the charts that happen once every 52 weeks or so. I guess that’s around Christmas.

I’m interested to see how long the Wii lasts. If it goes for several years without a radical change in the sales curve then it’s clearly going to be the winner (at least in terms of hardware units sold) of the current generation. The only way I see that it’ll lose this battle would be if it’s appeal is really short lived, and that’s only likely to come about if Microsoft incorporates a Wiimote-like controller into their next generation (which, judging by the product cycle of the XB shouldn’t be too far away – then again, the XB bombed hard whereas the 360 seems about on par with the PS2/3 so maybe they’ll hold off). Alternatively if Nintendo can pull some more innovation out of the bag in a few years time and release another cheap console then maybe they’d be able to reproduce the same kind of mass-appeal to stay ahead.

Interesting stuff, and a great website.

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3 thoughts on “VGChartz

  1. Yeah, it’s amazing how consistent Nintendo are, especially when you consider how separated these products are in time, how the markets have developed over the years and yet they’re able to achieve very similar levels of success in product growth.

    What I find really interesting when you see the correlation between the superlatively successful and long-lived GBA and DS, is that the Wii has at least so far managed to match their progress, which makes me wonder whether it can maintain the same kind of sales-line for the same kind of duration as the other two.

    On the one hand I can’t believe it’s possible because the technology is so last-generation and surely there’s no way they could keep it going for as many years as GBA (and to a lesser extent, DS)?

    On the other hand, unless Microsoft or Sony really manage to drop their prices so they’re competitive with the Wii, and do so quickly, perhaps Nintendo will get away with it? After all no one was really able to compete with them in the handheld market, so perhaps they’ve got the mass / casual market similarly sown up?

    Or maybe they’ll just release Wii2 at a similar price-point to Wii in a few years with some other innovative mass-market appeal, stealing the thunder from the competition by coming in under the radar yet again?

    But I do have respect for both Microsoft’s ability to learn and quickly adapt to the market (compare how much the 360 improved on the XBox – and how, as Tony pointed out on his blog, it’s matched the PS3 line, hence PS2 as well), and Sony’s ability to maintain pace in the longer term (which should be better than the 360s theoretical long-term pace due to the 360 being easier to code but reaching a plateau of potential faster than the PS3).

    So much speculation! I’m normally not at all interested in futurology but when you look at graphs like this they just cry out for someone to grab a pen and draw in the rest of the curve. It’s like when you’re at school and there’s a couple of points on the graph and you have to draw the curve of best fit. There’s something compelling about it the way it leads you on, hinting, just giving the suggestion for completion – in fact that’s a classic game design technique, which seems appropriate.

    Then again maybe this whole episode says more about my obsessive-compulsive tendencies than anything else…

  2. Oh dear. Looks like this data’s not as interesting as I thought.

    Try this,

    http://www.vgchartz.com/hwcomps.php?cons1=PS2&reg1=Total+Other&cons2=PS2&reg2=Total+Other&cons3=PS2&reg3=Total+Other

    That should show you the PS2 figures for Europe, but they don’t have that data yet, so any comparisons with total PS2 sales are also inaccurate. Meaning the PS2 and XB360 are not selling as well as PS2 was at the same point in their life cycle.

    A Digg user had this to say,
    http://digg.com/playstation_3/VG_Chartz_Show_Both_PS3_and_X360_on_Pace_with_PS2_Sales#c7283668

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