Friday, January 12, 2007

Well, well, well... It appears that at least a small part of the market is speaking fairly loudly about their choice of leader of the “next gen console wars”. The simple fact is that while I don’t have a broad market view, the local (and small) view is… amusing. I recently went on an excursion to the local central capitalism outlet and I saw something interesting when I visited the games section.

5 of about 6 shelf spaces filled with PS3’s

Not a Wii to be found, or DS

Or even a GameBoy Advance (Note the literally dozens of PSP’s beside them)

These pictures represent my findings at 4 separate retail outlets within a 45 mile radius of each other. Upon further investigation and according to sales reps from each location, the Wii, DS and GBA are continuing to sell out hours after they get in new shipments and it has been like this since 2-3 weeks before Christmas.

All this time, PS3’s and PSP’s are sitting on the shelves and (quite literally I might add) collecting dust. On that same note, the slim PS2 is also selling at an extremely brisk pace, but more on that later.

The Xbox 360 is still selling, quote, “Fairly quickly, but it’s slowed down since the Christmas rush and even then it was not even going half as fast as the DS Lite. It’s been more [360] games than [360] systems.”

Nintendo systems in general are the clear winners in this part of the state and even established products like the DS Lite and Gameboy Advance are selling at a pace so brisk that retailers cannot keep enough systems in stock to meet demand. While at the same time, it’s FAR from unusual to see numerous bare spots on the game shelves for Nintendo products.

Meanwhile, Sony appears to have finally given themselves a swift kick in the ba….… you get the picture. Both models of the (very) highly priced PS3 are simply not selling. I was told by all 4 retailers that I visited, that they’d had the same PS3’s sitting around since after Christmas. One even stated they had a “ton out back”. When pressed for details, the department manager stated that they had 13.

Finally Microsoft, as with the PS3, I have not properly spent enough time with this system to fully evaluate it. However, this is not a review session, this is a status report. The Xbox 360 is currently the slowest selling next-gen console. While this may seem negative, it’s not. There is a perfectly logical reason for the slower sales of the Xbox 360, it’s already fairly well established in the market having a year head start and it would be unrealistic to expect a “rush” because of that.
On that note, game sales for the 360 are far higher then both the Wii and the PS3 combined (Caution! Authors sarcasm! Probably because there are technically only TWO for the PS3 that are original?)
This bodes well for Microsoft’s newest brainchild as strong game sales could possibly return some of the massive losses that Microsoft’s gaming division has had to absorb on the initial systems sales despite the fact the console is now finally returning a profit per system sold.

While only time and actual results truly matter in the long run, these results are interesting. So, the final conclusion from my, admittedly, fairly casual research indicates that, indeed much to their fan boys delight, in defying the trend of “more power” and instead focusing on why people want to buy a game console, Nintendo has definitely gone for “The Win” in this round.

My inner fan boy couldn’t be happier. Now, if you’ll excuse me. Elebits calls.

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