The curious riddle of PS3 v Wii sales in Japan

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More proof that statistics can be used to prove pretty much any view you like. There’ve been several reports on how Wii and PS3 are doing in Japan this week, yet with two considerably different spins on their respective fortunes.

How so? Well, I4U News is reporting that Wii outsold PS3 by over 4 to 1 in July – Nintendo flogged 396,752 consoles compared to Sony’s 91,987 (for the record, Xbox 360 shifted a meagre 17,970 units in the month). PS3’s rubbish, eh?

But hang on a minute. A seperate report from Gamesindustry.biz points out that in the last week of July, Sony sold 28,829 PS3s – double the previous week – while sales of Wii actually dropped in that period. Although it still sold 77,000 units in that last week – that’s not quite three times PS3’s total, so the gap is narrowing. Wii’s rubbish, eh?

Like I said, you can prove anything with statistics.

(via I4U News and Gamesindustry.biz)

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Stuart Dredge

24 comments

  • I havent bought any of the next gen consoles because frankly they are all boring and overpriced. especially the ps3. why would i ever spend 400 quid on a games console? its madness. u get it and then 30 mins later ur bored with it. wat a waste of cash. if u look at the selection of games these days there exactly the same as the last lot of consoles but this time with prettier graphics to keep u more entertained. if i had to pick one, id go with the wii. at least they focus on playability which is the fundamental rule of any game. if its not fun to play then amazing graphics wont save it.

  • Yeah, the “just you wait, PS2 fans are just lying in wait to buy the PS3 any day now” stuff is just comical. The truth is, the majority of PS2 buyers bought it just because it was the most popular console.

    Those buyers had been buying the 360 and are now buying the Wii. If the PS4 isn’t a $600 behemoth and they win that generation, maybe they’ll go back to Sony then, but it won’t be because they’re Sony fanboys…. it’ll be because it has the most games.

    The Gamecube had already lost the last generation by now, 9 months after its release. The “system seller” games came out and it saw some brief moments of hope, but it was the PS2 that had momentum.

    Now the Wii has momentum…. and the PS3 is the new Gamecube.

  • This is a reply to….

    Scott | August 5, 2007 3:30 AM

    Lol I find it hard to belive you sold your 360 because of fanboys. Every console has them, they all say that their console “IZ DA BOMB” but that no reason why you should sell it. Did you ever really ever own one? Oah and is their something I forgot “the wii is a diminishing rain cloud” To be honest its quite surpring that there are people out there that still belive how long has the wii been out for? How long has it been out selling the PS3 by alot more than double every month. Last month it out sold the ps3 by 5-1 in Japan. A place where sony is supposed to be strong. Oah and the reason why people don’t always choose new technology? Maybe because its tooo soon for blu-ray ever think of that? Imagine how much cheaper the ps3 would be is it didn’t have blu-ray. And only about two games actualy need it. See what I mean about too soon. Thats what makes the ps3 cost so much is the blu ray and we all know the ps3 if failing because it costs to much. Take the blu ray out and it would be putting up a fight. And in case you don’t know, the 360’s sales are still quite larger than the ps3’s in europe and america. I think its safe to say your a sony fanboy. And by the way the motion sensing in the wii-remote is far more advanced than the six axsis so why not get the wii, its got better technology.

    And which one has got better technology the DS or PSP? And which one is out selling the other by a large margin. Except it sony fanboys, sony may have lost this generation in terms of home consoles.

  • People don’t really get it: it’s not just that the Wii is dominating in sales, it’s that the PS3 is struggling so badly, too. It’s that they’re doing it while making a profit on each unit, rather than taking a loss (like Sony). It’s that the demand is still outstripping the supply, which means we’ve yet to see the Wii’s ceiling.

    Those things, in addition to the strong sales, are what make this such a lopsided first year for the Wii.

  • “Wii is selling around the same rates as the GameCube in the first year”

    Not true. Sales for the Wii started outstripping their early GameCube counterparts as early as the 3rd month; and this is with problems meeting demand, too. As supply increases, do to the sales, which means there could be even more demand there.

    If you like those sorts of comparisons, though, chew on this: the Wii sold significantly more units in the first 6 months than the PS2 did in its first 6 months…by a whopping 2 million.

    Regardless, I fail to see how you can cite first-year numbers in the same comment you mention that “Short term stats mean very little.” Seems like a rather blatant contradiction to me.

    “This indicates that its not some ‘new’ cheap buying audience its the Nintendo fanbase buying up”

    This is a complete non-sequitur. The fact that fairly high-income families are buying the Wii in no way demonstrates that they constitute the “Nintendo fanbase.” Indeed, most anecdotal evidence suggests that the Wii has opened up heretofore untapped markets.

  • “Jaime is correct. Short term stats mean very little. Especially in the early stages where the fanbase is changing over”

    Short term?

    we’re 2 months away from a FULL YEAR since the Wii and PS3 have been on sale. The Wii already has closed the gap between it and the Xbox 360.
    The Wii will hit 10 million systems sold any day now. While the PS3 barely made it to 4 million (sold units, not shipped).

    Fact is the 360 hit a slump like most consoles traditionally do on these months of the year. It used to be that you could only sell consoles in a significant way, during the holiday season. Well, thanks to the Wii that has changed. The Wii is selling like hot cakes since it’s launched all over the world, taking the lead in sales month after month.

    And the reason for that, is that the Wii, unlike the PS3 and Xbox360, does not depend on it’s fanbase. See, the fanbase already decided ages ago what console they would support. The Wii keeps selling because new people are becoming gamers everyday. And they keep choosing the Wii over the other consoles.

    Basically, the reason Sony is trying to sell the PS3 as a multimedia system that plays bluray movies, is because they know they have to try to branch out like Nintendo did and not depend only on the fanbase. Because these days, the fanbase isn’t enough.

    The fanbase was what made the unpopular GameCube complete a full 5 year cycle. And that was about it. But these days, the fanbase is not enough. The Xbox 360’s fanbase alone has not been able to make the gap between the 360 and the Wii any bigger. In fact, the Wii has quickly demolished the almost 2 year advantage the 360 had and in only 10-11 months. The fact that the 360 doesn’t sale much units in Japan is also a factor that will give the Wii the lead eventually.

    The PS3 could make it to the top, if the console drops $200.00 from it’s price tag and starts to get decent enough games. Obviously, that would be if the Wii top games coming out soon (Metroid Prime 3, Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Mario Galaxy, etc.), don’t have a nay impact on the console’s sales and that Nintendo doesn’t drop the price of the Wii to about $199.99 for the holiday season. 😉

  • Even though it only took me about 3/4 of a mintue to read this, I just wanted you to know it was a COMPLETE waste of my time….

  • “So as a company Sony are selling easily as many units as the Wii when you combine their products they have available.”

    Sure, if you combine products Sony is doing better than the Wii. But if you combine products for both sides, Nintendo is blowing Sony out of the water. The Wii is selling well, but the DS is selling by the bucket load.

    Heck, at this rate, the DS will become the best selling console of all time, passing the PS2. Meaning if Nintendo can just get half of those people to buy a Wii, we’re looking at about the same numbers for both sides.

    So it looks like the claim that “The PS3 is the only console with a HUGE reserve of fanbase that can slowly help increase the growth of the machine.” is totally false, unless you want to combine Sony numbers and ignore Nintendo’s other consoles.

    Heck, it might be a strech, but I know plenty of people who use Windows, so I could probably use your argument for the 360, too. Just shows, you can prove anything with a few numbers.

  • Jaime is correct. Short term stats mean very little. Especially in the early stages where the fanbase is changing over. Remember that the PS2 is _still_ selling near Wii rates. So as a company Sony are selling easily as many units as the Wii when you combine their products they have available. If Sony manage to changeover even half of the original PS2 audience, you think 50 odd million is going to be a small market? Look at X360, sales are waning.. and most developers and publishers recognise, this is the Xbox audience that has changed over and is now saturating. Wii is selling around the same rates as the GameCube in the first year, but there is something more to consider than these things. A recent Neilsens report showed that the majority of Wii sales were from people with average salaries of 100K USD. This indicates that its not some ‘new’ cheap buying audience its the Nintendo fanbase buying up.. once this settles (as we are starting to see) then growth will likely follow the same sort of line of the X360. The PS3 is the only console with a HUGE reserve of fanbase that can slowly help increase the growth of the machine.

  • The ONLY people that hate the PS3 PRICE are the ones that CAN NOT afford one.

    All microbrains (i hate microsoft) and nintendo (i really dont hate them) fans should be very happy with the high price of the PS3, if last year sony released the PS3 with a $399 price, can you guess the sales number today???

    The PRICE is nothing, you nintendo fanboys, should i remember you that the gamecube at $99 dont sell well.

    The xbox 360 sell very well the first year, 10 millions, the second only 1 million so far…
    So Wii fanboys, tell me how units are sold the next year, not the first year and then we talk…
    After all, the xbox and the gamecube sold 20 millions the last generation, the ps2 sold 100 millions more than that…

  • The Wii is truly awesome but Nintendo lacked the commitment to go all the way. If the Wii had invested in its drive and graphics techology to give gamers the ultimate experience it would have been unrivalled.

    Instead you have a novelty cheap and cheerful console which for the moment has captured the nation – the question is for how long until gamers realise that they are missing out on all the games that require better and bigger storage.

    The media may laugh at Sony for what they think is over priced, but they will prove that they have got it right.

  • Here is your simple answer: BLUE RAY IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH! At only 4 or 5 times the capacity of DVDs, Blue Ray is not a significant advancement. Check this out:
    Floppy disc=1.44MB to Cartridge=64MB, a factor of about 45
    Cartridge=64MB to CD=700MB, a factor of about 12
    CD=700MB to DVD=10GB, a factor of about 15
    DVD=10GB to Blue Ray=50GB, A factor of about 5
    NOT GOOD ENOUGH!

    If your going to proclaim specs, at least have your facts straight. There is a 250 gig Blu-Ray disc in development. that would be a factor of 25

  • Bought a Xbox 360, RROD same day, return and got another with 1 year old assembly date, and this time it fails to power up. Went with PS3 after realized 5 free blu ray offer, 100 dollar price drop and have 6 of my favorite game right out of the chute. I am a happy consumer now. Careless if Xbox 360 wins, or PS3 wins or WII wins. I have fufilled my need and very happy about it with my New PS3.

  • You are comparing a doublelayer DVD, which is 8.5GB to a single layer Blu-ray Disch, which is 50GB. A more fair comparison would be:
    DVD (single layer)=4.7 GB to Blu-ray (single layer)= 50GB, a factor of 10.638 (11 if you round)

  • “PS3 has a blue-ray drive, I know you’ve read this point like zillions of time, what I’m trying to say is the blu-ray is a new technology, why sticking with the DVD technology when you have a newer and a better one? really simple question but some people find it hard to answer”

    Simple, because the new stuff is really expensive. I don’t want cutting edge technology if its going to cost me a healthy kidney and a pint of virgin blood.

    “The playstation 3 is a more open machine, unlike the 360 which is much like a gaming console and that’s it.”

    Which makes me want the 360 more than the PS3 (not enough to buy one, too expensive with the new technology and what not), because I don’t get required features forced on me, no matter if I want them or not.

    PS3 fanboys like to talk about the value of a PS3, but if I only want to play games, $600 isn’t much of a value, is it?

  • Posted by: Bozo
    “I’ll talk about my experience not the statistics nor what other people think or do……”

    “have I forgot about something?
    Oh my bad, the wii.. but that isn’t a next gen console, it’s a summer cloud that will vanish sooner rather than later.”

    Funny thing is BOZO.(insert clown joke here) You did not mention that you had a Wii. I DARE YOU TO RECTIFY YOUR CONFLICTING STATEMENTS! Your experiences are worthless if you can’t work them into a cohesive argument. And gods forbid that someone would want a VIDEO GAME CONSOLE that only plays VIDEO GAMES.

    “…why sticking with the DVD technology(Nice grammer) when you have a newer and a better one? really simple question but some people find it hard to answer”

    Here is your simple answer: BLUE RAY IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH! At only 4 or 5 times the capacity of DVDs, Blue Ray is not a significant advancement. Check this out:
    Floppy disc=1.44MB to Cartridge=64MB, a factor of about 45
    Cartridge=64MB to CD=700MB, a factor of about 12
    CD=700MB to DVD=10GB, a factor of about 15
    DVD=10GB to Blue Ray=50GB, A factor of about 5
    NOT GOOD ENOUGH!
    Let me tease you with what is on the horizon: 3 Terrabyte optical disks. You paid $100s of dollars extra for a pseudo-advancement that will reduce the life span of your console.
    Silly fanboy.

  • I don’t care about statistics myself either, but it sure is nice to know that all the developers making decisions about which consoles to release games for are going to look at the sales statistics, and make decisions based upon them. For the first time since about 1983, those developers are going to choose to focus most of their resources on making games for the console I have in my living room.

    That is to say, the Wii.

    But I wouldn’t hold my breath on the “first place” thing… the Wii may be scheduled to overtake the 360 next month, but Halo 3 also comes out. Things will be pretty sweet for both Nintendo and Microsoft this fall and winter.

  • I’ll talk about my experience not the statistics nor what other people think or do……

    I brought the xbox 360 because it was the first next gen system to be out, I tried not to buy a 360 and stick to the PS3 but the 1 year head start of the 360 really help alot in boosting its sales, moreovee I don’t have anything about 360 and Microsoft ” at least at that point”, so I brought myself a 360 which is a fantastic machine , but when the PS3 went out for sale and when the 3 ring of death began to strick 360 owners, I sold my 360 and got myself a PS3. Another thing that made me sell my 360 is the 360 fanboys, I really hate how they tolerate facts and pretend that 360 OWNS while it’s inferior compared to the PS3, there are a lot of things that you can really do with your PS3 and can’t do with your 360 but those 360 fanboys and thier continues bashing and the biased American media ” not all of it” made me sell 360 and not help those people validating their point

    I really don’t care about statistics, I know the PS3 is a better machine and a more reliable one. I know it’s much easier to upgrade your PS3 hard drive to whatever side you want without buying a little expensive first party hard drive ” a Rip off strategy from Microsoft”
    I can use whatever bluetooth wireless headset with my PS3, again I don’t need to buy a first party accessories.

    PS3 has a blue-ray drive, I know you’ve read this point like zillions of time, what I’m trying to say is the blu-ray is a new technology, why sticking with the DVD technology when you have a newer and a better one? really simple question but some people find it hard to answer

    The playstation 3 is a more open machine, unlike the 360 which is much like a gaming console and that’s it.

    you can run linux yellow dog on your ps3, games can utilize your hard drive which makes faster game loading and more data comprission to be applied to you games data, 360 games are not allowed to use the 360 hard drive which explains the long loading time 360 games suffer.

    have I forgot about something?

    Oh my bad, the wii.. but that isn’t a next gen console, it’s a summer cloud that will vanish sooner rather than later.

  • I think a lot of people want to focus on the PS3’s current momentum against the Wii’s 10 month momentum. There is no denying the Wii is a monster in terms of sales, and there is no denying that Sony can move their PS3 with ease at $499 (most expensive). What a lot of people are not focusing is that the Xbox is the one that beginning to lose it’s lead and lose it fast. Soon we will only have 2 competitors (PS3 and Wii).

  • I think we need to look at reasons for the gap closing, and from what I’ve seen, though I don’t believe its been confirmed, Nintendo isn’t shipping all the Wiis they’re making, saving some of them to send out for the holiday rush.

    Wiis are still as rare as a unicorn, for most people, so, at least the drop in Wii sales, is probably because Nintendo is shipping fewer of them.

  • Also, Wii in a month or so will overtake XBOX 360’s worldwide install base… in less than 10 months. Once the Holy Trinity comes out this year (Mario, Metroid, Super Smash Bros) and Ninty ramps up console production it’s pretty much going to dominate the hell out of everything. Try again Halo 3 and MGS4! xD

  • The fact that in this particular month of the year the difference between the sales of the Wii and Ps3 narrowed doesn’t prove anything. Demand for consoles fluctuates in both ways.

    What you have to do is look at the data yielded by market reseach over a period of time (say a few months) and estimate a trend which will allow you to make predictions. If you look at the data of sales in Japan since the launch of the PS3 and the Wii, you’ll be hard pressed not to admit that the Wii’s performance is vastly superior to that of the PS3’s, and that lead is likely to remain (at the very least) a considerable lead for a while yet.

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