Monday, February 12, 2007

Interesting VF5 vs DOA4 sales numbers...

As of February 8th, 2007 the PS3 had sold 600,000 units in Japan and Virtua Fighter 5 sells 30,000 units on its first day of release.

As of December 29th, 2005 the 360 had sold 80,000 units in Japan and Dead or Alive 4 sells 60,000 copies on its first day of release.

Yes, those numbers are right, DOA4 sold twice as much as VF5 with an installed based exactly 7.5x smaller than the PS3's.

Now the question is, what exactly does that mean for the PS3? It could be said that DOA4 came out at the holidays and was originally supposed to be a launch title (and obviously most of the people bought the 360 specifically for it) so it had a bit of an advantage. February is a typically slow month for game sales.

But at the same time, VF5 is arguably the PS3's first major title in Japan. The last "major" release was the horribly rushed MotorStorm and FPS's are not a popular genre in Japan so Resistance meant little over there.

So how can it be that a AAA title sold only 30K units to an installed base of 600k who should be absolutely starved for games?

One explanation is that the starvation brought on by a drought of titles combined with delusions and hallucinations brought on by shelling out a metric ass-ton of Yen for a system with no games has rendered PS3 owners physically incapable of getting to the store to buy the game they surely crave....but since I haven't read any reports of mass PS3-induced incapacitations I'm guessing this isn't the case.

More likely is that the PS3's install base is largely made up of videophiles who purchased the system as a cheap Blu-ray movie player and have no desire to play any games on the system.

This is not unprecedented as the PS2 saw strong sales early in its life as a cheap DVD player. While budget players were available in the US for under $150, Japan's cheapest standalone units were still more expensive than the PS2. Game sales suffered as a result but obviously the system eventually overcame this and became the most successful console of all time.

What's interesting about this is that in terms of gaming, the PS3 and 360 might be in a closer race than anyone thought. MS has moved a couple hundred thousand more systems in Japan since DOA4 came out (thanks in large part to Blue Dragon) and if DOA4 and Blue Dragon are any indication, 360's were at least purchased with the intent to play games on them.

While this isn't necessarily an indication of what the future will hold for these systems (I still see the PS3 being #1 in Japan with the 360 being #1 in the US and Europe) it is definitely interesting...

Source: Virtua Fighter Controller Probs, Game Sells Less Than DOA4 - Ore Teki Game Sokuhou @ Katana via Kotaku

No comments: