Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 8, 2014

Why are we being told worldwide sales numbers?

Just to use a needle to puncture the balloon of hype, why is Sony using worldwide sale numbers? For the same reason that Microsoft is using ‘fastest selling’ numbers. There is a strong urge in console companies to create an image of ‘sales gap between consoles? More like Grand Canyon!’. Various media outlets, gamers, and third parties will jump on one console or the other depending on their interests.

The reason why I wait until February NPD, as should anyone else, is because we’re still not getting any solid information at this point.

“But PS4s are sold out!” So was the PS3 at this time period. A new console being sold out through early January is nothing noteworthy.

“But it is 4.2 million consoles sold through consumers!” Compare that to 4 million Wii consoles sold through consumers in December NPD 2009. THAT was impressive, and it was only in one country. Sony is blurring the lines deliberately by only telling us worldwide numbers.

“But the PS4 still isn’t in stock!” Right. So the point is that we still have no idea what the demand level is. All Sony is doing with reporting their 4.2 million is telling us what their supply chain capabilities are around the world.

We have to wait several more months to get an accurate idea of the demand levels. This isn’t an anti-Sony perspective or a pro-Sony perspective. It is, however, an anti-hype perspective. It is one I think everyone should adopt. We still haven’t got clear data yet.

One thing I am very curious about is the amount, and of what type, of software being sold. Software drives the hardware. What are people buying to get to the consoles? If software sales are tepid or disappointing, then we will know that software isn’t driving the hardware sales which indicates there will be a plunge in upcoming sales. If software is being the driver, then we can expect high sales to continue. (Last generation, the continued high interest in games like Wii Sports kept driving Wii sales.)

“But we don’t need software sales in order to sell hardware!” Yeah, that has NEVER happened in the history of gaming. People don’t just buy hardware except for early adopters (gadget freaks). When we actually start getting data from December and January, software sales should be focused on most as those represent gamer demand and not gadgeteer demand.

Put a lid on the hype. We still have some more months to go.


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