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Nintendo tops both handheld and home gaming market with DS, Wii

The Wii is officially more than just a gaming sensation. Nintendo’s latest console has captured the hearts, minds and dollars of not only gaming fans, but also the elderly, vacationers, the health-conscious and other casual markets.

Despite being released a year later than Microsoft’s current generation console offering, the Nintendo Wii has surpassed the Xbox 360 in total worldwide hardware sales, according to the latest data from VGchartz.com.

By the week ending August 23, VGchartz gathered that Nintendo had sold 10.57 million Wii consoles over lifetime, while Microsoft sold 10.51 million Xbox 360 consoles. In order to eclipse the Xbox 360 in less than a year since release, the Wii had outsold Microsoft’s game system by a margin of 2.3-to-1 worldwide.

A key factor in Wii’s quick pace in catching the Xbox 360 the acceptance of Nintendo’s console in Japan. The Wii sold 3.46 million units in Japan, while the Xbox 360 sold only 0.43 million in the same region.

While typical sales numbers from the game companies relate to shipments to retailers rather than sold-to-consumers, VGchartz claims that it tracks its data based on actual consumer sell-through figures.

The popularity of the Wii, along with the DS handheld, have helped Nintendo rocket past its competitors. The Wii was outselling the PS3 by a margin of 6-to-1 in June, helping Nintendo overtake Sony in market value. In fact, Nintendo’s recent success has put it ahead of both NTT and Honda, making it the fifth largest company in Japan.



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Games?
By randomname on 8/23/2007 11:25:24 AM , Rating: 5
I can understand Wii from a party/casual point of view, but how long can the sales numbers grow and how actively will people play, if they don't release more good games? On metacritic, Xbox 360 has 22 games at 85 points or over, PS3 has 5, and Wii has 3. You could choose any threshold high enough to get similar numbers. There are only 7 Wii games above 80 points, while the PS3 has 19, and the X360 has 61. Over 90: X360, 8; PS3, 1; Wii, 2.

(Three of the 22 X360 games are Arcade games, but one could still compare them to some of the casual Wii games. Even after you remove sequels, the difference is considerable.)




RE: Games?
By Murst on 8/23/2007 11:44:19 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
but how long can the sales numbers grow and how actively will people play, if they don't release more good games?


Ok... so, if the Wii could sell over 10 million consoles in less than 1 year without good games... just imagine what will happen when:

1. The big nintendo games are released - Metroid in 1 week, Mario Galaxy and Super Smash Bros around december, and mario kart next year.

2. Third party developers catch up to making games on the Wii. It seems the success of the Wii has caught everyone off guard. Now that it has proven a huge success, more and more developers will create games for the Wii... its already happening, and I'm guessing that in a year, the Wii will have more new games coming out for it than any other console.

3. Third party developers switch focus to the Wii. This should greatly improve the quality of games on the system. Just like EA spent the most time making Madden for the 360 work the best, they'll do that next year for the Wii if it continues outselling the 360.


RE: Games?
By npoe1 on 8/23/2007 12:50:15 PM , Rating: 2
I have a Wii and so far I haven’t used it, I thought that it was going to be fun to play, but not. I’m only waiting for Smash Bros. That was the only thing that made have a Game Cube.

On Xbox 360, I only play Forza 2 nothing else, but I’m waiting Fable 2 (maybe I will get the PC version, again). The PS3 is out of my plans until it drops its price to $350 or it starts to get good RPGs like Dragon Quest or one at the level of Xenogears from PS1.

I hope that good games start coming out of nowhere for all consoles, especially RPGs.


RE: Games?
By darkpaw on 8/23/2007 1:38:43 PM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty much in the same boat. Bought one, beat Zelda and haven't touched it all that much sense. Smash Bros I'll play for a few years though so more then making the system worth buying and Mario cart as well when that comes out. I don't think there is all that much of interest for the Wii though. Anything that comes out crossconsole, I'll buy the version that looks better since they all pretty much play the same.


RE: Games?
By kristof007 on 8/23/2007 2:47:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
3. Third party developers switch focus to the Wii. This should greatly improve the quality of games on the system. Just like EA spent the most time making Madden for the 360 work the best, they'll do that next year for the Wii if it continues outselling the 360.


I think the reason for that was that the 360 architecture was easier to program for because Microsoft got out their SDK sooner to developers than the PS3 did. At least that's what I got out of the article.


RE: Games?
By InsaneScientist on 8/24/2007 3:11:21 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
I think the reason for that was that the 360 architecture was easier to program for because Microsoft got out their SDK sooner to developers than the PS3 did. At least that's what I got out of the article.


Not really.

The Cell processor is an absolute nightmare to write code for (in very large part because the 7 SPEs do not have the full capabilities that the mother core does, so you can't simply let tasks fall to whatever core they get assigned to, you have to manually program that).
The cell processor was specifically designed for the maximum possible computational efficiency, sacrificing the ability to use simple program code (by design!).

This is not to say that their decision was wrong. On the contrary, there are certain sectors where you need the maximum amount of computing power that technology is capable of delivering and it does not matter how long the programming takes, because any time lost on programming will be made up for by the additional speed that the architechure allows for or by the money, space, energy, and/or management time saved by using a fewer number of more powerful systems.
Obviously this primarily applies to massive computational workloads. (i.e. Scientific calculations and modeling, MMORPG servers, etc...)

It remains to be seen (mainly by the PS3's sucess or lack thereof) whether one of those fields is gaming.

I personally don't think it will be, but I could be wrong (and don't really care if I am).

Don't get me wrong... the Cell is an amazing processor, but the benefits of it's power must outweigh the pain of coding for the thing for the PS3 to succeed.


RE: Games?
By randomname on 8/24/2007 6:09:54 AM , Rating: 3
"The cell processor was specifically designed for the maximum possible computational efficiency, sacrificing the ability to use simple program code (by design!)."

I would say that the Cell was designed for maximal (parallel) floating point power, which is very good for scientific computation, or streaming media. However, for game code (excluding graphics and physics) which requires more integer power and serial processing performance, it is probably more of a miss. The reasons for this are mostly related to the original vision for the Cell. Originally it was supposed to handle the graphics on the PS3, after which Sony/Toshiba tried to develop their own GPU, and finally Sony brought in NVidia. (Of course, you will not get such an official account of the history of Cell/PS3 from Sony/Toshiba/IBM.)

From Dean Takahashi's ebook 'The Xbox 360 Uncloaked':
"But no one knew that inside Sony, something was going terribly wrong. Sony had created a new game system, dubbed GS Cube, with 16 Emotion Engine chips. It proved to be a technological dead end. In parallel, IBM fellow Jim Kahle had proposed Cell, a radically different computing architecture. Instead of a microprocessor and a graphics chip, the system for the PlayStation 3 was originally supposed to have two Cell microprocessors. One would handle the system while the second one would handle graphics. The game developers couldn’t make heads or tails of this non-traditional architecture. Sony scrapped that plan. Then it commissioned both Sony’s and Toshiba’s chip designers to create their own graphics chip. The graphics chip was going to be a screaming monster that relied totally on one kind of processing, dubbed fill rate, to handle the graphics. That was what Sony and Toshiba’s engineers knew how to create, based on their work on the PlayStation 2. But in the meantime, both ATI and Nvidia had pioneered the use of shaders, which were subprograms that added the nuance and texture to the surface of an object. This technique simplified the process of creating art for games. To create a new effect, the developer had to simply create a new shader. The Sony and Toshiba team were far behind on shader technology. Game developers once again objected to the solution that they were proposing. Sony had to cancel the graphics chip altogether. The console just wasn’t going to launch in 2005."


RE: Games?
By encryptkeeper on 8/24/2007 1:32:09 PM , Rating: 2
In parallel, IBM fellow Jim Kahle had proposed Cell, a radically different computing architecture. Instead of a microprocessor and a graphics chip, the system for the PlayStation 3 was originally supposed to have two Cell microprocessors. One would handle the system while the second one would handle graphics.

I can definitely see the idea behind this from a business standpoint. Creating twice as many Cell procs would cost probably the same in materials, but you would save money in the long run because you wouldn't have one facility that was creating Cell processors and one that was making graphics chips. That's why Intel fabs are so efficient, all the cores are the same except the quads. Some pass high stress tests and become core 2 duos, and some pass only low tests and become Celerons.


RE: Games?
By Dakuma on 8/28/2007 10:29:19 PM , Rating: 2
" Metroid in 1 week, Mario Galaxy and Super Smash Bros around december, and mario kart next year."

Hmm a bunch of kids games are what this console needs? How about Bioshock - Fable 2 - COD4 and Halo 3?


RE: Games?
By ZavyZavy on 8/30/2007 3:32:09 AM , Rating: 2
Are you insinuating that because Nintendo has chosen to make its first party games accessible to all age groups that the games are poor quality?

Are you saying that if games do not have a certain amount of adult oriented content, they won’t sell well?

Are you suggesting that Mario and Samus, both of whom appear in the games mentioned are not valuable enough intellectual properties to be on the Wii, and if Nintendo continues to use them the consoled is destined to failure?

What are you saying exactly with your statement?


RE: Games?
By psyph3r on 8/30/2007 8:13:31 PM , Rating: 2
WHOA!, kids games? I love those games..any real gamer that has been around for more than 13 years appreciates and idolizes Nintendo's flagship games...They are fun, and they are original! a person who is mature does not need blood to be entertained. The games you are mentioning should played on a PC anyways(which is where i play fps ADULT games with a mouse, I also look forward to ones you mentioned).


RE: Games?
By ndessell on 8/23/2007 12:21:50 PM , Rating: 3
While your number say a lot about, the level of (overall) game quality. There are so many factors that have to come into play: time, budget, talent, experience , x. Right now 360 development has them all Locked in, but hopefully Wii and that other thing will get into a grove.


RE: Games?
By Hawkido on 8/23/2007 1:12:39 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, but those reviews are done by gamers... The Wii has appeal to those outside the Gaming community (as mentioned in the article). Thus their vote on the Wii games will never be counted, scewing the ratings value for Wii games out of proportion.


RE: Games?
By afkrotch on 8/23/07, Rating: 0
RE: Games?
By Hawkido on 8/27/2007 2:59:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Buying the Wii and only having Wii Sports won't help Nintendo


Err, Yeah it will... Each and Every Wii Sold, is sold at a profit... It is the only current gen Console sold at a profit... (the PS2 is sold at a profit now as well, but it is last gen)

So if you buy a Wii and play Wii Sports all day and nothing else... yeah you pay Nintendo $25 for that priviledge. Bottom line it helps Nintendo.

Plus those who play Wii sports also buy (most usually) Wii Play as it is similar.


RE: Games?
By Locutus465 on 8/23/2007 3:45:10 PM , Rating: 2
Wii is at the right price point, with a more interesting control system. I'm also fairly sure that Nintendo is in a very good position to keep up the price pressure if they feel they need to (from what I understand they actually make money on the wii as it is). Wii also has better games for social gatherings which is fairly important.

At the very least Microsoft has seen which way the wind is blowing and is already back tracking on the "badass" console marketing campaign and going more family friendly and offering better value (i.e. X-Box arcade if it sees the light of day will help tremendously).


RE: Games?
By stryfe on 8/23/2007 4:52:44 PM , Rating: 2
What are these points you're talking about?
They're quite meaningless without knowing where they come from. For all we know you're just making them up.


RE: Games?
By Keeir on 8/23/2007 5:58:16 PM , Rating: 3
He's refering to the Metacritic site (search google) that gets scores from a variety of game review sites (Gamespy, IGN, etc etc)

You are still left with the problem that you have game snobs reviewing games. For example, take BioShock. Its "Meta" Score on Metacritic is like 97/100. Essentially it almost a perfect game. Users only give it a 91/100. This is actually a fairly usually trend with the Game Critics giving XBox360 games a higher rating than 100+ users. In constrast, the Wii games are almost always the reverse. Users rating higher than critics. That would indicate to me that Wii games are less technically executed but might be more fun to play. Given that the Wii does have the graphically horsepower of the Xbox360, I think Wii games will start with a 5-10 hit in comparison to the same game on a Xbox360.

Anyway, I will grant that the XBox360 has more "Pretty Good Games" but for a system that's been out for almost 2 years, Bioshock is the first "great game" that actually tempts me to buy the system.


RE: Games?
By FITCamaro on 8/23/2007 7:28:29 PM , Rating: 2
I've got nothing against the Wii but it does not have the graphical horsepower of the 360.

And while BioShock might be the only game that makes you want to buy the system, that does not mean its the only great game on the console in 2 years.


RE: Games?
By DingieM on 8/24/2007 4:15:28 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Given that the Wii does have the graphically horsepower of the Xbox360


Wake up Keeir, can't believe you got this one so wrong.
Wishfull thinking maybe???

Thank you for the FUD!!


RE: Games?
By psychobriggsy on 8/24/2007 8:02:17 AM , Rating: 3
"Given that the Wii does have the graphically horsepower of the Xbox360, I think Wii games will start with a 5-10 hit in comparison to the same game on a Xbox360."

When taken in context, it is clearly a typo.

Of course some people can't think beyond their fanboi extremism and actually realise this, rushing in to accuse a poster of FUD. I think it shows a lack of reading comprehension skills and poor education.


RE: Games?
By encryptkeeper on 8/24/2007 12:51:25 PM , Rating: 2
On metacritic, Xbox 360 has 22 games at 85 points or over, PS3 has 5, and Wii has 3.

Not exactly a valid comparison. PS3 and Wii have been out for less than a year, and the 360 has had an entire year head start. The Wii may only have 3 games on the 85% or higher (and there will be one more when MP3 comes out next week, plus several before the end of the year) but lower prices of the console, the games, and the innovative controller make the other games that come in below 85% or even WAY below 85% seem more enjoyable. If I have to pay twice the amount to play one game (or to purchase anything) that I can get for half that at 70-75% rating, I'm going to SERIOUSLY consider getting the cheaper product. Wii sports was free, so it just had to be marginally fun for people to play the hell out of it. But now, the Wii is seen as the cool thing to get, so as long as they provide a steady flow of good games, even if there aren't too many incredible ones, they can maintain a lead for a while.

Besides, you have to give them some recognition. They beat the 360 in sales in less than HALF the time the 360 has been on the market? They're doing something right.

Unfortunately for Sony, they've just lost too much headway to two other extremely good competitors with extremely good business plans and product lines. The price drop won't last forever, once the 60 gigs are gone the price will be 600 again, and with the price drop from MS they're in serious trouble. So, if it comes down to 360 vs Wii...looks like it would be Wii thanks to the huge boost from the Japanese market. Blue Dragon is probably going to be the last major push to get into Japan, and it looks like that one's not really generating the interest they needed for the Japanese market.


RE: Games?
By Shadowmaster625 on 8/24/2007 2:52:17 PM , Rating: 2
Xbox 360 dont have no 22 games worth speaking of. There's maybe 3 or 4 that I wanna play.


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