Strong initial sales are positive for any piece of hardware, but they don’t guarantee future success. Then again, the Xbox One doubled its predecessor’s launch sales and the 360 eventually became insanely popular.
I’m sure the XB1 and the PS4 will continue to sell, especially with Christmas approaching. Games and game systems are always popular gifts, along with anything else electronic that parents and relatives can trade their Benjamins for.
But all this hullabaloo over the new boys ignores a few crucial facts:
Developers will continue to release new titles on current-gen systems until (at least) next autumn. The Xbox 360 and PS3 aren’t dead just yet, and as with any console launch, there’s a dearth of titles available for the PS4 and XB1 (in comparison to what’s out there for their predecessors). New releases won’t really stride forward until the spring and summer of next year. Even then, gamers won’t be lacking for titles on the current-generation systems.
“Get a new console and just play your old games on it too!”
Yeah ... about that? The only next-gen console that can do that is the WiiU. Which leads me to another statistic to break the delusions of Microsoft and Sony touts -- Nintendo has already sold 4 million WiiUs. Yeah, I know it’s been out for a year. “Sony and Microsoft will sell that many, too!,” you say. Sure, they probably will, maybe by the end of next year. But you know Nintendo will still be selling their machine during that time, right?
Remember that Nintendo sells the WiiU -- with a game bundle - for half the price of an XB1. Even if the PS4 and One reach 4 million sales, who’s to say the WiiU won’t have sold 6 million?
These figures, especially the early ones, don’t mean jack. Over their lifetimes, the 360, PS3 and Wii sold a combined 260 million units. Nintendo sold the largest share -- 100 million -- besting Sony and Nintendo by 20 million units each.
You can say all you want about how the PS4 and XB1 are far more powerful and therefore “superior” to the WiiU, but worldwide sales suggest otherwise. The WiiU, despite a sluggish start, seems to mimic its older brother. It’s not as serious as the other two giants (and its game library reflects that) but it’s unfair to discuss what next-gen console sales mean and only discuss Sony and Microsoft.
It’s far too early to “call a winner” or “project who’s going to win the race.” This is a marathon. Console generations last around six to eight years, so who’s sold the most consoles is completely irrelevant.
I don’t have a WiiU. Or a PS4. Or an XB1. The last time I bought a console was 2006 -- a 360, a year after the system launched. It’s still sitting in my basement, hooked up to a nice LED TV, and it looks pretty damn good if I play newer games like "Mass Effect 3." Even some older ones look fantastic, and there are still games to be released before developers call it quits.
Wake me up in 2015.
Tech reporter and on-air personality. Ambitious, but not rubbish. CUNY J-School alum and fan of all things that go vroom.