Matt Matthews of Next-Gen.biz takes a close look at the US sales trends that helped define perhaps the best year in videogame.
The percent of sales dollars going to software decreased. However, given the 43% increase in overall sales, software sales in 2007 were exceptional – think of it as a slightly smaller slice of a much, much larger pie. Let's put it this way: the top 10 games in 2006 accounted for just over 15 million software units. In 2007, the top 10 games represented over 27 million software units.
Next-Gen.biz will dig into the software figures and pick out some interesting angles, and try to give an idea of just what set last year apart other than its amazing sales figures. Like:
Crossplatform Performance: 360 vs. PS3
Call of Duty 4 and Rock Band have sold to a higher proportion of Xbox 360 owners while Assassin's Creed and Guitar Hero III have sold to a larger percentage of PlayStation 3 owners.
However, if crossplatform software is selling modestly better on the PlayStation 3, there are two key factors which must temper that success:
The absolute (not relative) sales figures favor the Xbox 360, by far. For example, even though Assassin's Creed sold to a greater fraction of PlayStation 3 owners, it has sold just over 800,000 units on that system. By comparison, the Xbox 360 version made the top 10 software list for the year with 1.87 million copies – a difference of over 1 million units.
The Madden franchise may have weakened this year. Annual sales for the PlayStation 2 version were down from 2.8 million in 2006 to 1.9 million in 2007. Had the Xbox 360 version picked up the slack, it would have made the top 10 software for the year. Some of that may be explained by the PlayStation 3 and Wii versions splitting the market.
In 2006, the top 10 software chart breakdown: 5 games for PS2, 3 games for Xbox 360, 2 games for Nintendo DS.
In 2007, the top 10 software chart breakdown: 3 games for Xbox 360, 3 games for Wii, 3 games for PS2, and 1 game for Nintendo DS.