Despite PS4's Success, Video Game Consoles Just Aren't Selling Like They Used To

Last Tuesday, Sony (NYSE:SNE) announced that 6 million units of the PlayStation 4, the company's next-generation video game console, had been sold since its release last November. Because Sony had expected to sell 5 million units by the end of March, the news was taken as a good sign. The PS3, released in November 2006, didn't sell 5 million units until late summer 2007. Not only is PS4 an early success in comparison to its predecessor, it's also easily besting its competition from Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), the Xbox One.

The video game-console industry overall is suffering, however. During the month of January 2007, 1.7 million total video games consoles were sold (that includes sales for all systems from Microsoft, Nintendo (OTCMKTS:NTDOY), and Sony), according to the market researcher NPD. That was two months after the launch of the PS3 and Nintendo's Wii, and 13 months after the November 2005 launch of Microsoft's Xbox 360.

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PSN-JeRzYzFyNeSt1538d ago (Edited 1538d ago )

lets not forget holiday 2006 360 had a price drop and it was the 2nd yr on the market and the Ps3 was fresh new in jan 2007 and the impact of phones weren't big yet. the economy was still well to b4 2008

consoles are fine fog with these articles

there are still great games on 360 and PS3 and PS4 aren't in stock often so makes it hard to jump over

ChrisW1538d ago

Smartphones are probably the biggest reason, but I also feel that PCs are a big reason as well. Gaming PCs are getting to the point where power/price are rivaling consoles.

Not to mention, more and more families are buying PCs these days... And, of course, the kid in the family is asking, "Can I play games on it?!?"

Highlife1538d ago

"Not to mention, more and more families are buying PCs these days... And, of course, the kid in the family is asking, "Can I play games on it?!?""

That couldn't be further from the truth. Pc sales have been declining for years. Just do a quick Google search on pc sales and boom.

cyclindk1537d ago

I'm still thinking phones and tablets, PC is certainly as strong as ever, if not more so, but I don't really see it eating into the console market even if we include all these Steam machines, or other aspects which are making the PC "experience" more akin to consoles.

UltraNova1537d ago (Edited 1537d ago )

"The PS4/XB1 is the first generation to have technology that is worse than what is already out there. There are 2+ year old GPUs (graphics processing units) that outperform these boxes, and even budget GPUs releasing now in the $150 range outclass these machines. If you buy the highest end GPU on the market now, you have almost 3x the performance of these machines, and we are at the start of the generation. This is unprecedented."

Goddamn I agree! Its pathetic really..The PS3 was a beast back in 2007..the PS4 today is barely mid-range at launch!

UltraNova1537d ago (Edited 1537d ago )

A reply stating why people disagree would go long ways here in Netherland...

I don't get it though whats there to disagree about? The FACT that the PS3 was a beast back in 2007? Or the FACT that the PS4 is mid-range in today's money?

Oh I get it its the Sony defense force..

Chill people I prefer Sony's take on console related things as well!


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r1sh121538d ago (Edited 1538d ago )

I think its a phased migration, some people have only recently purchased the last gen (360/ps3) consoles. FOr them its worth less to make the crossover now.

Many others will be waiting for the right time to buy. The jump is not as significant yet, but with the devs getting better at programming on the one,ps4 the jump will increase and cause more people to flock over.
The last gen was a little too long, so I am sure many people just got used to the consoles they had.

@chrisW PC sales are at the lowest point (

There are other articles but I cba to find them.

However the market is also undergoind a rapid shift, with PCs coming closer to the main TV.
Eg NUC pcs, or even the steambox are coming soon.

Theres other tech which people could be holding out for, so the one/PS4 will continue to sell well, it needs more time to continue to grow at pace.

iceman061537d ago

Exactly this! It's pretty much always been somewhat like this. However, with competition for other "high end" electronics like smartphones and tablets (not necessarily for gaming), it's more of a competition for a limited dollar. This might be the first full generation where a teenager or college student working his/her first job actually considers buying an iPhone over a console due to popularity and convenience of the things OUTSIDE of gaming that it can do vs. a gaming console. Mind you, all of this in a supposedly post-recession economy. Which basically means that the upper tier have "recovered" but the rest of the middle class still feels the pinch.

miyamoto1537d ago

The PS4 has so much heavy burden it has on its shoulders but I am sure PS4 will manage to get the job done.

mhunterjr1538d ago (Edited 1538d ago )

What a strange way to interpret data. The new consoles are selling faster than the old consoles did at launch. One is supply constrained and the other is only available in 13 countries.

The old consoles sales are slowing because they've been out for 8 years and have saturated.

It's not enough to just regurgitate numbers. You've gotta look at context. The industry is fine.

Anon19741538d ago

Yeah, there's been a couple of these "industry doom" articles lately (like the picture?) that take a small snapshot of data and act like that tells the entire story. Oddly, they all seem to be coming from Investor and Business sites. You'd think they'd be better at and comparing data sets a bit better than this.

mhunterjr1538d ago

Right. Unfortunately, those articles are often written by folks who have a general understanding of business, but not a specific understanding of how the gaming market works. If they expect the console hardware market, to look like, say, the cellphone hardware market, they'll be spelling doom at every new generation.

extermin8or1538d ago

I'm going with the cynical thoughts and saying they likely actually want a slight dip/crash in the gaming market-can buy a load of good shares cheap and then make money off them over the next few years. I mean if articles like this make even a few people sell their games industry related shares they are in the win as they can buy them and thy buying price will come down when more shares entered the market from the sales.

C-H-E-F1538d ago

Hpmh.. Authors of articles like this make me feel bad for their offspring in primary school.


frostypants1537d ago (Edited 1537d ago )

Exactly what I thought. These consoles are breaking all time records, especially when you look at them cumulatively...what the hell are these people smoking? The industry has never been this strong and the market has never been bigger. Rampant idiocy among these contrarians...

Spenok1537d ago

Lmao this exactly. I was going to make this point if no one else had. Just look at PS4. It's selling faster than all other Playstations did when they were launched. PLEASE tell me how that is not a good thing?

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2pacalypsenow1538d ago

last time i checked the ps4 has sold faster than ps2 and ps3 so how are they not selling like they used to?

Metallox1538d ago

Because Xbox One and Wii U aren't selling good, perhaps is that.

2pacalypsenow1538d ago

yeah but neither did the xbox and gamecube

-EvoAnubis-1538d ago

The Xbox One is the second fastest selling console of all time (second to only the PS4). The Wii U legitimately is struggling, but all of us who pay attention to this industry know exactly why that's the case (hint: it has nothing to do with a declining industry).

Articles like this exist because people who know absolutely nothing about this industry write them. Period.

Metallox1538d ago

2pacalypsenow, The Wii U is selling worse than the GameCube, and the Xbox One is supposed to be tanked since many weeks ago. Do not understand why they're not selling good according to the author, if PS4 and Xbox One had the fastest selling consoles of all time, like EvoAnubis says.

CynicalKelly1538d ago (Edited 1538d ago )

Nope, it doesn't make sense at all. PS4 is the fastest selling console to date, and Xbox One even with it doing badly against the PS4 is the second fastest selling console.

Both are doing really well and if anything it's the opposite, consoles are selling better than ever right now.

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_LarZen_1538d ago

From what I am reading the XBO and PS4 is selling incredible good.

DanManDantheMan1538d ago (Edited 1538d ago )

Nope, just PS4, but it has not yet proven how well it can do while not launching in other countries.

MRMagoo1231538d ago

The xbone WAS doing well (its not even beating the weekly sales of the PS3 till this week) but not so much now, i just hope the PS4 doesnt follow suit as well but at the mo PS4 is running away with all the sales along with the 3DS.

OrangePowerz1538d ago (Edited 1538d ago )

Given the limited game catalogue so far for both next gen consoles and that Sony has still problems with meeting demand the sales are very good.

I hate to disappoint people but consoles are not going anywhere and mobile certainly won't get them to disappear.

Also that insider is talking out of his butt. On the pure hardware comparison consoles often had hardware that would not be as good as whatever PC can be bought. Just look at Crysis 1 for PC and compare that to early 360/PS3 games. It is technically and financially not possible to release a console that has top of the line hardware because the cost must be low and the development time for a console takes ages. A console will never be able to perform on the same level as a top end PC.

The hardware on paper doesn't look that strong, but it's not an appel to appel comparison, consoles don't have to put up with a lot of the restrictions and resource problems PCs have to deal with. Taking a same spec PC will not in any way give the same power output.

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