Why Console Sales Figures Prove Nothing

IGN had an opinion piece recently about PS3 console sales possibly overtaking the Xbox 360's next year. But, does it matter when console figures are horribly distorted anyway?

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NukaCola3141d ago

Sales are sales and each system sold is money for the companies.

What is the issue is the software sales ratio. If console X sells 10mil, and console Y sells 8mil but both sell 1 million of Game A: Then who is buying more? The larger ratio of software sales goes to the system with less bought.

What if Console A sells 5 mil but 2 mil gets replaced. Then it sells 7 million on record although only 5 mil have it. Same as if Console B sells 3 mil but the gamers trade in 1 mil for another system, now Console B has only 2 mil gamers but 3 mil in sales.

Yes I am tlaking about Xbox and PS3 sales. Who has purchased more than 1 Xbox? I have. I know many who have back when the warranty was still developing. I know many who have upgraded to the slimmer 360 now. So are there really 15mil gamers in America? Or only 9 with 5 mil replaced or upgraded? Same with PS3 Slims? Who knows?

In the end sales are sales. Sold to shops/stores versus consumers, it doesn't matter there.

I think determining software sales is the best way to see how gamers are going. Systems get replaced up graded.

Look at the PSN IDs and Gamer Tags, the PS+ and GOLD LIVE accounts. That is where you get good figures from.

But best no worry about things like that. Ever gamer should basically own all 3 consoles buy now. 3x Christmas birthdays, jobs, etc. Raging over sales takes away from why we all are here, to game and chitty chat about gaming.

*back to skyrim homies!*

Sharingan_no_Kakashi3141d ago

Well I was gonna reply but it seems you've pretty much taken care of it.. =^/

ForROME3141d ago (Edited 3141d ago )

Agreed - its attachment rate of consoles and software along with Online DLC sales etc.

The sales war is old - esp in the grand scheme; if a console sales more in 10yrs than another console however it was outsold 7 out of the 10yrs; its not relevant because the war ended at 7 and next gen began at the following year.

Thats like saying "Dreamcast" out sold PS2 (lol would never happen bare with me) because it went back on sale this yr and in 5 more years will sale more than PS2; but that gen in terms of all players being competitive at the same time ended yrs ago.

I personally think the future is not the consoles at all; like PCs hardware will become less important and software will take over entirely both in UI \ Online and Games

This is where software companies will have an edge and hardware will be less of a profit.

And certainly world wide sales have always been a joke; when SONY whooped Nintendo in the US, did Japan care they still bought nintendo.

When SONY whooped Xbox in Japan; did Xbox care in NA; no.

It is relevant to your region past that who cares what is winning else where as long as the install base passed 12mil then it will get cross platform content.

Its all ~ Relative

blumatt3141d ago (Edited 3141d ago )

Something that kind of nullifies some sales are system failures. Those are unaccounted for and make up a lot of the early 360s (RROD) and at least a small percentage of PS3 systems (YLOD). I myself got the YLOD on my early model 40GB PS3 phat. I could really care less about sales though.

I care about games, and Sony seems to be the best lately at delivering that. There's been over 10 or so exclusives this year from Sony for the PS3. And several coming next year with more to announce.

Well, all I know is, that I will be buying consoles until they stop offering them. Services like OnLive just don't work for me. It sucks to not have the physical copies or at the very least have digital copies locally stored on the harddrive.

DasBunker3141d ago

now that the PS3 is closing on xbox suddenly sales dont matter anymore LMAO after years of boasting how the xbox was teh bestezt 4 all da zales...

BattleAxe3141d ago (Edited 3141d ago )

Console sales figures were more important to people like the author of the article when the PS3 was struggling, but now that its got the superior lineup of games and the best features that are driving its growth to the point that its about to overtake the 360, Xbox friendly journalists no longer care to talk about sales figures. I hope Sony has a massive celebration when they surpass the 360 in sales, but of course Microsoft will release their next console as soon as possible just so they can say that they've won this generation(despite the one year head start lol)

blumatt3141d ago

Yeah, it's sad, really. Bias can be a bitch sometimes. I truly hope the PS4 and Xbox 720 both release in the same holiday season so that that "console war" can start at the same time and then we could truly see which brand holds more relevance in gaming.

There would be people fighting like crazy. Little kids screaming at each other "Xbox is better!! No PlayStation is better!! ...." bahahaha Would make for some interesting Christmas headline stories. People would probably get shot. lol

BattleAxe3141d ago (Edited 3141d ago )


Here are some interesting brand loyalty videos:

Video #1

Video #2

gamingdroid3141d ago

It's just people that love their Xbox 360. Nothing wrong with that!

If it isn't an Xbox 360, it would be something else.

P_Bomb3141d ago (Edited 3141d ago )

[QUOTE]...if a console sales more in 10yrs than another console however it was outsold 7 out of the 10yrs; its not relevant because the war ended at 7 and next gen began at the following year.[/QUOTE]

I'd wager that most folk know or care nothing about these wars and their 'rules'. They just buy what they want. If veteran consoles are still strong enough to be on store shelves and have new games being released for them, then they're relevant. One company bowing out early doesn't cease&desist game development or sales for the others'.

Example: God of War 2. One of the PS2's crown jewels, yet it released in 2007, 4-5 months after the PS3 launched in 2006. Well after the 360 in 2005. Does it not count towards the PS2's legacy in sales or otherwise just because it released during the PS3/360 era?

ApplEaglElephant3140d ago (Edited 3140d ago )

Discussions are discussions, but people with fanboy bias spew out most distorted truth.

I even heard from a fanboy that he prefer less games.

I mean really? So instead of having A, B, C game to choose from, you rather have A game only?
Desperate fanboys comes with most ridiculous defense and it ceases to be a discussion from there.

gamingdroid3140d ago (Edited 3140d ago )

Ah, you again! Didn't I block your one bubble account?

I said, I would prefer D over A, B or C where D isn't A, B or C. Is that hard to get or should I go slower?

+ Show (8) more repliesLast reply 3140d ago
bozebo3141d ago

"each system sold is money for the companies"
Not really, only in the latter half of the generation usually.

But yeah well said.

Persistantthug3141d ago


Those who don't know what that is, they should google or Wiki it.

RAZOR BLADE BUSINESS MODEL is also the reason a successful full video game consoles can never be digital distribution ONLY....but that's for a different topic.

GarandShooter3140d ago

No, it is money. It may not be profit, but it is certainly money. Cash flow from sales is very important early in the life cycle of a console.

ATi_Elite3141d ago

cause the companies lose so much money on R&D and then selling them below cost that the companies barely break even on console sales except for Nintendo who made cash day 1 on a low tech Wii.

Software sales is where the money is at. I'm sure Ninty, Sony and MS just want to sell a certain amount of games every month for a steady flow of guaranteed revenue.

the amount of consoles sold DOES NOT equal the amount of gamers using them. The Air Force bought like 3k PS3 for some test and a lot of people use the PS3 just for a Blu-ray player.

a lot of 360 owners are on their 3rd or 4th 360. I know people with a well working fat 360 who bought a slim just to have one. i'm sure some PS3 fans have done the same.

it would be nice to know the ACTIVE number of each console that gets used for gaming a certain amount of hours a week.

like if used 15 hours a week for gaming it would count as active and then tally those numbers up as......... sold units vs. active units.

Focus3141d ago

Allow me to throw an unpopular monkey wrench into the works here.
I know the subject is not a favourite here on N4G, mostly because its SONY's weak point this gen, but since this is a sales article it is relevant. PS2 totally massacred GameCube in terms of console sales right?? But did you know Nintendo made alot more profit than SONY last gen? I kid you not.
Don't believe me? Here you go:
As you can clearly see, PS2's massive console sales did in fact not translate into any financial lead.
Also from the chart you can see that since the 360 launched, it has experienced 2 fiscal years of loss and 4 fiscal years of profit.
Since ps3 launched, it has enjoyed 4 fiscal years of loss and 1 fiscal year of profit. And the ps3 has been outselling the 360 for how many years now?? Now tell me again that console sales matter. . .ps, my flamesuit is at the cleaners so please guys, be gentle.

Biggest3140d ago

Awesome graph. I like how it's all true and stuff! Totally true!

mcstorm3140d ago

I agree with you here. The biggest difference this gen over the others is people are buying more than one of he same console as they offer more than just games. I have 2 360s and 2 ps3s as i use playtv and skyplayer on my 360 in my bedroom.

Sales of both consoles are very good and so are the games. The 3rd party games not have many differenve between them on both consoles.

To me this gen has proved thete is room for 3 companys to be in the same market and to me this is good as all 3 are going in different directions to the other with what there consoles can do and be used for so to me was are all winners.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 3140d ago
Dante1123141d ago (Edited 3141d ago )

Lol, I like how for the past six years been it's "Sales, sales, sales, "X" console is better "Y" console because it has more sales." from certain gamers and journalists (totally excluding the Wii...oops "Z" console). Now that the PS3 might outsell the 360 it's "Who cares, market shares", "Too late", and hypocritically now "Sales don't matter". Gotta love this gen.

Edit: I agree with you Nuka.

NegativeCreep4273141d ago (Edited 3141d ago )

If the Playstation 3 doesn't have a strong hold or have the lead in a particular category, that category is the de facto measure of success.

First it was games at the beginning of this gen. Now that the PS3 dominates that category, the gaming media and all the fanboys on its payroll care little to nothing for games.

The de facto morphed into sales. Now that the Playstation 3 is poised to take that trophy and earn the lead, are we now coincidentally seeing a lack of support for that notion?

So where do they go from here? Cross-Game Chat? Ah Yes, Cross-Game Chat is what makes a console a success. Yes I'm sure.

DasBunker3141d ago

my thoughts as well.. haha posted it before reading these...

gaming journalism is a joke... and a lot of people still support this BS, seems like they even enjoy it.. cant be taken cereally

ginsunuva3141d ago

I know! No one ever acknowledges how the ps3 has a dozen times as many great games as the 360.

k-dillinger3141d ago (Edited 3141d ago )


somebody give this man a Standing ovation couldn't have said it better myself.

MultiConsoleGamer3141d ago

IGN is completely whored out. Their opinions mean nothing.

NPD sales figures only represent %60 of the US market. All that arguing over sales figures is for nothing.

tiffac0083141d ago (Edited 3141d ago )

Not to mention the European sales data doesn't even cover the whole of Europe. Japan is the only sales data that seems to be represented for Asia.

We don't even know if Africa, the Middle East and South America are even properly represented in those sales data.

The only thing that Sales Figure proves is how inaccurate SOLD data is.


Sales figure does prove one thing.

It shows: "How healthy the console industry is"

DragonKnight3141d ago

Of course. Console sales mean nothing when the PS3 is poising to take the lead. But when the 360 was like 8 million units ahead, then they mean something right?

*sigh* Double standards.

peeps3141d ago

True about re-buying consoles. I've had 3 ps3's and 3 xbox 360's.... end of the day though does it really matter?