I'm about getting tired of reading all of the articles on the web where "people in the know" talk about the Wii being a fad. Hello? Anyone home? Have you not noticed that the Wii has out sold two years of Xbox 360 sales in under a year?
Not only has it out sold the Xbox 360 (yes I know Halo 3 pushed the 360 to the top for the month of September 2007) but it has done this with a relatively small library of Wii specific games and one very well received game; Wii Sports. Can you name another launch title that has pushed a console so high before? The only one I can think of is Super Mario Bros. on the original NES. Yes, I saved up my paper route money for that one!
Just like the political pundits who ignore the massive support Ron Paul has the video game pundits seems to enjoy ignoring the Wii or chalking up the success of the Wii as a fluke. I have seen countless times where the main stream media conducts a poll, sees the results point to an overwhelming Ron Paul victory, and then toss it out as unscientific. Yet, if they conduct another poll and Ron Paul does not win it then they see it as proof that their analysis is correct! The same thing is happening here.
In September (with the aid of the Halo 3 launch) Microsoft was able to beat out Nintendo in console sales (for the month) and now everyone is acting as if it is some big victory for the "real" video gamers out there. What? That was one month and they only did it by launching their most anticipated title. Nintendo has been kicking Microsoft's ass since the Wii was released with no big game releases! If Microsoft needs to bring out the big guns just to get one months worth of sales data to look better than Nintendo's data then they are in trouble. In fact, let's take a moment to look at that sales data where Microsoft beat Nintendo:
Xbox 360 sales built upon its growth from last month, showing a 50 percent increase for the month of September selling an average of 105,600 consoles per week. Total sales were more than 528,000 Xbox 360 consoles sold, compared to 501,000 for Wii and 119,000 for PS3.
So, they beat Nintendo by 27,000 units? That's it? It's not like the people planning to buy a Wii jumped ship and purchased a 360 because as far as Nintendo is concerned they did not even notice the Halo 3 release. So Microsoft got lucky. The only comparable game to Halo 3 released for the Wii would have to be Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. How has that game sold? According to VGChartz it has sold about half a million copies thus far. Halo 3? VGChartz tells me that game has sold 5.14 million copies!
You might look at that and say, "See, Halo 3 is totally kicking ass! The Wii is just a fad! All those old folks playing Wii Sports is just slick marketing!!!" You could say that and you are correct about Halo 3, it is kicking ass but, the "Orange box" just knocked Halo 3 off of the top spot on the chart and that only covers sales of the Xbox 360 version of the game. Do you have any idea how many people purchased the PC version on Steam? Me neither 'cause Valve will not tell (like the 360, it was only one week of sales not lifetime sales). So, how the heck can Nintendo be selling more consoles than Microsoft in half the time?
Video game pundits just can not grasp the fact that Nintendo has effectively tapped an untapped market that the conventional wisdom did not believe existed. Grand parents playing video games? Who would have ever thought that was possible? Let me educate you with a little bit of math. If your grandmother is 60 then she would have been in her 30's back in the late 70's when video games were becoming all the rage. Yeah, even old people were once young!
A fluke? Perhaps the same fluke that propelled the "not the new GBA" Nintendo DS to be the best selling console of all time? Everyone knows that Nintendo owns the hand-held gaming market but 50 million units?
Nintendo is the one video gaming company that looked to the future and said, "we must change." At the time they were getting creamed by the PS2 and the Game Cube was seen as the laughing stock of the console world. So one day the folks at Nintendo had a sit down and decided that they should no longer focus on the hard core gamer but should instead increase the market. The gamers who buy Nintendo because of Mario, Metroid and Zelda will buy it no matter what, but what about other people?
Look at the success of Nintendogs (14.93 million copies sold). Who would have thought that game would be such a hit? Not the "hard core" gamers that's for sure! Yet it was a hit and continues to be a hit.
The other week I was at a young girls birthday party, do you know what her favorite gift was? A Pink DS Lite and a copy of Nintendogs. THAT is the Nintendo market.
What do you think there are more of in the world, hard core gamers or little girls? Out of those two potential markets which one has more buying power?
The Nintendo Wii is revolutionary but not in the sense of having kick-ass hardware. It is revolutionary in that it has kick-ass marketing and it is bringing new people into the gamer demographic. All hobbies age as time goes by so why are so many people trashing the one system that is bringing in fresh blood? Kind of like that crazy Ron Paul guy who is raising money like no tomorrow yet can't get a fair shake from the main stream media because he's not catering to the cookie cutter political market like they want him to.
When was the last time you saw a NEW gamer enter the fold because of Halo? The numbers speak for themselves. More copies of Nintendogs have been sold than copies of Halo. You can ignore Nintendo and disparage the Wii all you want, at the end of the day the numbers don't lie.