Wii shortage hinders sales, PS3 closing gap on 360

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Following the monumental video game sales for November, Jesse Divnich, analyst for prediction market the simExchange has weighed in with some interesting insights.

Although the Wii did sell an impressive 981K units for the month, the total fell short of the prediction market’s 1,060,000, which is probably a direct result of the continued shortage. “Nintendo’s claims of supply constraints likely played a bigger role in hindering sales than originally expected,” noted Divnich.

As for the PS3, Sony’s console is seemingly taking baby steps, and slowly but surely gaining on the Xbox 360. “The PS3 sold better than expected against its closest rival, the Xbox 360, which only outsold it by 1.6-to-1 from an expected 1.8-to-1. Sony’s recent price cut and introduction of a cheaper 40GB model played a significant role in closing the gap between its console and the Xbox 360,” Divnich said.

On the software side, Rock Band, which sold 382K across Xbox 360 and PS3, was well above the prediction market’s expectations of just 152K. This certainly bodes well for its future. “We consider this a significant achievement for Harmonix, which despite large barriers managed to break into the music peripheral genre under a new intellectual property, which clearly could have been marketed better to consumers,” said Divnich.

Assassin’s Creed, which has already sold 2.5 million worldwide, was another focal point. “Despite mixed reviews and some early controversy, Ubisoft was able to overcome these barriers by executing a fantastic marketing campaign that drove unit sales well above market expectations at 980,000 and 376,483 units for the Xbox 360 and the PS3, respectively. This proves once again that marketing, advertising, and public relations play the biggest factor to any new intellectual property,” Divnich commented.

Divnich also had an interesting observation regarding the poor performance of Rockstar’s Manhunt 2: “Manhunt 2 was released to the market with great concerns over its content as activist groups and parents claimed the Wii remote control added too much realism to an already violent game. These concerns with Take-Two, the ESRB, and retailers have proven to be unnecessary as sales were a depressing 18,494 units sold in November—making little impact on the industry. This should not be considered a victory for those groups who protested its release, but rather a victory for industry and gamers who did not fall for the market hype of what can only be described as a poorly executed title.”

Written by James Brightman from GameDaily.
© 2007 GameDaily.

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