Wednesday, October 10, 2007

DS 3rd party sales - this is interesting

This is a graph shown by Mr. Iwata at the recent Nintendo Conference in Japan. Look at the difference in the market share of DS games in 2006 and in 2007. You can see how in 2007 the tide suddenly changed from Nintendo dominating the sales of games on the DS, to third parties taking off.

Right now, I'm hearing complains from developers such as "I don't want to port my game engine to the Wii, because most of the game sales are taken up by Nintendo". Which really means "I'm afraid I'll have to put out a high quality game against a company which has a vested interest in making high quality games."

And looked what happened on the DS - game developers who could make high quality games for it have profited thanks to a bigger hardware market, and the quality of DS games rose overall.

I'm wondering if the same is about to happen to the Wii. Look at the history of the PS2 - lots of home sales lead to lots of games. Yeah, there was plenty of crap - but overall, there was also a lot of good stuff. The Wii is going to have 86 games released on it this holiday season, with something like 40% being exclusive to the console - compared to 35 games for the PS3 and the 360, of which only 20% of those titles are exclusives.

With the announcement yesterday by Capcom that "Monster Hunter 3" will be dumped for the PS3 and brought to the Wii because of the expense of developing on the PS3 hardware, I think the Wii is about to get an explosion of third party developers. Sure, there's going to be plenty of dreck - but now that the year after launch is almost up, and the Wii has proved itself more than a fad, I think we can safely say that the Wii had entered that "golden upward spiral" that consoles need to succeed.

The question now is: will the PS3 reach that next year with its heavy hitters (Final Fantasy XIII, Metal Gear Solid), and has Microsoft actually hit that point, or will it plateau and still be unprofitable by the end of its 5 year life span?

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