North America has the NPD, Japan has Media Create and the United Kingdom has the GfK. These specialized charts measured the sales volume for video game hardware sales.
While these public charts are good for examining the latest trends of the industry, they are not a good measuring stick for the overall health of the gaming industry. Here are a few reasons why video game sales charts shouldn’t be taken too seriously.
Video games are the fastest growing entertainment industry. The market, which could barely support two systems at once before, can now sustain three popular home consoles in the Nintendo Wii, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.
Even the struggling Playstation 3 could end up selling 50 million units, which was usually enough to be the market leader in past generations. Therefore, it doesn’t really matter who sold the most units in any given time since all three video game systems are selling relatively well compared to past situations.
Big Three Not Going Anywhere
Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo aren’t going anywhere. Each of them had too much invested into the gaming market with their brand of video game consoles to quit the console wars race. So no matter how badly one does against the competition, the situation will never get as dire as it did for Sega. Even if Sony and Microsoft might not beat Nintendo this generation, they can always try again.
Most of the money made in the gaming industry comes from the software sales. In the case of Sony and Microsoft, they sell their systems at a loss. Therefore, high hardware sales does not always equate to being successful.
Not to mention that games can sell well without charting in the upper echelon on any time period. That is possible because video games are selling at a record-breaking pace. Games that aren’t appearing on sales charts today would had easily made it in the past.
The Nintendo Wii, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 each have their own hardcore segment that buys a majority of the game software. Since the hardcore pretty much already bought their system of choice, the rest of the hardware sales result from casual gamers, which don’t buy as much software. As previously noted, software sales are a huge revenue stream. Therefore, after reaching a certain milestone, hardware sales does not have much impact on a majority of software sales.
Quantity Does Not Equal Quality
Finally, not matter how good a video game or video game system sell, it doesn’t mean you will enjoy it. Most of the time, a game or game system sells well because of great advertisement and not because of the quality of the product. Thus, you should pay more attention to the actual title of gaming system rather than how much it sells. After all, it is all about the games in the end.