PlayStation Vita Sells 321,407 Units in Two Days

Sony is off to a promising start with the PlayStation Vita in Japan. According to Famitsu (via Andriasang), 321,407 units were sold during the first two days of availability. This is nearly double what the PlayStation Portable sold in its first two days (166,074) and nearly as good as the Nintendo 3DS (371,326).

The PlayStation Vita is slated for a February 22, 2012 release in North America. It will be interesting to see how the U.S. launch compares to the Japanese one. Personally, I’m way more interested in the Vita’s launch than I was the 3DS’ launch. The initial software is just more interesting…and I have a soft spot in my heart for underdogs.

Any of you getting Vitamania yet? How do you think the Vita will fare outside of Japan? Are you surprised by the great success Sony has had with the Vita so far?

Source via Andriasang

Are You Sure Nintendo is “Teh Doomed”?

Nintendo recently sent out a press release with numbers that surprised me. Apparently the Nintendo 3DS is on pace to outsell the Nintendo DS. Using the U.S. sales figures for the DS and the first eight months of the 3DS’ sales, Nintendo’s number crunchers came up with some interesting findings. Check ’em out:

In its eighth month on the market, the Nintendo 3DS system crossed 1.65 million units sold in the U.S., according to the NPD Group, which tracks video game sales in the United States. This milestone puts the platform on track to surpass the first-year total of Nintendo DS, the best-selling game platform in U.S. history.

The Nintendo DS system sold 2.37 million units in its first 12 months (November 2004-October 2005), with approximately 50 percent of those sales occurring in the holiday time frame. With its first holiday season and the launches of the Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 games on the horizon, Nintendo 3DS is poised to eclipse that number and establish a new benchmark for hand-held gaming launches in the United States.

I’m not smart enough to argue with NPD numbers, but I’m sure some of you are (or married to someone that is), so have at it! The one thing to keep in mind is that Nintendo is talking strictly in terms of unit sales. Given the complexity of the 3DS, the current economic climate, the increased cost of fuel, and the soaring yen (not my stage name), I’m sure that revenue and profits are another matter entirely.

What do you make of Nintendo’s claim? Are you surprised that the 3DS is on pace to outsell the DS?

Smartphone Gaming Growing Rapidly, Nintendo DS Declining

[Updated 9:21AM PST] Flurry Analytics posted a fascinating pie chart (as fascinating as pie charts get, anyway) that illustrates the rapid growth of Android and iOS gaming, as well as the decline of Nintendo DS gaming. According to the company, Android and iOS are responsible for approximately 58 percent of U.S. portable game software revenue in 2011. This is up from 19 percent in 2009 and 34 percent in 2010. Compare this to the Nintendo DS’ 2011 software revenue, which Flurry estimates to be 36 percent of the market. This is down from 70 percent in 2009 and 57 percent in 2010.

One thing to keep in mind is that the DS is an end-of-life product and has been replaced by the 3DS. As most of you know, the console market is cyclical, so it wasn’t surprising to see DS software sales declining over the last three years. Android and iOS games are more evergreen, since they’re not tied to a specific set of hardware. Also, Flurry vice president of marketing Peter Farago made no mention of the 3DS in his blog post. I’ve reached out to the company to see if 3DS software sales were included in the overall DS figure.

Even considering the cyclical nature of consoles, the rapid growth of smartphone gaming is extremely impressive. It will be interesting to see how standalone gaming systems like the 3DS and the upcoming PlayStation Vita will perform. With smartphones and tablets becoming fantastic gaming platforms, it’s looking like the audience for specialized gaming is shrinking.

Let me know what you think of Flurry’s study on U.S. portable gaming revenue when you have a chance (please!).

Update 9:21AM PST: Flurry VP Peter Farago confirmed that the 2011 Nintendo figure includes 3DS software sales. He told me via email, “This is total Nintendo portable data, including 3DS.” Even though the 3DS stumbled out of the gate in the U.S., sales have been picking up and there are several hot games that will sell well this holiday season. In light of that, the number is even more fascinating.


Nintendo to Lose Money for the First Time Ever, 3DS Sales Up

Nintendo has announced that it expects to lose 20-billion yen (a shade under $264-million) for its fiscal year ending March 2012. Software sales are down, hardware sales are down, and the Japanese yen continues to be one of the strongest currencies in the world, which is bad news for a company that’s dependent on exports and global sales. This will be the first lost since the company started releasing its financial results in 1981.

In some positive news, worldwide sales of the Nintendo 3DS portable console have hit 6.68-million units. Considering its rough start and the fact that many pundits called it a “doomed” system, the sales are impressive. Like I’ve said in the past, I expect 3DS sales to be strong in the long run.

The exchange rate issues will continue to plague Nintendo for some time to come. There’s not much the company can do to counter that factor…outside of relocating the entire company to China and Mexico. Hmmmmm…I’m going to put a pitch together. I think I can convince at least 40 percent of Nintendo of Japan that Cabo San Lucas is where they want to be.

Coffee Talk #412: Predict Nintendo’s Future with 3DS and Wii U

Today I’d like you guys and gals to put on your analyst caps and predict Nintendo’s future. In the past, people have questioned Nintendo’s DS and Wii consoles, which went on to become two of the best-selling systems in videogame…

Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, Kurt Angle’s fiber solution, Apple and Samsung being best frenemies, or why people were scared of mummies back in the day, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.

Today I’d like you guys and gals to put on your analyst caps and predict Nintendo’s future. In the past, people have questioned Nintendo’s DS and Wii consoles, which went on to become two of the best-selling systems in videogame history. A lot of analysts and journalists have doubts about the 3DS and Wii U systems, but will they proven wrong by Ninntendo once again? Or will the “experts” be right this time?

As for me, I don’t see how Nintendo can go anywhere but down. This really has nothing to do with the 3DS and Wii U, but rather the remarkable sales of the DS and Wii. Those systems sold like crazy and I’m not sure when the business will see something like that again. The 3DS will surely sell well, but it faces stiff competition from smartphones and tablets. The Wii U’s tablet-as-a-controller strategy is odd, but it could work. There are lots of idiots out there that are saying “Nintendo is teh doomed!!!” but the company will always sell millions of Mario, Metroid, Pokemon, and Zelda games. I guess what I’m saying is that Nintendo won’t be able to duplicate the ridiculous success it enjoyed this generation, but it will be fine during the next.

How about you? How do you think things will play out for Nintendo? Will the 3DS recover from its rough start? Will mainstream consumers flock to the Wii U and its tablet controller? Will Nintendo rock next generation? Or is it “teh doomed”? Channel your inner Jesse Divnich and analyze Nintendo’s future (please)!

PlayStation 4 Coming in 18 Months?

You already know that Nintendo will have a new console (Wii U) in 2012, but what about its competitors? Well if Bitmob’s source is to be believed then you can expect a new PlayStation in about 18 months (Q1 2013). According to the site:

An anonymous source shared a quote with me, direct from what they described as a “high-level meeting” at Sony: “PlayStation 4 in 18 months.”

My source — who, I hasten to add, isn’t a neophyte, an outsider, a gossip, a fake, or a show-off — remains convinced for excellent reasons, and I trust that conviction. PlayStation 4 in 18 months. Done deal.

Some of you will recall that the PlayStation 3 launched in November 2006 and that Sony has been adamant about the console having a 10-year lifespan. Launching and supporting a new system would detract from that. Then again, Sony has had a rough (though still successful) outing with the PS3. Perhaps it might be wiser to start anew and learn from its mistakes this generation in order to dominate once more.

What do you think? What are the chances of the PlayStation 4 hitting in 2013? Is Bitmob’s source believable or is it just a bunch of hot air?


Pachter: Xbox 360 Price Cut Needed to Beat PS3

I love Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter. In addition to videogames, we can talk about WWE and gaming United Airlines’ frequent flyer program. That’s pretty much all I know. I also love that he’s so quotable. He recently told Industry Gamers that Microsoft needs to slash the price of the Xbox 360 in order to beat Sony’s PlayStation 3 this holiday season. Here’s the deal:

If Microsoft does nothing, I think PS3 will outsell Xbox 360. However, my friends at Microsoft are extremely proud, and they absolutely refuse to tolerate the possibility that the PS3 will outsell the Xbox 360. I think they have the ads printed for the Xbox 360 price cut, and will drop them on us the instant they see PS3 sales greater than 360 sales.

I know that the lot of you are split on Pachter. Some of you are fans of his brazen predictions. Some of you would love for him to pipe down a bit. What do you think of his latest claim? Is Sony’s momentum with the PlayStation 3 something for Microsoft to be concerned about? Is an Xbox 360 price cut necessary in 2011?


Today’s Poll: Who Had the Best E3 2011 Press Conference?

The “big three” pressers are over! Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony strutted their stuff and kicked off E3 2011 with a bang. Which company did best? Kindly vote for your favorite press conference and discuss!

The “big three” pressers are over! Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony strutted their stuff and kicked off E3 2011 with a bang. Which company did best? Kindly vote for your favorite press conference and discuss!

[poll id=”120″]

E3 2011 Nintendo Press Conference Live Blog

Are you ready for details on Nintendo’s next home console? How about information on the future of the 3DS? Any classic Nintendo franchises you want to see make a comeback? How do you think Nintendo of America’s new executive — the Dial soap guy — will do? Let’s see together in this Nintendo press conference live blog!

What Do You Think of the PlayStation Vita?

One of the biggest surprises of E3 Day 0 was the PlayStation Vita. Everyone knew that the hardware was going to be powerful since details were known when the system was codenamed NGP. The big surprise was the price point — $249 for the WiFi model and $299 for the 3G/WiFi model. That’s a bit cheaper than people were expecting. The recently released Nintendo 3DS retails for $249 and uses older technology (CPU, GPU, screen, etc.). Compared to the Vita, Nintendo’s portable system seems like a rip-off at the same price.

Then there was the AT&T “surprise”. On paper it makes sense; AT&T is the largest GSM carrier in America and would get more customers for the 3G version of the Vita. In reality, AT&T blows in some major American cities, such as New York and San Francisco. Tech writers have been bashing AT&T’s poor and inconsistent service for years; it tarnishes millions of iPhone experiences and will likely tarnish PlayStation Vita experiences. It was absolutely hilarious to hear the crowd groan when Sony announced its partnership with AT&T.

I’m absolutely high on the Vita. I’ve played with it and wish I could show you games like Sound Shapes (it doesn’t look all the impressive, but it’s so much fun!). Now that pricing and carrier information has been revealed, I wanted to get your updated thoughts on Sony’s next portable system. Please fire away with your PlayStation Vita musings!