Yikes! Sales Chart Predicts Gaming Doom For Sony And Nintendo

Yikes! Sales Chart Predicts Gaming Doom For Sony And Nintendo.

Hi, gamers! Were you having a good day today? If so, I apologise for bumming you out, but here's a chart from a statistical analysis of the sales of Nintendo and Sony console and hardware sales.

The chart is one of a batch crafted by Asymco researcher and former Nokia analyst Horace Dediu, who, sadly, calls this study Game Over. You should read the whole thing and stare sorrowfully at all of his charts. I mean, it was one thing to think that Nintendo might be in trouble... but Sony, too? And he's saying that the only reason Microsoft isn't in here is because they don't report sales with this level of specificity?


Bright spot! — > He doesn't have numbers in here for the end of 2013, mostly because the end of 2013 hasn't happened yet and he's no soothsayer. Sales tend to be way bigger in the final few months of the year, so the slopes on these charts probably won't be that bad once the holiday sales are counted. I mean, we're about to see a 3DS surge just from the first real Pokémon games coming out on the system next month, right? That dark blue line's going to get thicker, yeah?

Dediu's deeming that it's not just the previous generation that has fizzled out but that, as his other charts show, the Wii U, 3DS, 3DS XL and Vita are all not doing as hot as their predecessors. He's not too hopeful that the PS4 and Xbox One will do better, either.

OK, I've bummed myself out now as well. Sorry.

Game Over [Asymco, via Twitter]


    I think this is what the Atari guy was talking about yesterday with regards to Nintendo. There's a contraction happening, and Nintendo can't rely on their handheld division anymore.

    I think there’s two obvious factors here:

    1/ Portables are under strain because the Vita doesn’t know what it’s market is and the mobile phone market is taking it’s toll generally.
    2/ Console sales are down right now because this generation is a MILLION years old. People either already own a PS3/ Xbox 360 or are now holding out for the next gen consoles. Also the WiiU is a basket case.

    I guess that covers it, I’m sure you will see sales up again next Christmas when the next-gen consoles hit their strides.

      With regards to the Vita, I think this actually suggests the 3DS isn't in great shape either. It's certainly not on track to repeat the DS's success.

      Correct. It will spike next gen and then decline over 6 years.
      Also xbox sells at a similar rate over similar timewith the 360.
      I doubt all 3 are stupid and doomed.

    I'm no statimatician, but to me that looks like a graph charting a pretty normal product lifespan. First the device comes out, the sales build because it's new and exciting, and then for several years they drop as there are less and less people buying them... since they already own one, right?

    What will be much more interesting is waiting a few months and seeing how the next generation console launch numbers compare with the previous generations numbers. At the moment all we have is the poorly selling Wii U, but it's hard to draw any industry-wide conclusions from that for obvious reasons.

      Agreed, I think that there will be a good boost in PS3 sales just after the PS4 is released. Then you will hopefully see a steady rise in the PS4 itself.

    I just find it funny that there has been so much doom and gloomover nintendo and sony
    Nintendo is in 1 month going to be rolling in so much cash there going to have trouble finding the door thanks to pokemon. X and y
    And sony is about to release there latest console
    So why is everyone going its the end of the companys

      plus the WiiU has mario kart, donkey kong country, mario 3D land, wind waker HD coming. I'm sure they'll be fine. Nintendo has a bad habit of having really dry periods of not many games then they release a new mario and sales go bananas.

        Just look at the 3DS.

        3DS sales were just as bad as the Wii U's, and then Fire Emblem, Animal Crossing and all these other great games came out and the thing is now selling like crazy.

        Games sell consoles. It has always been that way, and it always will. Wii U doesn't have games? It doesn't sell. Wii U gets games? It will sell.

          Precisely. When all the big games come out and the console still struggles to sell, then there's a problem

      I don't X and Y are going to be the saving grace that everyone thinks it will be. I imagine that most people that want it are the ones that already own a DS.

    They are doomed I tells ya...DOOMED!

    Just like Sony was doomed when the PS3 launched and just like Nintendo were doomed when the Wii launched.



    Last edited 10/09/13 9:18 am

    I think its also in part an over saturated market.
    Mobile gaming phone/tablets are taking lots away from portables in ease of access and cheapness of games.

    So everything was rosy until the latter part of 2008, but has been in decline since then. It's enough to make you wonder if there wasn't some kind of economic catastrophe in 2008 that resulted in a sustained drop in consumer spending.

    Is it really that unusual to have a downward trend near the end of the current generations life. How are the figures different to the situation at the beginning of the current generations life? Has the graph traditionally seen a rise and fall consistent with the lifespan?

    It is over! The end of all things, the day of wrath long foretold. The Shepard has been struck, and the sheep shall be scattered.

    It looks to me like Sony sales have been fairly steady over the 5 years. The Nintendo sales, especially of the Wii are skewing the graph to make it look like Sony sales are on a steep decline when in fact it's more because of the fact that Nintendo sales in 2008/09 were over 50 million per quarter and they couldn't keep that momentum up. Show me a graph of Sony sales on its own before jumping to doom and gloom predictions

      Or a line graph - would be a much better way to show performance of the individual components

      That's what I was thinking. I can only assume the graph is stacked figures (no way Sony portables are beating Nintendo's, for instance), in which case it'd look very different if they put Nintendo consoles on the top of the chart, instead of the bottom. And Nintendo's decline in console sales in entirely understandable - the Wii has pretty much hit saturation, and they're doing a poor job of convincing all those Wii owners why they should upgrade.

      EDIT: And, if you look at the chart directly above the one posted in this article, you can see Sony's remained relatively steady since about 2010-11, with Nintendo showing sharply declining sales since 2009.

      Last edited 10/09/13 11:11 am

      That's what I was thinking! These charts are skewed to make things look worse than they are when it is only really Nintendo consoles doing so bad. It's a hard chart to read.

    That's a terrible graph.

      Agreed... Surely this sort of data would plot better on a line graph with a trend line on it for each data set.

      I think this is a case of the researcher plotting his data out in a way that supports his hypothesis and conclusions.

      Was this sponsored by Microsoft... Or Valve?

    It's a console sales graph, people have the damn console, they aren't going to buy another without a good reason.....

      I know right. I remember reading an article about how big screen TV makers were concerned that sales dropped after the big spike in sales after HDTVs dropped massively in price a few years ago. Well... of course they dropped.... EVERYONE HAS ONE NOW.

    Looking at the graph (...

    Sony and Nintendo had a massive surge 07 & 08 with the PSP and 3DS sales but now it's slowly dropping off...manily due to the Vita selling so poorly and the 3DS hasn't really improved

    The Console side of it...Sony is starting to decline due to the fact that the current gen of consoles have pretty much run their course and the next-gens are on the horizion...I would like to look at the sales charts of the PS2 during it's lifetime and you would see the same drop-off at the end of it's run...Nintendo....well the Wii U has failed (so far) mainly due to lack of third-party developers and to some people it hasn't changed at all compared to the Wii

      It's also worth noting that the PS2 continued to sell in good numbers long after the PS3 launched. So that early part of the graph would include both PS2 and PS3 numbers. I think PS3 sales may have actually peaked around 2011, but by then the PS2 was pretty much gone. Come back in 2 years and I'm sure this graph will show a similar surge from the launch of PS4 as well as overlapping sales with the PS3.

    Nintendo sales have a trick up their sleeves. Its called Pokemon, maybe they have heard of it?

    I think that graph is pretty misleading if you take a quick glance at it.

    Basically the buzz from the Wii has gone for Nintendo and they are back at pre-Wii levels console wise. Handhelds for them have been pretty stable for the past 3 years. Sony too look to have been pretty stable for the past 3 years.

    If he is predicting doom and gloom based on that chart, I reckon he needs to find a new job.

    Looks like an expected trend over the life of 1 console... show it from 1993. Plus H/W was a lot more expensive in those days, peoples wages lower and the need for media centres/servers was only on the rise. Wifi wasn't super fast and content was limited in the early stages. Selling 25 million consoles per period 7 years after it's release compared to 40 million at it's peak is still pretty impressive, especially when new models are due shortly. This points more to the shortcoming of a Nokia Analyst than declining "one-off" purchases/sales.

    "And he’s saying that the only reason Microsoft isn’t in here is because they don’t report sales with this level of specificity?"

    What? Microsoft gives the most detailed figures of any of the three companies in its quarterly financial statements. Sony obscures its figures by mixing PS2 and PS3 sales into one figure, and last time I checked Nintendo (which admittedly was a while ago now) they only gave unit sales at the end of each FY.

    Do you even know what "predict" means? This is only showing the past trends. In a few months time this is going to be very different.

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