Wii named fastest-selling console in UK history
But its lead over the PS3 in Japan is slipping
Nintendo has yet another reason to crack open the bubbly. Its Wii console has been named the fastest-selling games console in UK history by an independent sales tracking firm. However, in Japan, its lead over the PS3 is narrowing.
Analyst Chart Track claimed the Wii has notched up UK sales of more than 1m units, just 38 weeks after going on sale in the UK in December 2006. This positions the console ahead of the PS2, which achieved 1m sales after 50 weeks, and the Xbox 360, which sold 1m units after 60 weeks.
A representative of Nintendo UK has already proudly stated that the Wii is being enjoyed by both avid and new gamers of all ages, and that it's also achieving a non-stop sales demand during what it claims is a relatively slow sales period for video games in the UK.
Earlier this month, the console was named the world's best-selling next-gen videogames console by online gaming sales tracker VG Chartz, which said that, as of 23 August 2007, gamers worldwide has bought 10.57m Wiis to 10.51m Xbox 360s.
However, Japanese games magazine publisher Enterbrain reported that the Wii's lead over the PS3 is slowing in Japan. From a Wii sales lead of 6:1 in June, the ratio fell to 4:1 in July then to 3:1 in August, it said.
Nintendo sold 245,653 units of the Wii in the four weeks to 26 August. Sony sold 81,541 PS3s in the same period.
I've got a PS3 and I like it. I happen to like great graphics and sound. That might make me shallow, but hey, thats what I like.
Although I'm an ex hardcore PC gamer, Ive taking a liking to siting in front of TV playing a game on the console once a week. But thats where the PS3 disappoints. Soooo many of the games being released on the console are really better suited to PCs. And the games a repeatitive (how many Tom Clancy games?)
And that is where the Wiii is great. The Wiii hardware is cheap and consequently the display quality is poor but Nintendo have created a lot of fun games. That seems more in the spirit of what a console should be.
I was considering getting a Wiii when I started looking at how I use the PS3 for gaming and I noticed something interesting.
Putting asside the time i spend playing GT4 (awating GT5 with great anticipation), I found that I probably spent a lot of my PS3 time playing the downloadable 1.99 - 4.99 games.
There are a bunch of shoot'e'm ups which make a lot of noise and lots of explosions where you can play multiplayer allowing my son and I to play together. There isnt any point in going into deep analysis of these games, they frankly shallow but fun, really in the spirit of console. Not saying they are as inventive as the Wiii. Some games like Teken and Blast Factor we regularly go back too. So the instant "fun" element isnt actually lost in the PS3. I think ive bought around 6 games online for less 25 quid in total, so not breaking the bank.
I think Sony are trying to think out of the box and because of this, there is a good chance that some great and inventive things will come out. Games like Flow and Rub'o'duck are different in their gameplay (not recommending them however). On the PS3 there is some geniunely creative games comming out like LittleBigPlanet which frankly needs the horsepower of a PS3. (Do check the videos, it really looks fun)
So yes the PS3 is pricey. But I can use it to play some serious games (like Grand Turismo) and am starting to find instant gratification games that I can play with my son. I also use it to watch Blue-Ray films and use it like a music jukebox.
And thats the problem with the Wiii, they produced instant gratification game machine but I wonder how many Wiii will still be in use 1 year after purchase?
Is the Wiii like the Swingball set of 21st century?
(Yours faithfully, a closet PS3 owner)
Why the Wii is winning
Firstly, this who thing about what generation the Wii is, it's definitely latest generation. The term 'generation' was only bandied about with games consoles when the PS2 and XBOX were on their way. The PlayStation had created a massive and major new market for gaming, with less tech savvy people knowing about it - gaming became cool, and everyone was anxious to see what was coming next, so the term 'next gen consoles' came about.
Nintendo have always been out of sync with XBOX and PlayStation lifecycle, hence the Wii's excuse for not competing like-for-like with them. The Wii was initially called Revolution (a name which holds true I think), but I believe they wanted to distance it away from any 360/Revolution comparisons and opt for a distinct group or family orientated image (Wii as in we and ii as in two people standing beside one another). The Wii has attracted new buyers with it's controllers, and has therefore not needed to be much more powerful than a Gamecube (my Mum doesn't care about specular effects or shadow detail because the Wii is the first games system she's had any fun on). It's priced right in the 'I played on one at a party last week and now I'm going to impulse-buy' price bracket too, which PS3 isn't.
Re: Serious Gamers
I'm a serious gamer, I've played PC games since bloody Batman and Robin on the Amstrad came out, had a cigarette with some very well known professional gamers, and spent hours on Counter-Strike. I think that makes me a hardcore gamer. However for stuff like that I'll play my PC. I got a Wii from my fiancee for my birthday, and if I just want to wind down I'll play half an hour of boxing, or Tiger Woods. Yes, there are a lot of minigame games out there that I don't really want to spend 40 quid on, but it's a great console, and perfect for a laugh to unwind, or as a way of spending a night in with mates. It sells because it's fun, nothing else. My soon-to-be family-in-law has all played our Wii, as have my parents. You play 'hardcore' games for the adrenaline rush, you play the Wii for a laugh and something that anyone can pick up.