Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The White Flag is Raised

From a DQ post on January 4 of this year:
Here's when you know that Nintendo is officially going to "win" this generation in terms of installed base: when Microsoft and Sony start arguing that the Wii isn't really even a competitor. That's when you'll know they've thrown in the towel.

Today, from the New York Times:
Dave Karraker, a spokesman for Sony Computer Entertainment of America, said the Wii did not belong in the same category as the more powerful PlayStation 3. “Wii could be considered an impulse buy more than anything else,” he declared.

There's the white flag.

Here's more:
Mr. Karraker said Sony was selling out the 100,000 PlayStation 3 units it was shipping into the United States each week, albeit somewhat more slowly than before Christmas. “The frenzy we saw at the holidays has subsided a bit,” he said.

Besides, Mr. Karraker added, Sony thinks the Wii is attracting newcomers, while the PlayStation will be the console of choice for hard-core and committed gamers.

By the way, if Karraker is telling the truth about sales, it means that U.S. sales for January should be north of 400,000. We should know within a week or so. But if Japanese sales data (which is released weekly) are any indication, the Wii is outselling the PS3 by a 4-1 margin--and that's with the Wii being severely supply limited.

In the U.S., if you look at iTrackr (which is fantastic--it gives you real-time inventory checking of local store inventory and will text you when an item you want comes into stock) for the Austin area (I used zip code 78727), the Wii is available at 0 of 19 locations (those locations include Target, EBGames/Gamestop, CompUSA, and Circuit City).

The PS3? Available at 16 of 19 of the same locations, or 84%.

In other words, when January numbers come out, they represent sales for an unlimited supply of PS3's and a severely limited number of Wii's--relative to demand.

By the way, what the hell does it mean to be a "committed" gamer? Does anyone understand that term? I sure don't. I thought I played games because they were fun, and bought consoles because they had fun games to play.

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