2007's Magic Numbers

Ben Parfitt
2007's Magic Numbers

UK MARKET (Weeks 1 - 26 2006 vs. Weeks 1 - 26 2007)

Total Excl. Non Games Total UK Market
Units (m)                                    2006        2007       Change %

Total Games Software            21.87      26.01      +19

Gameboy Advance                 1.00       0.52       -48
Microsoft Xbox                      1.73       0.43       -75
Microsoft XBox 360                1.36       3.14       +131
Nintendo DS                         1.37       4.04       +196
Nintendo GameCube               0.20       0.04       -80
Nintendo Wii                                     1.57
PlayStation 2                        8.44       6.49       -23
PlayStation 3                                    0.93
Sony PSP                             2.12      2.27        +7
PC Games Software                5.51      6.55        +19

Total Console Hardware         1.47        2.22         +51

Nintendo                              34%      53%
Sony                                   44%      34%
Microsoft                              22%      12%

Total Console HandHeld          0.86        0.93         +8
Nintendo                              58%      72%
Sony                                   42%      28%

Total Console Static                 0.61        1.29         +113

Nintendo                              1%        40%
Sony                                   46%       39%
Microsoft                              52%       21%

Total Console Accessories      3.73        5.73         +54
Total Games, Hardware          27.07     33.96       +25

Software unit sales on Nintendo’s nifty DS are up an incredible 196 per cent, taking it to over four million units sold in under half the year – a truly staggering achievement. The figure for the rise in Xbox 360 software sales may lag behind the DS, but a 131 per cent hike certainly can’t be sniffed at – not least because Microsoft’s system has flogged over three million games since the turn of the year.

The king of the software market is still Sony’s PS2, however, which might have suffered a drop of 23 per cent in terms of software sales, but still lords it over this competitors – with 6.49 million units sold.

The PSP has enjoyed a small gain of seven per cent in terms of software sales, but its 2.27 million games sales this year put it in fourth spot overall – ahead of Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3. The ChartTrack software stats demonstrate that PS3 games sales stand at just under one million – almost matching Sony’s internal figures on hardware, which show that it has sold over a million units of the console (MCV 08/08).

ChartTrack’s own analysis points out: ‘The period shows unprecedented software growth thanks to DS and Xbox 360, as well as new formats Wii and PS3.’

When it comes to market share on hardware, one statistic sticks out like a sore – yet rather pleasant – thumb in the above information: the giant rise in home console sales, up a full 113 per cent.

The introduction of PS3 has obviously helped matters, but there can be little doubt that Nintendo owns the first half of 2007. The platform holder’s Wii and DS sales have led to a 19 per cent rise for the firm, which shows just how much ground it has stolen from its rivals – especially as both Sony and Microsoft’s respective strangleholds have dipped ten per cent year-on-year.

ChartTrack’s analysis points out: ‘The period shows overall installed base growth thanks to DS Lite, Wii and PS3 – whilst Xbox 360 is stable.’

Nintendo’s incredible performance is cemented by a 39 per cent rise in home console share, as Microsoft’s equivalent is halved and Sony’s drops seven per cent. But with 1.29 million total units sold compared to last year’s 610,000 figure, it looks as though all three platform holders will be satisfied.

It’s also been a great year for console accessories – no doubt boosted by the introduction of new devices such as Sony’s Sixaxis and Nintendo’s Wii paraphernalia. With sales up by two million units, it’s little surprise that Microsoft is expected to unveil a few clever peripherals of its own at E3 this week.


UK MARKET (Weeks 1 - 26 2006 vs. Weeks 1 - 26 2007)

Total Excl. Non Games Total UK Market
Revenue (£m)                           2006        2007       Change %

Total Software                          445          519         +17
GameBoy Advance                 18          7          -62
Microsoft XBox                      29          4          -85
Microsoft XBox 360                 58         101       +73
Nintendo DS                         34          91        +164
Nintendo Gamecube                4           1          -80
Nintendo Wii                                      46
PlayStation 2                        168        115       -32
PlayStation 3                                     37
Sony PSP                             59         48         -19
PC Games Software                71         68         -4

Total Console Hardware          217         405        +87
Nintendo                              21%      39%
Sony                                   44%      45%
Microsoft                              35%      17%

Total Console Hand-Held         112        101         -10
Nintendo                              40%      64%
Sony                                   60%      36%

Total Console Static                 105         304        +189
Nintendo                              1%       30%
Sony                                   28%      47%
Microsoft                              72%      22%

Total Console Accessories      57           98           +74
Total Games, Hardware          718        1,022      +42

The year-on-year 17 per cent rise (a whopping £74 million increase) in the UK’s overall software market has unsurprisingly been propelled by the success of DS software sales, which have tempted more than £57 million over the counter than they did in the first half of 2006.

This 164 per cent rise has been supplemented by the continued growth of the Xbox 360 market. With £101 million taken on 360 software so far this year, the format has inspired nearly double the spend that its titles encouraged in H1 2006.

Despite a 32 per cent drop in overall software value, the PlayStation 2 format continues to be the market leader in terms of games sales – with £115 million worth of revenues for the ageing console over the past six months, compared with the colossal £168 million taken in the same half-year period in 2006.

Of the new formats, Nintendo’s Wii has made the greatest monetary contribution when it comes to software, encouraging UK consumers to hand over £46 million – its three month head-start on PS3 no doubt contributing to it taking £9 million more than Sony’s next-generation platform.

Despite still being king in terms of units, the PC market has dipped four per cent by value – continuing a troubling annual trend. With just £68 million of software sales taken this year, PC is down to fourth spot in the category – below PS2, Xbox 360 and DS. The contrast between PC unit sales and value makes it difficult to not draw a direct line to the effect that super budget software has had on the market.

Other casualties in 2007 include PSP, on which software revenue has dipped by £11 million year-on-year. The original Xbox console has suffered a predictable fate in the same sphere – dropping £25 million in software revenues as retailers and publishers leave the format behind.

Overall revenues for the hardware market are up 87 per cent – delivering £405 million in the first half of this year. Nintendo’s contribution has been pivotal, climbing by 18 per cent, whilst Sony’s high ticket price for PlayStation 3 has obviously helped the firm gain one per cent more on hardware value year-on-year. Money taken on Microsoft’s hardware meanwhile, has slipped by 18 per cent – despite not introducing a price drop on Xbox 360 at any stage during the last year.

The handheld market has suffered a slight dip in value, with Sony’s contribution almost cut in half, but the firm makes up for it on its home consoles – for which value has grown just under 20 per cent year-on-year. ChartTrack’s own analysis points out: ‘2007 already shows very strong PS3 revenue generation and a strong Wii performance – especially considering the price differential.’


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