98 Comments

Summary:

I think it’s safe to say that the era of next-gen gaming as a driving force is over. Why? As of the week ending June 7th (the most recent tally available), just over 9 million copies of the highly touted Grand Theft Auto IV had been […]

I think it’s safe to say that the era of next-gen gaming as a driving force is over. Why? As of the week ending June 7th (the most recent tally available), just over 9 million copies of the highly touted Grand Theft Auto IV had been sold worldwide for the Xbox 360 and Sony PS3 combined, according to VGChartz.

That may seem impressive, until you start looking closer — which Microsoft, Sony, and the many publishers who develop for their respective consoles are surely doing now. For one thing, its predecessor, 2004’s GTA: San Andreas, sold 21.5 million copies. With GTA IV sales already plummeting, the franchise’s latest installment from Take-Two Interactive will be lucky to move 12-14 million copies total. What’s more, it cost a record $100 million to develop.

But it gets worse.


Despite being part of one of the most popular video game series of all time, the arrival of GTA IV failed to boost sales of new next-generation consoles. (PS3 and 360 are defined as “next-gen” for boasting the best and latest graphics features.) Meanwhile, sales of the non-next-gen, GTA IV-less Nintendo Wii were double that of PS3/360’s numbers combined. If Grand Theft Auto can’t move more machines, nothing can. Which not only suggests that the market for next-gen consoles has been exhausted, but that the audience for big budget, AAA next-gen titles has been tapped out, too.

Which is why I think GTA IV is next-gen’s siren song, and a sign of drastic changes to come. Expect to see games made for lower budgets, targeted at wider audiences (ones that aren’t fixated on high-end 3D graphics) and delivered over broadband with a micropayment program in place. Don’t expect a follow-up to the 360 or PS3 anytime soon, either. In other words, the days when so-called “next-gen” gaming reigned supreme are coming to end — instead, the industry’s future will be shaped by games like Rock Band.


Image credit: www.rockstargames.com/IV/

  1. I disagree…there will always be highly produced blockbuster games. However, there are going to be a hell of alot more games that cater to a wider variety of tastes and skill levels.

    You’ll also start to see more titles in the casual genre that are of higher quality as those gamers start to become more sophisticated…in fact they probably are less willing to continue buying subpar quality games.

    The Wii has and probably will continue to kick ass this gen. But I would say that the next 12 months are going to be key as some developers actually start to put quality core titles out for the Wii (along with quality casual titles).

    I didn’t realize that GTA III sold that much, but I’ve never been a fan of those games. But let’s see how MGSIV and Final Fantasy sell on the PS3. Then things like Little Big Planet and Home on the PS3 and Banjoe Kazooie on the 360 should also be observed for their impact.

    Will next gens consoles be able to cater strictly to a hardcore audience and succeed? Probably. But they shouldn’t expect to come out on top…and if they’re making profits, that might not be a horrible thing.

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  2. How depressing :(

    I’m really enjoying GTA on the PS3, though it’s a hire not a purchase, and I already had bought my machine.

    Not been impressed by the games in the PS store.

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  3. Interesting view — however, I don’t think it’s very fair to compare sales of GTAIV (which came out 1-2 years in this generation of consoles) with GTA San Andreas which came out about 4 years into the last generation when a LOT more people had consoles.

    A much more accurate comparison, IMO, would be with GTAIII which sold 11.6 million total on the PS2 when it came out in 2001 — not counting the various versions/packages that came later on.

    We’re still very much in the early adapter stage of next-gen, and in the middle of a recession on top of that. The fact that GTAIV has already sold 9 million copies is pretty astonishing I think given the amount of next-gen consoles currently in homes.

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  4. @ Roman

    You’ve cheered me up! Also, very good point RE: where we are at in the cycle of next-gen.

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  5. Joshua Koopferstock Wednesday, June 18, 2008

    “the days when so-called “next-gen” gaming reigned supreme are coming to end”

    Maybe, but the market segment that bought those games isn’t going anywhere. Today’s gaming market (driven by the Wii, free online gaming, amongst other things) is broadening out, and those in the industry are finding that, right now, it pays more to go wide (reach new market segments) than go deep (make the absolute best tech-specced console). Like most things, this will probably come back around when the broad limits of the market are about reached and the industry feels like it needs to push the technology to maintain its margins.

    http://ENLIGHTEN3D.com

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  6. I would throw a couple curveballs at your thesis as someone who got sick of GTA San Andreas and very much enjoys GTA4.

    In the first place, I cannot recall there being as much advertising of GTA4 as SA. I get the distinct sense that the audience for gangsta culture and games was a lot stronger when SA was announced. In short, there was always a broader demographic for SA than for GTA4. GTA4 is more for gamers who already know SA and the series – it’s not a platform mover so much as it is a (very good) sequel.

    I think if you compared the numbers of the people who bought SA and the platform vs people who bought SA who already had the platform and had already played an earlier GTA (Vice City) or the original, you’d see that San Andreas was more of a cultural phenomenon than a game phenomenon. There was a magical convergence for SA that doesn’t exist for GTA4.

    A lot of very good games, like a lot of very good books, are probably not going to be platform movers. I don’t think the builders of platforms should leverage their costs on the success of titles any more than builders of libraries or theatres on their content.

    I am convinced, furthermore, that if XBox Live went to a micropayment schedule it would shock the industry and basically kill it for a generation of gamers.

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  7. Where do you get those info? How can you compare a game that came out not even 2 months ago with one that came out years ago…9 millions in 2 months do the math at 50$ a copy 9million is 450 million not enought for you? I think you just writting this to get some attention…

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  8. Very insightful article. With the current gen high definition consoles (xbox 360 and PS3) being relatively expensive, game development costs soaring, and games having a base price of $59.99…something has to give. Especially since high definition TVs aren’t all that common yet, why invest in expensive hardware that you can’t fully utilize.

    Nintendo selling souped up GameCube hardware in the Wii meanwhile, has a platform that’s cheaper to develop for without a learning curve (since it’s old GC hardware). More casual fare, simpler control, cheaper console, cheaper games, cheaper development, broad marketing… no wonder Nintendo has such a huge lead.

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  9. “PS3 and 360 are defined as “next-gen” for boasting the best and latest graphics features.”…”the non-next-gen wii”

    You keep using that word “next-gen”. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    @roman – Spot on with your analysis; San Andreas was released into a market that already had more than 70 million PS2s ready to play it. (Probably more, San Andreas was released in October 2004, while the 70 million figure is from January 2004 ( http://news.cnet.com/PlayStation-2-passes-sales-milestone/2100-1043_3-5141061.html )

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  10. You’re completely skewing the facts to reach a desired conclusion.

    GTA San Andreas sells 12 million copies between October 2004 and March 2005. That is 5 months.

    http://ir.take2games.com/ReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=157255

    GTA IV sells 9 million copies between April 29 and June 7. That is less than 1.5 months.

    Hmmm, do you think in 4 more months they can sell 3 million copies to surpass their previous record? It’s pretty obvious they will.

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  11. There’s a couple of problems with this article. You say GTA IV sales are plummeting and it can never reach the 21.5 million mark that GTA San Andreas did, but San Andreas only sold 6 million copies in the first 10 months it was out! (and the PC version in that case had just come out)
    http://money.cnn.com/2005/07/20/technology/personaltech/gta/index.htm

    On top of that, you’re not considering the PC sales of the game. I think it’s not going to be out until October, but I guarantee there’s plenty of people choosing not to buy a PS3/360 just so they can play this game when there’s a PC version on the way. Like I mentioned above, San Andreas only sold 6 million between Oct. 2004 and July 2005. Then the PC version came out and obviously sales did well.

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  12. One thing to consider: It took me two weeks to actually find a copy of GTA4 for PS3 in store in London. That doesn’t sound like something that would happen with a game that isn’t meeting its sales targets.

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  13. WJA is not really good at writing in general and putting together coherent arguments. Seriously, just stop.

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  14. Great analysis from the comments posted to the original topic. One data point I didn’t see addressed is the current online activity that the top ‘next gen’ games see per platform.

    You should be aware that Call of Duty 4 continues to experience days of over 1m unique players online @ Xbox Live. Call of Duty 4 was releases in November ’07, has sold over 10m copies world wide and is not slowing down. GTA IV stole the thunder for roughly 25 days post-launch. Add data from Halo 3 on the 360 and you are seeing engagement rates that blow the away other social games outside of the ‘next gen’ console.

    Also, why not include the Wii as a ‘next gen’ console in the argument?

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  15. All it shows is that a company can waste money making things people don’t want, or which don’t justify extra expense (like blu-ray vs. DVD). This has nothing to do with the capability or desirability of newer and more powerful consoles (which are always arguably better), and whether you can make a compelling game.

    Of course, compelling games have been around since Pong, so there is no relation to the power of the hardware and the power of the game to capture people’s imaginations.

    You can certainly make a compelling game today which would run on something as simple as a NES, sell it only for PS3 for $20 and it would still ship tons more PS3s. Sometimes instead of spending money to make money you need to use your brain.

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  16. As others above have pointed out, your numbers don’t add up. If anything GTA IV is selling faster than SA. This is just another feeble attempt to create contraversy in order to drive up traffic.

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  17. In addition to what Niraj said, you haven’t even considered the fact that GTA IV hasn’t reached a holiday season yet, where it will probably gain more sales than the rest of the year combined.

    In addition, the game is selling strongly in Europe, where – due to the strength of the pound/euro – people are paying up to $95 per copy.

    And even if it didn’t sell another copy for the rest of the year, it would be absurd to say that a return of 700+ million dollars on a game that cost $100 million to produce is a failure.

    I think this article is a bit short-sighted. There have always been simple games which have sold well and captivated a broad audience. And the Wii has extended its reach to people who had never previously been interested in video games; it is not going to hurt Sony/Microsoft as much as it helps Nintendo.

    There will always be a desire to see more detailed and realistic games which push the boundaries of hardware. This is especially true in the genre of games that EA makes (mostly sports), but the same applies to GTA, MGS, and first-person shooters. It’s much too early in this next-gen gaming era to make absurd predictions about its future.

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  18. I very rarely comment about the author, but I feel compelled to do so only because I’ve seen a number of your articles now…your gaming articles are supremely biased and cherry-pick information to support whatever conclusion you like. I’m sure Om doesn’t mind as it seems to pull in the pageviews, everyone likes a controversy and the number of comments here attest to that.

    Anyway, many other commenters have already poked holes in the argument, so I’m going to go more philosophical.

    1) We get it…you’re bullish on casual games. Great. But is the rise in their popularity coming at the expense of hardcore games, or is it simply expanding the pie and bringing more new gamers into the fold? My guess is the latter.

    2) While hardcore gamers as a percentage of overall market share will probably decline due to the expanding pie, I don’t see any indication that the raw number of hardcore gamers will decline. If anything, Gen Y will soon have money to burn as more of us reach our 20’s and enter the workforce, and the next generation will be even more tech-ready than we are.

    3) The PS2 sold appx 127MM units over its lifetime. What percentage of PS2 best sellers were casual games:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_video_games#PlayStation_2

    …pretty much all would fall into the action, arcade, or AAA game territory, save for a few anomalies. Was it a fluke? Did people buy those games solely because of a lack of choice? Did the buyers of all those games simply vanish or convert full-force to the Wii?

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  19. I notice some skepticism about GTA IV’s sales in Comments above. Here’s the sales pattern for the 360 version, US market; this steep decline is very similar for all the other regions and for the PS3. There’s long tails and then there’s long tails, but at this rate of descent, it’s difficult to see more than a few more million sales coming from GTA IV’s next-gen market:

    http://www.vgchartz.com/games/game.php?id=7103

    Week 1 2,317,774
    Week 2 703,783
    Week 3 318,653
    Week 4 184,112
    Week 5 105,390
    Week 6 74,732
    Week 7 50,950

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  20. Don’t use VG Chartz. They are not exactly the most accurate source.

    Also GTA: SA came out at a time when the PS2 was a far lower price($300). Maybe you should be comparing GTA:3 instead.

    For a far smaller install base GTA:4 has done pretty good.

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  21. err my post got messed up.

    PS2 was less then $200 when GTA: SA came out.
    PS3/360 cost more then $300.

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  22. I actually bought the Xbox 360 for GTA IV only. I’ve had a wii for a long time but this game made me take the leap.

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  23. “For a far smaller install base GTA:4 has done pretty good”

    That actually helps prove my point; PS3 and 360 have a far smaller install base than PS2, and it’s not substantially growing, even from games like GTA IV. As it happens, the PS2 is *still* selling, and the PS3 only started selling slightly more A FEW MONTHS AGO.

    I prefer citing VG Chartz over NPD for several reasons, but O’Reilly’s blog makes a better case, so I’ll just cite them:

    http://radar.oreilly.com/archives/2008/06/data-on-the-web-vgchartz-vs-np.html

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  24. I finally took the plunge and bought my 360 for GTA4. I’d been thinking about buying one the last 5-6 months for casual gaming and its media center extender capabilities. GTA4 was the tipping point for me. I’m thrilled about my 360 Elite and love playing GTA4. I also love playing many other games on the 360 (even Uno!) and can’t believe I waited so long to buy it for the media center extender capabilities alone.

    All in all, I’m a very happy camper.

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  25. Congrats! This has to be one of the most poorly thought out articles I’ve read on this site. That must’ve taken a lot of work, so you are earning your pay!

    You do realize that next-gen consoles are still something of a luxury item, don’t you? These things have yet to see a serious price drop. When they drop to the $199 level, the audience will be huge (just like PS2), and the number of blockbuster $100 million+ games in production will most likely INCREASE to take advantage of the huge audience.

    Reading the many comments here was much more informative than the actual article. Thanks commenters!

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  26. Typical breathless blogger hyperbole. The analysis in the comments (compare GTA IV to GTA III NOT VC or SA) is better than the main article.

    GTA IV is a blockbuster. Gears of War was a blockbuster. These games are cultural events in much the same way that summer movies are. 360 and PS3 are in their early stages of adoption as the prices are just wayyy too high for broad adoption. As the prices fall, adoption will increase and units sold will rise. I agree there is a new niche for mobile games and lightweight, micropayment driven games (a la high margin slasher flicks). But let’s wait a bit before we write the epitaph for the gaming console.

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  27. [...] forms and make purchases.  More detail is available here.Gigaom declares console games dead: Wagner James Au says the failure of Grand Theft Auto IV to boost consoles of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 (with just a month’s worth of data) shows [...]

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  28. WJA, consoles sales curve goes through peaks and valleys; just because sales seems to stagnate during these last few months doesn’t mean it will never surge again. Wait until the holidays. Also, the rather poor economic climate may play a role in the lackluster sales — it’s not necessarily the technology itself that is the problem.

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  29. I notice you don’t respond to the fact that GTA:SA sold only 6 million copies in 10 months after it came out, despite having an exponentially greater PS2 installed base. Probably because it completely contradicts your point.

    So you think casual games are going to rule the roost? How about some evidence – where are the blockbuster casual games? Has there been a single one that has earned $100 million?

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  30. In all honesty, i think this ARTICLE FAILS. We’re in the middle of a global economic recession, compared to the boom times of San Andreas. It’s a bit of a sweeping statement to make prematurely.

    I think Next Gen Gaming has maybe reached a peak, but it’s not the end of it.

    Mind you, judging by the flurry of posts here, the article is having its desired effect – getting us all onto GogOM’s site.

    Now i’ll click on a google ad, just like you want me to.

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  31. James,

    you’re on crack. ps3 is the best gaming console ever. the only thing that wii has over it is the physical interaction of the player and that is about to change when sony releases their next gen controller. wii sucks when it comes to graphics… try playing cod4 on the ps3 with a high end monitor and high end hdmi cable. it’s unbelievable. just because the games haven’t caught up with the potential doesn’t mean the foundation sucks….if that were the case there would be no $15B valuation for facebook and google wouldn’t be selling however many billions of dollars in advertising every year.

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  32. I have been playing GTA 4 now for a few week. I have been an obsessive computer game fan for 20 year. GTA 4 sucks. The gameplay and “openness” of the city is not a patch on previous version. They have lost their way. I am sick of reading 10/10 reviews for it. Its crap.

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  33. [...] Why GTA IV Was the Beginning of the End – GigaOMSales of GTA IV do not come close to matching the budget to develop it. Is that sustainable? This article suggest that it is not. [...]

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  34. I’m very confused here. Why would a game that you just claimed would sell 12-14 million copies at $60 a pop be the beginning of the end? At $100m in development costs, lets be generous and say $100m in marketing costs, and throwing a bone to the retailers, wouldn’t that be a pretty conservative net of $500m to Take-Two?

    This also doesn’t include the downloadable content which will surely go for $20 a pop to an already established install base.

    San Andreas was certainly a great seller, but with a an extremely established install base across multiple consoles.

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  35. “If Grand Theft Auto can’t move more machines, nothing can. Which not only suggests that the market for next-gen consoles has been exhausted, but that the audience for big budget, AAA next-gen titles has been tapped out, too.”

    I imagine that keeps Sony and MS up at night right now. To be clear, GTAIV has been utter win for it’s publisher, Rockstar, but not yet (if ever) for PS3 and 360 sales like GTAIII was to PS2.

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  36. I vaguely remember numerous sites reporting that Rockstar made around 500 million in sales the first week alone. In addition to being the fastest selling game beating Halo 3 in first weeks alone. In fact today it was reported that another game with over a 100 million dollar budget (Metal Gear Solid 4) outsold every other game combined in the top 10 of Japan 12 to 1 . So I believe the future looks quite bright for the large budget games.

    Sources
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/07/technology/07game.html?fta=y (500 million figure)

    http://arstechnica.com/journals/thumbs.ars/2008/05/14/grand-theft-auto-iv-series-a-guinness-world-record-giant (fastest selling)

    http://www.videogamer.com/news/19-06-2008-8586.html (MGS 4 12:1 ratio)

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  37. I would not add much James, but it is clear that your article is not correct at all. It has been made clear by other comments that:

    – Take two made a lot of money with GTA IV. And they will make more.

    – The game sold well for their installed base, ( and by the way sold more than GTA III or GTA Vice City which are the games it should be compared to).

    – It’s too early in the cycle to call Xbox 360 and PS3 a failure
    ( since you like VGcharts I included PS2 vs PS3 sales “launch aligned”)

    http://vgchartz.com/hwlaunch.php?cons1=Wii&reg1=All&cons2=PS3&reg2=All&cons3=PS2&reg3=All&weeks=156

    The Wii is selling better than other adding to the total, that means an expanding market for Videogames not the opposite.

    If i change PS3 and XBox 360 for PS2 and Xbox, and GTAIV for GTA III and publish your article in 2001 I would have a more sound story and better numbers to back it up , and still would be very wrong 3 years later.

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  38. It seems that a lot of you are missing the point. He’s not saying that the game isn’t making tons of money. The point is that people aren’t buying PS3s and XBOX 360s in order to get this game. For 2 years now people have been saying that this game will cause sales to go up and surpass the Wii. However with sales of the game already dropping that’s not going to happen. Also at whoever said something about the economy, that’s BS. If it’s due to the economy then why the hell is Wii selling so well?

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  39. “the industry’s future will be shaped by games like Rock Band.”
    Ah yes. the ultimate casual game. No, wait that can’t be right can it? surely casual means the entry bar is set low? So how can a game that costs more than the system it is played on (at least here in the UK) be hailed as the future of the industry? I’m not sure the market can sustain multiple games that cost > £150 + the cost of the console + a drip feed of expensive DLC.

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  40. “He’s not saying that the game isn’t making tons of money. The point is that people aren’t buying PS3s and XBOX 360s in order to get this game.”

    Thanks, Tim, that’s exactly my point. Also, that GTA IV’s sales are the most optimistic outcome for a next gen game– decent profit on a big budget game (though considerably lower than they’d make were it a PS2 game.) There’s very, very few franchises that can do this. That’s why I say next gen games won’t *drive* the market. Since they’ve become so expensive to produce and the market for them has become so small and they don’t reliably boost the install base, fewer and fewer will be made.

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  41. WHAT A LOAD OF CRAP!!! Get a job, prick

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  42. Samir Satam Friday, June 20, 2008

    Though i dont generally comment, just like a Sean above me, i felt compelled to say something. I won’t re-hash with what other commenters has already said. I think you are oversimplying the gaming market. Yes the Wii is extermely popular, hard to find, and nintendo stock soaring. The most troubling ascept of the Wii is the lack of 3rd party titles. The most polished games (Zelda, Wii Fit, Mario, Smash Bros. etc.) are first party Nintendo games. The only thing really going for Nintendo, is the casual gaming market. But there has to be a steady supply of casual games for this market to buy. Right now, i think only Wii Sports and Wii Fit are the 2 titles targeted to this market. Many of my friends who arent gamers and have a Wii only have Wii Sports. Some are considering getting a Wii only because they find the concept of Wii Fit interesting. The lack of 3rd party games is extermely disconcerting.

    It doesnt matter if people buy consoles because of games. The simple reason, is its expected that console sold will get saturated at one point. The hardware is already discounted. Profits come from licensing fees, and games sold. I am sure the Wii console is profitable, but how many Wii consoles am i really going to buy. Its all about the games…. Its always about the games. And i own quite a few Xbox titles (GTA4 included) only 1 PS3 title (MGS4) and 4 Wii titles (Wii sports, and Wii Fit included).

    Of course i dont own MS or Sony stock, but Nintendo stock. But not because i love one console over another, but because MS is not just XBox, and Sony is not only PS3. But Nintendo is defined by Wii and DS. (And i am betting for DS than Wii).

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  43. Not true. I will definitely buy GTA4 and a 360 some day. It’s just that we are in bad financial times right now, so food and gas are ahead of fun and games. If things get better, I may also get a PS3 and Wii after that. Not everyone needs to have the latest toy as soon as it comes out. Look at all the people that got screwed buying the early 360s before the rrod issue was resolved! Look at all the early iPhone idiots kicking themselves now!

    Best to wait.

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  44. [...] read an interesting piece on GigaOM yesterday which postulated the theory that casual gaming is the future, and rather than the Wii [...]

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  45. [...] read an interesting piece on GigaOM yesterday which postulated the theory that casual gaming is the future, and rather than the Wii [...]

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  46. The game sold nine million copies in the first month at $60 each. That’s $540 million dollars. After taking out $100 million for development, the extensive ad campaign, distribution, and retail markup, there is likely still a lot of profit. And, just in the first month. The previous GTA took two years to reach the sales figures you quote.

    I’ve never played a GTA game and this release certainly doesn’t make me want to run out and buy a PS3 or XBox to run it on, but it’s a huge success any way you slice it. This analysis reminds me of how we sometimes hear about how a major blockbuster is a failure because it failed to live up to some other movie’s gross. In the end if the product makes money it makes money. And if it makes money then there will be more. Far from being a detriment, I believe GTA IV is being discussed in boardrooms across the country as a reason to green light blockbuster games.

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  47. Is it not a bit early to jump the gun here? I am sure there will always be an audience for big budget spectacles in Hollywood and ditto for the gaming industry too. 9 million is not a small number by any means and I am sure there will be more games, even coming from Rockstar that will do much better in time to come.

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  48. Author is an idiot. Cite facts and stop spreading F.U.D. GTA3 has been out for several years and, as a result, it was able to move 21 million units. Moreover, GTA 4 is the single largest grossing entertainment release…ever. They have made a return of nearly 5 to 1 (sold over $500,000,000 USD). Thus, you’re presumptions are false. Go back to your WII and leave the mature/adult games to the big boys.

    In short, your assumptions are wrong, you’re being presumptuous and you’re not taking into account timeframes in your modeling.

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  49. Author is again an idiot in the numbers he/she is citing are purely those of the XBOX 360 and only looking at the US. The combined true figures (GLOBAL) are as follows:

    XBOX 360:
    Week 1: 3,338,629
    Week 2: 888,999
    Week 3: 451,877
    Week 4: 279,421
    Week 5: 198,008
    Week 6: 131,072
    Week 7: 94,578
    7 week global XBOX 360 sales: 5,382,584
    Source: http://www.vgchartz.com/games/game.php?id=7103

    PS3 (Global):

    Week 1: 2,424,258
    Week 2: 602,077
    Week 3: 304,966
    Week 4: 210,367
    Week 5: 148,132
    Week 6: 102,179
    Week 7: 77,062
    Total: 3,869,041

    Total sales in 7 weeks (Global [Combine XBOX 360 and PS3]):
    9,251,625 units

    9,251,625

    Of which:

    XBOX 360 Total European Sales:

    1,780,034 Units.

    Assuming 50 Euros (Based on the conversion of the current price in pounds (39.48 pounds = 49.98 Euros).

    =Euros $89,001,700 which is $138,967,254 million USD

    PS3 Total sales converted $193,452,050 Euros = $302 million USD

    My calculations are a bit sloppy but basically you’re looking at:

    5,460,000 units moved in the US

    $273,000,000 USD.

    Total sales:

    273 mil + 302 mil + 138 mil = USD $712 million in 7 weeks.

    Guitar hero 3:

    Wii:
    Total US Sales: $158 mil
    Total Euro Sales: $62 mil
    Total Sales: $220 mil

    XBOX 360:
    US: $247 mil
    EURO: $ 92 mil
    Total: $339 mil

    PS3:
    US: 69 mil
    EURO: 37 mil
    Total: 106 mil

    PS2:
    US: 230 Mil
    Euro: 75 mil
    Total: 305

    Total sales: 305 + 106 + 339 + 220 = $971 mil

    Units sold of Guitar hero 3 combined: 11.24 million

    Someone please expand upon how many weeks it’s been on the chart and the costs incurred to product/license the tracks

    Units sold of GTA4: 3.87 + 5.76 = 9.63 million units moved in 7 weeks with the single day record in sales across all mediums.

    Thus you have a differential of 260 million [theoretical] USD.

    Not bad for 7.

    Death of next gen, hardly. Talk to me when GTA 4 has run the duration of San Andreas (and let’s not forget when the PC version is released in the fall).

    Data collected and analyized from http://www.vgchartz.com, http://www.amazon.com and http://www.amazon.co.uk.

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  50. “Total sales in 7 weeks (Global [Combine XBOX 360 and PS3]):
    9,251,625 units”

    That sounds right. At the time we posted this, week 7 results weren’t available, which is why I said “just over 9 million copies” (I believe it was around 9.15 mill at press time.) Week 7 apparently added about 235K more sales… which again, confirms my point that sales are plummeting, and will be lucky to sell 2-4 million more copies total at the end of its run. GTA IV cost about twice the budget and stands to make about 2/3rds the profit of its predecessor. Sure it’s still making a lot of money, but the general economics are crazy and unsustainable.

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  51. James,

    You are missing the point. It’s been on the market 7 weeks and sold 9 million units. Guitar Hero 3 has been on the market how many months now? Beyond that we have a clear production figure for GTA. What did it cost Activision to make, produce and license the various songs and technologies (guitar).

    Plus, that 100 million dollar price tag on GTA 4 includes the production of the digital content. This and the PC release are going to blow away Guitar Hero. Moreover, when we look at time frames, when all is said and done GTA 4 will far outstrip (over the course of the same life of GTA 3) the sales of the original and probably Guitar hero etc.

    Also, the decline in sales is a standard trend across the industry. The million dollar figure isn’t sustainable over a long period and, as such, sales scale down to a more stable level. It’s basically the Beta equivalent in the stock market, we have some degree of volatility and then it levels off to an average of sorts.

    -J

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  52. [...] Why GTA IV Was the Beginning of the End GTA:San Andreas was released to a larger user base then GTA IV hence the large sales numbers. (tags: gaming ps3) [...]

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  53. “What did it cost Activision to make, produce and license the various songs and technologies (guitar).”

    The first Guitar Hero cost Harmonix $1 million to develop (Red Octane had already created the guitar hardware):

    http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=16510

    Since the sequels are pretty iterative, I’m guessing GH3’s budget was somewhere around $20-30 mill, if that. The franchise has grossed over a billion dollars.

    But leave that all to one side: the crucial point is still that GTA IV isn’t measurably selling more next gen machines that future next gen games depend on for a market– while games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band are still quite popular on PS2. (Check the figures you cited.)

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  54. I agree in what the author is mentioning is this post.

    I was once driven by GTA Vice City to buy a Sony PlayStation II, prior to that I was using my PC to play GTA III.

    The desire is still there but no longer a necessity as I find myself growing up and the investment is not worth it money. I will purchase GTA IV when it arrives to the PC platform, however for now there is no rush.

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  55. Write controversial premise, get hits, keep job. Apparently it doesn’t matter if your argumentation is specious.

    This article is indefensible. Never publish Au.

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  56. Apples and oranges.

    1.) This is a different market than GTA:SA.

    The console markets aren’t saturated, _but they are at the current price point._ Everybody who will only buy one console at the current prices bought theirs already, and chances are they bought a Wii – the one platform GTA4 did not release on. People who are waiting to buy a PS3 or 360 aren’t buying until the price comes closer to the price the PS2 was at when they bought it well into last generation – probably even when GTA:SA came out.

    When GTA:SA came out, the PS2 was at maturity. Next-gen consoles were on the horizon. Console sales weren’t a priority because Sony had already spit out millions of them and were redesigning the system and cutting the price further. Nintendo wasn’t a player and had already moved on. Microsoft was getting ready to roll out GTA:SA _on the 360_ – and many people who bought the game for PS2 or Xbox bought it again to see it on a next-gen console (or continue playing it after they got rid of the last-gen console, since GTA:SA backwards-compatibility wasn’t available for the 360 at its launch).

    GTA4 will still drive PS3 and 360 sales, just not until their prices are more in line with the prices of the PS2 and Xbox when GTA:SA came out – IIRC, they were at or less than $200, about 20%-40% cheaper than the current gen even if you count inflation.

    People aren’t going to spend a _minimum_ of $280+$60(+$X/month for Live) to get in on GTA4 when they clearly remember only spending a _maximum_ of $180+$50 to get in on GTA:SA. Economic factors and console costs are holding back console sales more than the lack of a killer app. Halo 3 and CoD5 showed this already – that point is neither newsworthy nor insightful.

    There wasn’t a jump in console sales when Rock Band came out for three platforms, and that wasn’t a sign of systemic failure for the game industry. It was a sign that Rock Band came out at the right time, when there was an installed base of consoles and a market niche screaming for a product. GTA4 is the same. GTA:SA is an exception, not the rule, and not matching its performance is not a sign of failure.

    2.) You ignored GTA4’s DLC. There’s none yet, sure, but consider this: If sales stop, right now, at 14 million, and just half that install base buys $50 of DLC over the lifespan of the game, that’s easily the equivalent of 21 million copies of GTA:SA in gross.

    Chances are, most people won’t buy $50 worth of DLC. But chances are, GTA4 will break 20 million in lifespan software sales, and – if the quality of the content is as good as rumored – most people will buy $10-$50 of GTA4 DLC over the game’s lifespan.

    It’s even feasible that the “expansions” to GTA4 – just like Vice City and San Andreas were expansions on GTA3 – will be DLC for GTA4 instead of (or even in addition to) boxed software.

    So even if we take your slippery slope all the way to the bottom and assume that both console prices will never go down again and that nobody else wants GTA4, the game still has an excellent chance of being both a financial success and an adaptable, truly next-gen product – in that it makes its best bread on DLC and community features.

    3.) The PC version isn’t even out yet. That’s 1-3 million more sales that the consoles won’t ever have.

    If your point is that “next-gen” means that more accessible games with DLC are better platforms than physical media sales, I agree. But GTA4 is poised to make that point as well – something you completely, and conveniently, ignore.

    If your point is that “next-gen” consoles failed to capture the same audience that last generation’s consoles did, I would agree. But GTA4 is irrelevant to that point – that’s about the price of the console, an argument you couldn’t make if the PS3 and 360 cost the same as the Wii.

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  57. GTA4 is an excellent game it is a worldwide hit, it may not save the PS3 but its done its fair share. The price point of the PS3 is probably its biggest weakness, and why Wii is crushing it in sales. Just check out youtube for ps3 cheat codes, you find more GTA4 codes, cheats and tips & tricks than any other game. Rockstar has made quality games its time for the rest of the companies to step up and make the next big blockbuster that can save the “next gen” consoles, Rockstar should not have to do it on its own.

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  58. I agree its not completely up to Rockstar, and I agree with the comments above, the Wii is selling like hotcakes because of the backwards compability and the classic games that it plays. People are feeling retro in their game choices, like arcade classics, super mario brothers etc..

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  59. When san andreas came out there was over 100 million ps2’s and xbox’s in the market. Right now there is like 30 million PS3’s and Xbox 360’s to market. When the ps3 and 360 hit the magic $199 point and there is 100million of the next-gen consoles out there the the sales figures will match.

    Besides, GTA4 has been out for what, 2 months? While San Andreas has been out for 3 years now? So this is a unfair comparison, how many copies did San Andreas sell after 2 months on the consoles it released on?

    They may be at 9 million after 2 months but there is no indication that GTA4 sales are dead, and price drops in consoles will lead to GTA4 sales, as well as price drops in the game, as well as all the DLC profit that will happen, and new games being sold due to release of DLC packages.

    Besides, they’ve only profited like $400 million so far, and set a record for highest grossing entertainment product in it’s first week. I guess it was a huge failure, there is much more money in making new versions of frogger.

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  60. Quite the contrary. The only thing that fails are these kind of nonsensical articles by people trying to make their claim at life.

    The industry is at an all time high. Ever wonder if GTA didn’t live up to the extreme expectations due to the fact that maybe people are sick of GTA’s last gen formula? Something that was so fresh last gen ain’t quite cutting it this gen. Plus even if GTA fails to sell as much as the last one or up to the extreme expectations, and even though the coast of development has risen they’ve still made their money back in truck loads. Lets see if I did my math correctly even if they didn’t sell a copy more than the supposed 9 mill they’re at now they’re still looking at a 485 profit. I’d say that’s more than enough mouths to feed.

    Lastly why do people think games are the selling point for moving consoles? People who are really into games or certain series are the first adopters, and basically everyone else are casuals that only care about the price tag. 21 mill units for SA is over a 3 year life span with approximately 144 million console availability between ps2/xbox. Not really the fairest of comparisons I’d say.

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  61. I agree with your point about not moving hardware. Earlier this year I was telling everyone just to wait, that systems would start selling once GTA IV was released. Boy, was I wrong.

    However, there are several points I’d make. The systems are still priced too high, certainly much higher than it cost to buy a PS2 or Xbox at the time of San Andreas. Also, or as a consequence of that, the install base is much lower than it was for San Andreas, explaining the lower sales for GTA IV. Finally, how many of those 21.5 million copies were sold as Greatest/Platinum Hits, or at a reduced price? Total sales figures in dollars is a more valuable measurement than units sold.

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  62. HappyCamperJack Monday, June 23, 2008

    This is definitely a very poorly thoughtout article with very little facts to back it up. Obviously the writer only see what the media is hyping, not the actual data.

    GTA3 sold about 14.5 millions in its lifetime, which is comparable or less than what we can expect GTA4 to sell. By the time that San Adrea is out, there were over 50 millions of consoles that could run the game, of course it’s gonna sell well. It’s all about install base. Plus a huge part of the development fee for the next GTA will be saved as the developers become familiar with the console. We can expect the next GTA to take about 50 millions or less to develope, and next next GTA to be 30 millions or less. Overall, even at 10 millions copies, GTA4 still earn Take Two profits, lots of it!

    Why other big companies won’t be focusing on low budget games? All you need to ask is Ubisoft and EA games. Those two companies have been making games for all the platforms. Wii + DS games for ubisoft last year have only took about 10% of their revenue. They stated that they’ll continue to make big budget games because that’s the way for them to earn money, that simple. EA’s Wii and DS effort suffered similar fate, that’s why they’ll continue to do what they do best, make big budget sports games and other next gen games. Of course they are gonna try to add something differet once in a while, but mainstream games are here to stay. These companies are not idiots, they study real data and market shares.

    I hope the writer of this article realize how little does he understand the video game market and perhaps read more next time before posting.

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  63. I disagree too, look at ps3’s Metal gear solid 4, its a AAA title and by far the best game ever to be release for the ps3, gta4 was a good game, yet it didn’t deserve the hype that it received, that game wasn’t that good, the thing that kept it a top was its predecessors. and thats a facr, i dont care about the graphics or anything. the only games that were brought out of its sheel were bioshock,mgs4,uncharted,gears and resistance. those are the titles that made the system unique and gave it a second look at what the games like sonic,mario,zelda,pac-man, and many other titles did for those systems.Gta4 was nothing but a halo, it starts off good with the first to games and then ends bad with the last games. rockstar is a fool to think that its next gta5 will get a second taste of victory, “learn from bungie, stop giving us the expansion packs (or your so called next gen titles) and give us something we have never seen before!!!, this isnt about whos game is more populuar, its about which game has more to offer. remember, any new game can jus be brought up (like bioshock) and still deliver the same amount of damage halo or gta4 or mgs4 can

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  64. Strikerzex911 Monday, June 23, 2008

    Damn… If they spent 100 mil for gta 4, and take two sees how much they have made, I doubt we are gonna see another (good) gta game again. =(

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  65. Fuck Rockband, fuck Wii Fit and all this casual crap. The second they start making these games is the second I sell my ps3 and x360 and actively join a campaign to boycott all game companies and burn all of the assholes who like casual gaming over the world.

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  66. Only GTAIII had a much larger install base available to purchase it…

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  67. [...] gaming continues to stall, but the problem isn’t nearly as fundamental as Au seems to believe.Why GTA IV Was the Beginning of the End [GigaOM, via [...]

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  68. Maybe more of a horizontal look rather than a vertical one needs to be employed here. I mean maybe PS3 & X360 will end up targeting a different market segment. I personally never considered buying a console until I saw Grand Turismo Prologue on PS3. That day I decided to buy one. But games on consoles prior to ps3 & x360 I found uninteresting, a bit of childish look. I bought gta iv by accident as it was bundled with the console – I played once the Vice City version, but I would have never bought a PS2 to play it. The point I am trying to make is that maybe the target audience will be different eventually (and the group smaller), but the business will still be profitable enough to justify development of other games like this.

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  69. pig3onkick3r Tuesday, June 24, 2008

    you also have to take into consideration the credit crunch. Some people can’t afford the price for next-gen consoles, where as the wii is cheaper than the 360 & ps3

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  70. [...] Why GTA IV is the beginning of the end for console gaming. Are you kidding me? Did this guy fall out of a truck from Yemen? The logic in this article is so failed it’s sad. I can debunk his article with two words: INSTALL BASE. Man, I hate how anyone with a keyboard and a connection can become “media”. [...]

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  71. The reason the game in not shipping unit anymore is because like HALO 3 it was all HYPE no substance. I am sorry but GTA is not very good. I had it the day it came out and waited in line at midnight got home thought it was cool but it wore out very quickly.

    The game is just no that fun, repetative and boring once you see the cool stuff for the 100th time. I traded it in 2 weeks later.

    I prefer crackdown over Halo 3 and GTA and thats an old title. People will buy the machine for the right game. I bought a 360 for gears of war so people will spend the money if the product is good.

    by the way im on my 4th xbox360 damn red lights

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  72. [...] with the fact that it surprisingly didn’t help sell more PS3 and 360s … means that “next gen” games as in “great graphics” have stopped driving console sales a…. Au further predicts that it will be a long time before the PS3 and 360 will be followed [...]

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  73. I don’t think people in USA should moan too much about the price of their games being sold at $59.99.

    If you come to the UK, you’ll find new games for the XBox 360 and PS3 are usually £39.99 or £49.99 (which equates to approximately between $80 – $100 US dollars). I’d love to pick up a brand new, AAA-title game for my XBox 360 for £30, but it’s rare that happens.

    Oh – and our petrol (or gas, as you call it in the USA) is approximately $2.50 PER LITRE (not per gallon)!!!

    Ah, an economic downturn – it’s a euphemism for “recession / crash”. Don’t you just love it!?

    Don’t come to live or work in the UK – it’s definitely “rip-off Britain” and most of us have no money left after we’ve paid for our basics!

    Pip

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  74. [...] Why GTA IV Was the Beginning of the End Wagner James Au, Wednesday, June 18, 2008 at 1:00 PM PT Comments (71) I think it’s safe to say that the era of next-gen gaming as a driving force is over. Why? As of the week ending June 7th (the most recent tally available), just over 9 million copies of the highly touted Grand Theft Auto IV had been sold worldwide for the Xbox 360 and Sony PS3 combined, according to VGChartz. That may seem impressive, until you start looking closer — which Microsoft, Sony, and the many publishers who develop for their respective consoles are surely doing now. For one thing, its predecessor, 2004’s GTA: San Andreas, sold 21.5 million copies. With GTA IV sales already plummeting, the franchise’s latest installment from Take-Two Interactive will be lucky to move 12-14 million copies total. What’s more, it cost a record $100 million to develop. But it gets worse. Despite being part of one of the most popular video game series of all time, the arrival of GTA IV failed to boost sales of new next-generation consoles. (PS3 and 360 are defined as “next-gen” for boasting the best and latest graphics features.) Meanwhile, sales of the non-next-gen, GTA IV-less Nintendo Wii were double that of PS3/360’s numbers combined. If Grand Theft Auto can’t move more machines, nothing can. Which not only suggests that the market for next-gen consoles has been exhausted, but that the audience for big budget, AAA next-gen titles has been tapped out, too. Which is why I think GTA IV is next-gen’s siren song, and a sign of drastic changes to come. Expect to see games made for lower budgets, targeted at wider audiences (ones that aren’t fixated on high-end 3D graphics) and delivered over broadband with a micropayment program in place. Don’t expect a follow-up to the 360 or PS3 anytime soon, either. In other words, the days when so-called “next-gen” gaming reigned supreme are coming to end — instead, the industry’s future will be shaped by games like Rock Band. I don’t agree with this person. As long as money is made, big titles will continue to be made. I thought GTA4 sold more than 9 million copies. We’ll see what the number really is when the next systems come to be since the title will be a greatest hit title and generate more sales on it as well. It’s not surprise that big titles such as GTA are costing more to make. So there is more risk in making them and making money. What this means, is game companies are going to less willing to take risks, and we may see fewer of these titles. If I were to guess, game companies may use the small titles sold through the online services to generate income to produce big titles, or we’re going to see more in game advertising. [...]

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  75. I was going to point it out how preposterous this guys math is, but apparently a plenty of others did already. This article is lame and extremely far from the truth. Who ever wrote this article should not post anything about video games ever. How did this make on NG4? This article should should be deleted because of how incorrect it is.

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  76. Ah John, don’t worry about the end of next gen gaming. When the price drops on the systems people will buy them. Games don’t really move platforms it helps choose a platform but not move them. Lets say that Im a bum on the street and I really want to play GTA4 but don’t have any money to buy it or a 360 (only because it is cheaper) but alas I am a bum and can not afford such luxuries, but I still want to play the game though. You see from the bum story that even though it may be a hot cookie does not mean its going to make everyone drop what they are doing and buy a 360 for GTA4. It just means that little Akon is going to have to wait till Christmas to play the violent game. Because Mommy knows that the 360 will be cheaper then.

    Thanks for reading everybody!

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  77. Side note* um sorry for the typing errors mister John, im not a cool journalist like you.

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  78. Extra Side Note I realized that I put down John instead of James sorry about that mister James.

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  79. [...] thing I find ironic is that while everyone talks about Au’s story, “Next Gen Fail”, another writer got in trouble by saying the exact same thing except [...]

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  80. I heartily recommend reading the Malstrom post above, it expands on my argument nicely.

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  81. Not going over things already said, I’ll just concentrate on your main thesis of “no consoles sold equals it’s all going downhill”… well, I just don’t buy it.

    I am more inclined to think that those who’d want to play GTA IV have already found a game worth buying console for earlier on, and therefore they don’t need to buy a second console just to play the game. If not, then the GTA IV audience would be very limited in their taste for games, and thus would in the end itself be a niche too insignificant to the gaming industry in general.

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  82. I don’t agree with the idea that GTA IV is going to sell way less overall than San Andreas did. San Andreas has been out for four years, and available on hardware that more people owned at the time of each release (PS2, Xbox and PC). GTA IV has been out for two months, sells that many copies, and it’s a drop off? If anything keeps it from selling as well as previous installments it will be if Microsoft and Sony keep their hand in the sand and their hardware prices high for another three years (although I wouldn’t completely doubt this given that 360 has had $50 and $20 price drops on it SKUs in two and a half years). It cost more to develop than San Andreas but they will probably be using this game engine for years, and the amount of money Rockstar spends on voice acting and music (including hiring a private investigator to track down the family of the guy that wrote the “we own the night” song) really isn’t an example of how most developers operate. And if they are owned by EA eventually… money will be the lest of their concerns.

    I agree with the larger point though. We’re seeing the business side of the industry come crashing down on the entertainment side. I don’t see Sony or Microsoft doing much to improve their tech in the next cycle. Most people simply are not willing to pay more for hardware even if it does more. This has always been the case for handhelds, and it’s even becoming the case for PC gaming which is why so many shooters are considered 360 games first, PC games second. PC sales charts are dominated by technologically dumbed down games that will run on virtually anything.

    I don’t see where GTA will have a problem. If you can sell 9 million copies on hardware that costs $350/$400, you can sell even more for the next installment as long as Microsoft isn’t completely insane and has prompted another round of hardware price cuts next gen. People need to keep in mind that GTA3 debuted on a system that was $299, cut to $199 six months after the game came out, was released on the PC when people actually played real games on the PC, and the Xbox was $179 when the GTA Double Pack was released. If the NEXT GTA sells less you could say there is a cause for concern. Bringing up San Andreas is pointless because GTA IV isn’t a PS2/Xbox/PC game.

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  83. Sorry, that should have said “has prompted another round of hardware price cuts by the next GTA release.”

    But yeah, I agree with a the overall point and the comments about these systems having hit saturation at their current price points. If you’ve got GTA4, Halo 3, and a bunch of other great games on the shelf but can only sell slightly under 200K it’s time to evaluate things.

    But then there is the red ring of death – who knows how much this has cost developers in terms potential customers being scared away, or a potential price cut being squandered on a protracted three year, $1 billion recall? Third parties are not in a great position right now. They system that generates healthy software sales for a diverse set of games is #3 in two markets and now selling third in it’s top market, PS3 is just too expensive still, and people that own the Wii are ignoring good third party games, even if it’s something like Boom Blox that was designed around the system.

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  84. Om Saab, it’s getting beyond obvious why you continue to let Au write this trite bakwaas.

    I’m not gonna repeat the data points and counter arguments which basically embarassed Au once again. Go back to all his articles about the 360 failing, halo 3 failing etc etc etc.

    But it’s probably fun having a complete muppet on staff.

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  85. Funny article. :)

    I look forward to coming back to it after the game has been on sale over Christmas, and the PC version is out, and rubbing your nose in it for the billionth time.

    I do agree that we’re unlikely to see another generation of consoles in the PS3/360 mold – but the high-spec games that you bawl and throw your toys out of the pram over will continue to be made, for the PC, as hardware prices spiral ever downward.

    And they will continue to sell in the millions. Get over it.

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  86. A handful will sell in the millions, sure. But that’s why I say “next-gen gaming as a driving force is over”. An increasingly small amount of big budget next-gen titles every year does not an industry make. Especially when they don’t move more machines.

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  87. [...] you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!Gigaom had a great writeup about how Grand Theft Auto IV marks the end of “next generation” as [...]

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  88. Show me a time when the market wasn’t hit driven, or when a game released in the first half of the year meaningfully drove console sales.

    Halo 3 sold millions, as did Bioshock, COD4, Age of Conan, Mario & Sonic / Olympic Games, Super Mario Galaxy, Cooking Mama, Wii Fit. For any of these games you could have tried to spin the same evidence-free story: “Sure, that game did well, but it’s sales are going to drop off because… because I say so, and anyway those sales don’t count because of some arbitrary short-term factor that I don’t understand but will cling to to support my worldview anyway.”

    You’ve defined “next-gen gaming” to mean high-profile boxed products on the 360 and PS3 only (except Rock Band doesn’t count, for some reason?), and even then your numbers don’t work.

    How long have you been beating this drum now? Five years? How much longer is it going to take for you to realise that there is still a huge market for games you don’t appreciate (because when you get down to it that’s all that the games that you rail against have in common, regardless of the pseudo-economic arguments you dress these attacks up in), and it isn’t going away?

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  89. [...] also the portion of Wagner James Au’s brain that is responsible for logical deduction imploding, but let’s face it, that’s just [...]

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  90. [...] Why GTA IV Was the Beginning of the End – GigaOM“I think it’s safe to say that the era of next-gen gaming as a driving force is over.” [...]

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  91. I agree with James’ general point, for the most part.

    PS3 and Xbox 360 console sales (combined even) will never come close to that of the PS2 total sales. The main reason is that the two consoles cater to a very small segment of the gaming market – the hardcore market. They can branch out and try to target a wider market (by introducing their rumored imitation wii-motes and what not) but Nintendo has already got them in their grasp. Yes, price is a factor but it’s not everything. There is a 360 SKU in the U.S. which sells only about $30 more than the Wii yet the Wii is still greatly outselling it. In Australia, the 360 is cheaper than the Wii, but guess which one is selling much better?

    There is no way that as many developers today can continue to make many big budget games when the market is stagnant or decreasing. That equates to smaller profit margins and bigger financial risks. There will always be big budget games as long as their gamers who make the multi-million sellers, but I do expect to see less and less of them being made in the future from more developers. I have read some companies are already abandoning developing big budget games. Namely Atari and Hudson.

    To digress, I think this will be the last generation of high end consoles. Don’t expect to see the PS4 or Xbox 720 (or whatever it will be named) to be much more powerful than its predecessors when they have lost billions of dollars for selling it for much less than it cost to produce. That business model is unlikely to be adopted next round.

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  92. This article completely skewes the facts about sales relating a game that has been out for a couple years to a game that has been out (at the time of writing) about two months. The game cost $100 million to produce, you say, and its already made $500 million in the first week. That’s already a $400 million profit!

    This article is like comparing a puppy to a full grown dog and complaining that the puppy is too small and hasn’t grown to near the size of the full grown dog.

    Granted, the game could still never sell another copy and the author could be correct about sales, but saying gaming is dead based on a SINGLE title still in its INFANCY is bad journalism and just goes to show how people can make up stories when they don’t have anything better to contribute.

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  93. The world is about to dive headlong into a global recession, possibly even a derpression and people are wonderring why expensives consoles games and hdtvs aren’t selling? Grow a brain – hardcore gamers are becoming a niche group due to economic pressures.

    Why do you thik Sony hasn’t pulled the PS2. Why do you think developers still write for it?

    Gen 7 was destined to die before it even began. The Western World (especially America) sealed the generations fate for it.

    Quick history lesson – during the video game crass of the early 80’s, the world was also stuck in recession. I am old enough to remember it and can promise you all that what happened then is nothing compared to what is coming.

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  94. GTA4 sucks, everyone knows it, I dare anyone to pick up vice city and play it even now after spending countless hours on this new release and tell me that its less fun.

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  95. wtf man?
    san andreas sold that much because its been out for longer than GTA4
    plus by 2004 more people had a PS2 because it had been out since 2001!
    gta4 was released a couple of months after ps3 and Xbox so less people had it

    GTA4 actually sold more in its first day than san andreas
    wanna know how I know that about the game?
    because I did some research,which only took 5 seconds looking on the wikipedia
    you really need to start getting your facts right before you start blabbering text all over the internet because your making yourself look,just a little bit retarded

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  96. Zinzin is correct.
    Before anyone starts slagging off GTA IV sales, can you at least wait until 360 asnd PS3 have been out a little longer.

    PS: The original comment is complete bull.

    GTA IV sreies rule… but the next GTA, or sequal to IV needs planes!!

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  97. [...] Anticipation for Halo 3, began the day after people completed Halo 2 on the original Xbox. It took three years, $30 million in development costs, a change in console hardware, and a media blitz that is usually reserved for Summer Blockbuster Films to achieve record sales. GTA 4 went through a similar process, only it took a reported $100 million to develop. [...]

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