April NPD: Greenberg says May will be better hardware indicator, GTA has new home

Friday, 16th May 2008 10:57 GMT By Patrick Garratt

Aaron Greenberg, Microsoft’s Product manager chief and the greenest man in games, told Gamasutra yesterday that April’s NPD data – which showed 360 beat PS3 in the States by the slimmest of margins last month – isn’t truly representative of the current picture of the market in the US. For that you’re going to have to wait until next month.

“We think that May will be a better barometer for hardware sales,” he said.

“We’re sort of happy to be the new home for GTA, much like we’ve seen with Madden and Guitar Hero, other franchises traditionally associated with the PlayStation. There’s a long list of franchises that used to be exclusive to PlayStation or traditionally sold better on that platform. PS3 isn’t performing anywhere near PS2. We’re the system with the most games, and the biggest online community. We know that people buy consoles for games.”

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  1. Blerk

    They’re only ‘sort of’ happy? Hard to please. :-)

    #1 7 years ago
  2. patlike

    He doesn’t sound as happy as I’m sure Rockstar are :)

    #2 7 years ago
  3. Psychotext

    I think they’d have been a lot happier had there been some sort of hardware bump.

    #3 7 years ago
  4. Blerk

    The lack of a hardware bump is a real shocker. Looks like pretty much everyone who wanted GTA had already bought a machine. :-/

    I know it’s only five days worth of sales, but with the GTA hype machine as it was I’d have expected most of the new consoles to go on day one or over the first weekend.

    #4 7 years ago
  5. Psychotext

    GTA IV did pretty well all things considered though… San Andreas did 2.05m opening week to a userbase of 28m PS2 owners. GTA IV managed 2.85m on a combined PS3 / 360 userbase of roughly 14m.

    Plus if the last one is anything to go by… it’s got really long legs. San Andreas went on to sell 21.5m units.

    #5 7 years ago
  6. Blerk

    Oh, Gods yes. Rockstar have loads to be grinning about, it’s Sony and Microsoft who need to go back to the thinking board.

    #6 7 years ago
  7. Psychotext

    Sony broke their thinking board working out how much they could rip out of the PS3 to drop the price.

    Microsoft broke theirs trying to make a console that doesn’t explode.

    #7 7 years ago
  8. Blerk

    I wonder how things would’ve played out if it really had been exclusive to one format or the other? It’s difficult to imagine a scenario where Rockstar would’ve made as much money, tbh. The sales seem to cement the ‘multi-platform is best’ approach for my money.

    #8 7 years ago
  9. patlike

    I think it’s only best if you can ensure the game’s technically successful on both platforms and you can get both SKUs out in the right timeframe. Quick-porting means muchos lost money, I reckon.

    On the timeframe issue, a good example is UTIII on 360. I’ll be interested to see how it does now it’s been round for so long on PS3 and PC.

    #9 7 years ago
  10. Psychotext

    It’ll tank… just like it did on the other two platforms (outside of Germany anyway!)

    #10 7 years ago
  11. Tiger Walts

    Yup, if it was PS3 only I would have only bought it when I felt that a PS3 was a viable purchase for me. By which time I’d probably be picking up the game for less than £20 and second hand with no benefit to R*.

    #11 7 years ago
  12. patlike

    If it had been PS3-only I would have bought a PS3. No question. And I think a huge amount of other people would have done the same. Remember the hype in the last two weeks? In ten years working in games I’ve never seen anything like that. PlayStation GTA exclusivity shouldn’t be ignored as one of the critical factors in the way the last gen played out. Cast your minds back, seriously.

    #12 7 years ago
  13. OrphanageExplosion

    GTA does indeed have VERY long legs. The contest has, in a very real sense, only just begun…

    #13 7 years ago
  14. Psychotext

    patlike: Yeah… exclusivity may have helped hardware sales, but it wouldn’t have helped the game sales. Plus it would have cost too much to buy the exclusivity, compared to the bump it would have likely given.

    #14 7 years ago
  15. OrphanageExplosion

    So what % increase did both consoles get in April vs March?

    I’m thinking that Mr Microsoft may be right here. If the game came out on April 29, the window for a boom in hardware sales is rather limited.

    #15 7 years ago
  16. Psychotext

    OrphanageExplosion: No increase, they went down by about 10% based on weekly sales.

    #16 7 years ago
  17. patlike

    PT: Sure, that’s true. And that’s why it would never have happened this time round. There’s no clear winner in the console “war” at the moment and cutting out 360 would have been ridiculous. Last time it was PS2 versus Dreamcast, and there was only one way that was going.

    #17 7 years ago
  18. whoelse

    I dont think you can call the 360 the new home for GTA. It sold more because there are more 360s sold already in america. The PS3 had a high attach rate.

    #18 7 years ago
  19. Psychotext

    whoelse: It’s not really a valid argument though. The smaller the userbase, the higher the percentage of hardcore gamers that makes up that userbase (See only 7% of PS2 owners buying San Andreas at launch).

    Publishers don’t look at what percentage of a console’s owners bought the game… they look at what made them more money.

    #19 7 years ago

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