Wii, XBox, PS3, Nintendo DS, Gameboy Advance, PSP, iPhone, iPad: global market share and sales comparison
My two most popular posts of all time on the blog have been my two previous posts about Wii versus XBox 360 versus PS3 market share, with a total of over 50,000 pageviews.
They are clearly years out of date now, so the thought that I should update them now that I’m blogging again was pretty obvious. This is that update.
Data is primarily from the wiki pages for Console wars and for each of the devices, which I’ll link from the table below. The latest quarter sales figures for iPads and iPhones are in Apple’s quarterly results.
I’m including data for the 7th gen consoles, but also 2nd gen handhelds, and iPads and iPhones, because I wanted to see a comparison across device formats, and I particularly wanted to compare figures on Apple’s new devices against the earlier generation devices. I realize this is somewhat an apples to oranges comparison, based on a spectrum of gaming-only to general-purpose device, and mobile versus non-mobile usage. I’m not trying to make predictions or comparison across the device formats; I’m just looking for high level patterns in actual sales data.
I did not include Android phone or Android tablet sales figures because, given the fragmentation of the Android market, it doesn’t seem like Android is as viable as a game development platform as these others, because a game developed on Android can’t run as easily across all Android devices as games developed for any of the other platforms. If any Android developers want to disagree with this thought and tell us better news about cross-Android game development, we’d be glad to hear it, and I can update the data to include Android.
So, caveats about the data. First, as the wikis show, the available data is not as current for all platforms. Second, the various platforms usually released at different times in different regions of the world, so years since launch is an approximation based on that release information as shown on the wikis. The point of looking at this data is about looking at the patterns in it, not about making mathematical calculations and models based upon this freely available imperfect data. To that point, here are some visualizations instead:
This is where the visualization gets interesting across platform types. Note that iPad has already sold more units than either XBox or PS3, and it will surely surpass Wii as well by year end.
Note that iPhone alone has already sold roughly as many units as Wii + XBox + PS3 combined.
iPad and iPhone together will surely surpass total handheld sales this year as well.
Note the large gap down from iPhone to the Nintendo DS, and again a large gap from Nintendo DS down to Wii. At the high end, these sales figures are not well balanced.
I see a few interesting patterns in this one, too.
Note how consistent the sales velocity is across consoles and handhelds. Which of course reinforces how striking the new pattern is, for the iOS devices.
That pattern for the iOS devices shows they are selling 200% to 600% as fast as the earlier devices. This means that the data over time will quickly skew even more in favor of them over the other platforms.
It’s interesting the iPhone and iPad are so close. Given that we know current iPhone sales are much higher than iPad sales, this points out that iPhone sales started much more slowly than iPad sales. A quarterly breakdown of iPhone sales on its wiki page shows this clearly. There are multiple reasons why iPad is off to a quicker start, the most obvious one being that it benefits from iPhone’s previous sales and adoption.