back to article PS3 sales to surpass Wii's... in four years' time

It may take another four years for the Sony PlayStation 3's sales to catch up with those of Nintendo's Wii, a games market analyst has claimed. Screen Digest’s Piers Harding-Rolls recently told the Economist magazine that PS3 sales will increase as more games become available for the console, enabling it to have “caught up …


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  1. jolly

    4 years from now... lol

    Who cares which one will outsell the other in 2011 as by then they will all have been outsold by some other (as yet to be announced) console.

  2. N1AK

    A guess at best

    What amuses me most about all of these analysts estimating future sales is how nieve they seem to be. The sheer number of factors that will influence buying decisions overthe next 4 years seem to of been dumbed down to quantity of games released.

    Even if they are right, it hardly matters which console sells most units, but much more which makes most profit or even argueably total sales. I'm sure MS would be happy to sell 100M 360s even if Sony manage to sell 150M PS3s.

    Hell Nintendo could be happy just being around currently (after the N64 and Gamecube I doubt anyone expected them to be even a bit player in the current console generation).

    Nintendo are making money out of every unit sold, and are highly profitable. As long as they can remain a big enough seller that shops have to stock them and developers produce for them they are doing well.

    I keep considering getting a 360 being a longtime H2 nut, but I've had the Wii for a year now and having just got Galaxy and Guitar Hero 3, and with Paper Mario and Super Smash Bros on my to play list I can't see me wanting another console anytime soon.

  3. Iain

    If you keep saying it long enough, "analysts",

    maybe your claims that the PS3 will "win the console war" will actually happen.

    Always remember that these are the same people who told us that the DS and Wii would both bomb, and Nintendo would be better off doing a Sega and going software-only.

  4. Alex
    Dead Vulture


    How in the hell can this be considered breaking news?? Come on El' Reg, this is just sloppy. How can an Analyst predict that?!

  5. Greg

    Is the Wii a fad, though?

    I've been wondering about this. I can't shake the feeling that the Wii is a fad - something advertised as "this Christmas' must have," much like Furbies, etc. It's already out of date in terms of power, and as great as the control system is, there are still very few games on there that interest me as a gamer. The PS3 will certainly outlive the Wii (and possibly the 360), so if the Wii does turn out to be a fad, and its sales drop off after the initial "woo factor", the PS3 could catch up a hell of a lot quicker...

    Just a thought.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Makes no sense at all

    He's claiming amount of games is going to pull the PS3 ahead yet the 360 and Wii already have more games and are only going to gain more at least at the same rate as the PS3 if not faster because of their existing high userbase.

    If anything, amount of games is going to be the reason the PS3 stays behind and if anything may drop further behind. A year on and it still has less than a handful of particularly good games.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How long does a fad last though?

    The Wii has been consistantly selling out without a price drop for over a year.

    When Nintendo release Animal Crossing Wii, how on earth can Sony compete? thats not even counting a possible Wii Sports 2 or Nintendogs Wii.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: Makes no sense at all

    Whereas I agree with your sentiment that the analyst is just guessing wildly...

    "He's claiming amount of games is going to pull the PS3 ahead yet the 360 and Wii already have more games and are only going to gain more at least at the same rate as the PS3 if not faster because of their existing high userbase."

    Surely the more people who already have one, the less people there are out there who want to buy one?

    "A year on and it still has less than a handful of particularly good games."

    Most of the games I bought for the Xbox 360 in it's first year weren't up to much really, but it's doing fine.

  9. steve

    Will we ever know?

    I mean, did anyone "win" the last round of console wars? I don't think so. Unless one company completely pulls out of the race, i don't think anyone except nintendo will "lose". Of course, they will have made a big pile of money by then, so they probably won't feel to bad about it. As for ps3 vs 360, i own a 360 (halo edition, yes i am that sad) and will probably buy a ps3 when the price drops some more. I'll leave the "but ours is better!" ranting to the fanbois. 360 good now, PS3 good later. At least that what i think.....

  10. Anonymous Coward


    Uncharted, Ratchet & Clank, Singstar, Guitar Hero 3, Assassin's Creed, Call of Duty 4, FIFA 08, Colin McRae RIP Dirt, Warhawk, Resistance, Motorstorm, F1 Championship Edition, GRAW 2, Rainbow Six Vegas.

    That's £560 worth of gaming goodness at an average of £40 a shot.

    Clearly, no games.


  11. Eponymous Cowherd
    Thumb Down

    Re:Is the Wii a fad, though?

    A 'fad' that has lasted over a year so far and shows no sign of slowing.

    So not a 'fad', then.

    Nintendo seem to have opted not to play Sony and MS's game and try to fight for the same market as them (i.e. 'gamers'), but instead designed a console for the rest of us. It paid off, big time.

    Can't make up my mind whether those sniping at the Wii with epithets like "It's already out of date in terms of power" are disgruntled Sony or MS fanbois or merely 'gamers' who are arsed off that their 'club' ain't so exclusive any more. Now anyone can play ;-)

  12. Andy S

    I actually agree

    simply because of the price, in 4 years time everyone who was ever going to buy a wii, will already have one, and at that time the sales are going to slump a bit. Whereas, the ps3 will just be down to the price level of an impulse buy and sales should be fairly steady. If they ever get to £150-£200 I'll be straight out to get one.

    And lets face it in four years they mighty actually have released some games for the fecking thing :)

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good for us, bad for them

    There is nothing for us to worry about. All 3 current machines (360, Wii, PS3). They will all enjoy a nice long lifespan, with more and more titles being released.

    The problems will occur when the big 3 try to stick us with next generation hardware. Afterall, how much improvment would a PS4 be able to offer over the current PS3 ?? It would have to be pretty damn inpressive in order to get consumers to part with another 1000 dollars.

    Then there will be issues over the install base. Each console has proved more popular than its predecessors. Trying to oust any of these 3 in a few years time will be a monumental task. (Anyone calculated the big 3 total install base in 3,4,5, or even 6 years time) So I reckon that the next gen hardware will have to be substantially better than todays in order to stand a chance of selling in any volumes.

    However there is another cost problem I see on the horizon which could affect gaming, forever..... Scale

    To get games that will show off the hardware and not run into really long development cycles, publishers will have to increase dev team sizes . Games already cost a huge amount to develop. Some as large as mini movies. The costs will only increase as games continue to get more and more complex. I cannot see how any company can continue to produce multiformat games long term. This will either mean Publishers signing upto a console, or the consoles themselves being a bit more like a DVD player. ie It doesnt matter which you buy, they all play the same film.

    I am happy with the current console crop safe in the knowledge that they will be around for quite some time yet !!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Re: I actually agree

    In 4 years time the current Wii may well be being sold for £50-£75 and/or there may be a Wii 2 with CPU/GPU capabilities that match the PS3 / '360 for the same price as the PS3 (£150-£200, as you say).

    Either way, it will still represent very stiff competition for even a cut-price PS3.

    And if the Wii continues selling at or near its current levels for another 6-12 months then its user base will be such that there will be a *big* incentive for game producers to write to the Wii *first* and foremost. That will cause positive feedback into Wii (or Wii 2) sales.

    So while the Wii *may* fade away, my guess is that if it is still selling strongly by June-August 2008 then Sony (and MS) will be in for a *very* bad time.

  15. Nick Roberts

    Wii a fad? I don't think so...

    Where the Wii scores is that it's getting into places no other console before it could - and the XBox and PS3 still can't. The control system makes the thing so genuinely interactive that people - ordinary people, not diehard gamers - will excuse the poor graphics etc. Hell, I've bought one for the kids - and me - despite being a console-hater (much prefer PC gaming). It's simply more fun that the others, and until you get a machine that offers more interactivity or the same level but with better graphics, none of this new wave of consolers will look at anything else.

    But 4 years time? I'm sure the PS4 will have something similar in its armoury...

  16. Anthony Shortland
    Paris Hilton

    Re: Re:Is the Wii a fad, though?

    for that reason i cant ever see the PS3 or xbox catching up with the Wii. There will always be a damn sight more non 'gamers' out there than there are 'gamers' so the Wii has a significantly bigger potential market.

    Gamers may buy a wii, but non-gamers arent likely to buy a PS3.

  17. Tim

    No fad

    I wouldn't say the Wii is a fad. It's more of a reaction and reality check against overpriced, bloated and bland consoles in recent years.

    The public has realised that what they really want is just a simple, cheap and fun console. The Xbox360 and PS3 on the other hand are quite serious consoles, suited to serious gamers, and limited to the 12-30 male market. The Wii is for everyone.

    By the time the PS3 is at a sensible price level it will be old hat and likely 8th generation consoles will be rolling out.

    Problem is Sony waited far too long with the PS3 and wouldn't let go of Blu-Ray (which was entirely unnecessary for PS3 games and only required to force Blu-Ray on the public).

  18. Lee Fear

    RE:Re:Is the Wii a fad, though?

    I agree that the wii is clearly not a fad but I disagree that it has not been aimed a gamers. In fact I would say that it is possibly the other way around, wii was made for gamers the 360 and ps3 were made for people that do not know what gameplay is! I have been gaming for over 27 years and I got a wii on release day. I have been rewarded with the greatest game ever made in super mario galaxy. I also own a 360 a psp an an amiga, a spectrum 48k, a neogeo pocket color, an atari lynx and a dreamcast among other consoles so I can hardly be called either a fanboy or a casual gamer. As for PS3 overtaking wii in 4 years time, erm is that not when the next generation will arrive? The only reason it has outsold wii in recent months is because there is plenty of ps3 stock available as no one has been buying them but wii has been selling out 1.8 million per month for the past year!

  19. Anonymous Coward

    "Winners" of the console wars

    Microsoft have lost ~$5 billion on the xbox, because they are selling them at a loss. I guess they are hoping to claw back the losses with pay-to-play subscription fees for .live

    Sony has only lost a mere ~$1 billion on the PS3. Yay for them.

    Nintendo are expecting a ~$1.5 billion profit on the wii and DS this year.

    I think it is fairly clear to see who's winning.

    The sad things is that we all end up paying more for our operating systems & televisions as a result.

  20. Iain

    Re: "FUD"

    Good, good, PS2, PS2, 360, 360, 360, 360, online only, yawn, yawn, downright terrible, 360, 360.

    Sorry, not "no" games. Two games, a pile of ports from platforms the sort of person tempted by a £300+ console already has, and some over-hyped trash.

  21. Tony

    Who cares?

    Why oh why do people keep comparing a late release last generation console with the PS3 or Xbox360?

    The WII should only ever be compared to the PS2 or XBox, it is technologically the same generation as them.

  22. Kevin


    He must basing it on how many current PS3 owners will be on their 3rd or 4th PS3 by then, seeing I already know 3 people on their 2nd PS3 because their 1st blew out already.

    Its easy to outsell another system when people have to keep repurchasing the same system, to play the hundreds of dollars they sunk into games, because the damn things blow out.

    Personally I own a Wii because I have yet to have a Nintendo system die on me, and I'm counting from the original NES.

    Personally I'd say if you want a PS3 wait till revision 15 or so seeing thats how long it took Sony to make a PS2 that don't die from moderate use.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    I am reminded of the line from Citizen Kane, where Kane says something like "it is true that Xanadu loses a million dollars a year, and at that rate I will have to close the place - in sixty years". That was when sixty million dollars was a lot of money. Four years from now all of these consoles will be cluttering the shelves at Cash Converters.

    Besides, four years from now will be 2011, which means that whoever wins the console wars will have one year to celebrate before the technological singularity obliterates everything.

  24. Chris


    well, this is my honest opinion as the title states.

    I believe that yes the PS3 could well outsell the Wii in four years time, i would not be at all surprised. Only because i believe that the Wii does not have a life span of a further four years, maybe four years at most, where as the PS3 has a lifespan to go on for a further ten years according to sony. I believe that nintendo have probably already designed the majority of their replacement, and are hopefully planning well ahead to ensure complete backwards compatibility of games and controllers etc. Their next console i feel will hit a very similar demographic as the Wii but will be more powerful, and capable of handling high def games and will hit the market at a very reasonable price at a time that the vast majority of third world persons have high def capability in their living rooms.

    @ Kevin, how many ps3 owners have been through multiple ps3s? I know about 200 ps3 owners through an online community and have only ever come across one of them stating it has died and sony got a replacement out to him in two days flat after calling them. He did not have to buy a new one. Sure you haven't got it mixed up with the xbox 360? even i have been through three of them in my time, after a year of going through that i went to the ps3 which suits my needs much better. Most people who i know who have a 360 actually own two ready for when one dies on them and has to go back to MS for repair for two weeks +. My ps3 is switched on all the time either gaming, watching movies or folding and has been on since March, sat in an enclosed TV cabinet and hasn't failed on me once!

    @ Iain, over hyped trash? care to clarify? either make constructive comments or don't bother at all. The console either meets your needs or it doesn't. The PS3 obviously doesn't meet your requirements, but how can that make it trash? It's trash because you wouldn't buy one? hmm, well i wouldn't buy a rolls royce, does that make a roller trash? i don't think so, there are plenty of people if they could afford one who would purchase one. The xbox 360 doesn't meet my requirements, but i would never call that trash, as there are plenty of people out there who's requirements it does meet.

    Ultimately, each console has been made to suit varying people. Maybe not intentionally, but they do. Nintendo has always been more children oriented. The xbox 360 seems to be more hardcore gamer. The PS3 for those like me who enjoy playing games but also want more than just that, something that can happily sit in my living room as a media centre device.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Re: Who Cares

    "Why oh why do people keep comparing a late release last generation console with the PS3 or Xbox360?"

    Because it *isn't* a "late release last generation console". Do you base the 'generation' of your car on how fast it goes, or how sophisticated its control system is? By your reasoning an 'E' type Jag is more advanced than, say, a Prius, "cos its faster and has a bigger engine".

    The fact is the Wii's modest hardware makes it affordable and its control system makes it desirable. Put those together and the result can be clearly seen in the way the things fly off the shelves.

    "The WII should only ever be compared to the PS2 or XBox, it is technologically the same generation as them."

    No. If anything the PS3 and XBox 360 deserve to be compared to their predecessor because they offer very little above and beyond the PS2 and XBox, other than prettier graphics. In terms of gameplay the PS3 and '360 are merely an ongoing evolution of their predecessors. You still play PS3 and '360 games by sitting in front of the screen like a leaden lump twiddling your thumbs just like you did with the PS2, XBox, Playstation and just about every console going back to the Sega Master System and NES. The Wii, in comparison, *is* truly revolutionary.

  26. Iain


    It's my personal opinion, but that's all anyone can offer when it comes to the subjective quality of videogames. But "over-hyped trash" are precisely the words I'd use to describe the PS3's F1 game. It's the worst-handling driving game I've had the misfortune to play in years, and a massive letdown coming from Sony Liverpool, the team that singlehandedly made my PSP purchase worthwhile with wipEout purE. It's this one that set me off a bit.

    Uncharted looks like it has very good exploration bits, even if the cover system reminds me of the horrid time I had trying to play Gears Of War on the 360 (another game that "over-hyped trash" was meant for). Ratchet & Clank suffers from coming out within a week or two of the latest Super Mario game, but in its own right is downright lovely.

    I think that, rightly or wrongly, a huge part of the perception that the PS3 has "no games" is because most of the best games are multi-platform. So while they clearly have appeal for anyone new to this generation of consoles, 360 owners don't regard them as reasons to stick a second (or third, or whatever) machine under the telly considering how much it costs to do so.

  27. Anonymous Coward


    The negative media hysteria directed towards the Playstation 3 is farcical and utterly unwarranted. The only reason a I can see for all the negative spin it is that car crashes sell more than steadily climbing sales figures. The public's willingness to go along with this kind of ridiculous tirade is frankly disturbing. The amount of blind hate I've seen directed towards a games console in the comment sections of a number of popular news sites is almost laughable.

    Tell me, did the Playstation 3 wrong you in some way? Did it offend you? Did it go out and murder your enitre family? Because that's the only thing that could justify such an utter wall of hate. It's quite mystifying why people feel the need to berate and generally trash-talk a console they don't even own. Is that they see it as a threat to the saftey of their console of choice? It's a rival so therefore they must dispise it? What's wrong with just enjoying what you have rather than talking shit about things you don't? I just don't get it.

    Thankfully the hysteria seems to be dying down some what now though. I'm seeing more and more geniunely rational comments popping up in amongst the crowd of haters. What's worse though is being labelled a 'fanboy' just for posting any kind of comment that doesn't reflect on the Playstation 3 in a negative light.

    As an owner of both a Wii and a Playstation 3 I find that I enjoy both consoles in equal measure, though for different things with each one. The Wii's great for party gaming with friends around and some quick, casual gaming now and then. Whereas I get a more substanial, prolonged gaming experience with my PS3.

  28. Tim

    Re: Who cares?

    "The WII should only ever be compared to the PS2 or XBox, it is technologically the same generation as them."

    That's the real point though. Even though technologically it shouldn't (if you ignore the controller), the Wii *still* beats both the PS3 and XBox 360 on sales !

    The point being that few people really care about next gen consoles that play ultra high def games only a hard core gaming male teenager really has the dedication to play.

    The majority of people just want a simple fun console they can pick up, play for a bit and put down, and even their grannies can play.

  29. Greg

    Re: Good for us, bad for them

    "This will either mean Publishers signing upto a console, or the consoles themselves being a bit more like a DVD player. ie It doesnt matter which you buy, they all play the same film."

    Isn't that last one...........a PC?

    A PC resurgence? Joy of joys! PC gaming is still far and away superior to console gaming anyway.

  30. Greg

    Re: Eponymous Cowherd

    Wow, I'm impressed you managed to be that condescending in such a short post. Well done, sir.

    If you'll look back, my actions were hardly that of a fanboy - I complimented the Wii on its excellent control system. However, when I go and look at Wii games, they all seem like....guff, really - stuff to show off the controls, or remakes of GC games.

    I'll concede that the Wii has been doing well in the past year, but I dunno, I just can't shake that feeling. Maybe its that the people I know with Wiis have *all* admitted that they hardly played it after the first month or two, or that few of the games are targetted at traditional gamers.

    Yes, I said it again - gamers. Because like it or not, that's a market you can't really ignore with a games console, eh? I love the Wii, but I haven't bought one because I'd rather fight aliens than flip pancakes, and I'd much rather plan a battle than play imaginary bowling (especially when there's a real bowling alley down the road). Aside from perhaps Red Steel and Call of Duty, I can't think what the heck I'd play on one if I bought it.

  31. John W. Naylor, Jr., P.E.

    Today's Consumer Better Educated

    I think the article hits the point for several reasons....note that I am not a console gamer far preferring PC based games. I look at the console wars as this season's Betamax but the consumer has wised up a bit since then. Many game and video afficionados see the VHS / Betamax war as being won by the inferior technology because people didn't know any better when they were buying. They are reluctant to make that same mistake again.

    VHS won that war as customers rushed out to buy Granny and Aunt Bee an X-Mas gift. They weren't going to but a Betamax or to buy a VHS Player....they went out to but a movie tape player. And with the VHS one at $179 and the Betamax at $209, Granny and Aunt Bee pulled off the XMas wrapping to find a VHS player. Sony had then become the poster child for how to screw up a platform launch. But also it is oft presented as a prime example of customers choosing entry price over actual value.

    Now again while not a console gamer myself, I do have 3 children. Not wishing to deal with the clutter of all 3 systems, Mom and I decided to have them settle on one. We already been thru the Dreamcast / PS 2 clutter. As you might expect, the answer I got 1st time I asked them which, one (oldest) wanted PS3, one wanted X-Box (middle) and one (youngest) wanted Wii.

    Now being the neighborhood geek, and watching all the neighbors friends and relatives scramble each X-Mas I cringe a bit a sI know I gonna get called to hook all these things up. So i see a lotta peeps with new systems and hear about why they chose what.

    Last year it was Mom's doing the shopping are coming home with the Wii cause it's got three things going for it. 1) the lowest price of the three and 2) the "buzz" on the controller (and mom's desire to see the kids get of their asses) and 3) more games.

    But now the buzz is wearing off, the Wii controller fetaures are bing deadpaned in many game reviews, and they all see Wii owners going out and buying a 2nd or even 3rd console. Now a hard core gamer sees this as "wanting to have it all" but the Mom's and Pop's doing the purchasing are picturing the clutter of multiple consoles and thinking, "why don't I just get the "best" one in the 1st will even be cheaper int he long run".

    With the 40GB model, I am also seeing Mom's saying, "I'm not gonna be running out and standing on line trying to get one of those things, I'd rather just pay the extra $100 or whatever and let the brown truck deliver it to my door."

    In many houses when they sit down to make that decision, the ability to play HD movies is going to also be a factor. Considering the cost of a separate HDTV or BR player, the ability to play 1080p content is going to be a factor. Mom and Pop are also now seeing the news of BluRay kicking ass and figure they can get themselves a "free" BR player when they "buy the kids" an XMas present.

    One more nail is that monthly credit card bill which has little Johnie's WoW subscription on it.....Mom doesn't wanna see XBox Live or whatever being added to her credit card statement.

    Another factor is that the people who wanted a Wii were not "given pause" by the price tag last season. The PS3 on the other hand debuted high but with recent price cuts, pent up demand is now responsible for the rush of current buyers. But in the long run, having had spent a year listening and reading about the topic, this holiday season's buyers are more educated about the difference between the systems. Whether the benefits are perceived or real, the PS3 is looked upon as the performance king, comes with a HD movie player and won't wind up w/ recurring credit card charges.

  32. Anthony Shortland
    IT Angle

    Site bias?

    I wonder if the comments would be a little less pro PS3 and anti-Wii if a story similar to this was posted on a site less targetted towards tech/gamer type people?

    Of course there will be quite a few pro PS3 people commenting here - the people reading this site are the kinda people buying PS3s.

  33. Geoffrey Summerhayes
    Thumb Down

    Can't see it

    I've seen the total worldwide units graph from the report. He has the number of PS3s sold tied or exceeding XBox360s before the end of 2007, and the PS3's consistently outselling Wii's for the next four years.

    But currently, the sales of Xboxes and Playstations are almost running in lockstep on worldwide basis, with the Xbox having a year advantage, and the Wii still outselling them both by a wide margin.

  34. Rick Brasche

    the PS3 will outsell the Wii when

    the Ps4 comes out. Then they will sell the Ps3 for a reasonable price-for fanbois aside and nextgenHDTVBluRaynevergooutside types, a console is just a toy and the real world cannot justify that much money for a toy. Plus, the Ps3 is a complete waste without the HDTV infrastructure, so you have to realize that $500 console is really around $1500 by the time you get a reasonably sized HD set. If you spend that much time on your arse in front of the boob tube, then more power to ya. Don't talk to me about being "hard core"-sounds pretty soft and couch potato-ey to me. Hard core is something that requires effort, not just a big wallet. I doubt you're ever gonna throw out a shoulder playing (insert PC ported game here) on the PS3, unless you're reaching for the Cheetos and fall outta your chair. Trying to throw a 100mph fastball (my best still sucks at 80 mph-averaging closer to 70) and playing home-run derbies with your friends is a whole other ball game (pun intended).

    I can't wait till someone makes a real baseball simulator-more control over pitching, base runs, outfield, etc would be awesome...maybe a new version of "Base Wars"?

  35. david

    "Kids want one"

    To me, Will is the machine "Kids want one". It is so successful, also worrisome. Kids can play same game again and again, kids don't really need a lot of new games - they play with their friends, same game but different fun each time. Teenagers and "Peter Pan" adults are different stories - they have their own money, they want new games. Wii is not fad, but how many games will it move? Nintendo's own games (big name games) generate huge sales, but it's not exactly a happy story for third party developers.

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