2011, a year in games sales

That’s it guys, 2011 is finally over with the publication today of the final figures. Which games were on top? Which system won? Find out below.

/!\WARNING/!\ These charts are based on games released in 2011 ONLY, and due to changes on Vgchartz I had to browse through the entire software database so mistakes are possible. Tell me in the comments if you see one!

Japan (in millions)

  1. Mario Kart 7 (3DS) – 1.08
  2. Super Mario 3D Land (3DS) – 1.04
  3. Monster Hunter 3G (3DS) – 1.02
  4. Final Fantasy Type-0 (PSP) – 0.75
  5. Final Fantasy XIII-2 (PS3) – 0.72
  6. Rhythm Heaven Fever (Wii) – 0.63
  7. Tales of Xilia (PS3) – 0.62
  8. Final Fantasy Dissidia Duodecim (PSP) – 0.46
  9. Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D (3DS) – 0.45
  10. Monster Hunter Freedom 3rd HD (PS3) – 0.43
  1. 3DS – 4.13
  2. PSP – 1.96
  3. PS3 – 1.47
  4. Wii – 0.94
  5. DS – 0.71
  6. PSVita – 0.4
  7. X360 – 0.11

Highlights :

  • 3DS flattened the competition

  • PS3 tops Wii for the first time

  • RPGs were dominant over others genres
  • No Western game charted
  • Ni no Kuni PS3 failed to sell
Despite falling quickly after launch, 3DS ruled the Japanese market this year thanks to its price cut, Monster Hunter and Mario games. However, Nintendo already dominant position on its new system leaves little room for 3rd party games. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues in 2012, which would sadly make 3DS as irrelevant as Wii by 2013. PS3 was the top home system and outsold a collapsing Wii by 50%. PSVita sales plummeted in 2nd and 3rd week, leaving an uncertain future looming ahead for Sony’s new handheld. Of course, Xbox360 was non-existent.

United States (in millions)

  1. Modern Warfare 3 (X360) – 7.37
  2. Modern Warfare 3 (PS3) – 4.26
  3. Pokemon Black&White (DS) – 3.83
  4. Just Dance 3 (Wii) – 3.81
  5. Gears of Wars 3 (X360) – 3.3
  6. Battlefield 3 (X360) – 2.89
  7. Elder Scrolls V Skyrim (X360) – 2.6
  8. Super Mario 3D Land (3DS) – 2.44
  9. Battlefield 3 (PS3) – 1.67
  10. Mario Kart 7 (3DS) – 1.63

No hardware figures yet :(

Highlights :

  • Modern Warfare 3 flattened the competition

  • HD systems were dominant

  • Shooters were dominant over others genres

Crushing victory for X360 in the US this year : already strong among gamers in its home market, Microsoft’s system is also starting to crunch aggressively in the casual market. X360 knew its biggest month ever last November and Kinect Adventures is the best-selling title of the system. Wii was almost invisible in its last year and surfaced only thanks to Just Dance 3 and Skyward Sword.

Europe (in millions)

  1. Modern Warfare 3 (PS3) – 3.41
  2. Modern Warfare 3 (X360) – 3.21
  3. Pokemon Black&White (DS) – 2.5
  4. Just Dance 3 (Wii) – 2.36
  5. Elder Scrolls V Skyrim (X360) – 1.48
  6. Battlefield 3 (PS3) – 1.45
  7. Battlefield 3 (X360) – 1.32
  8. Gears of Wars 3 (X360) – 1.26
  9. Uncharted 3 (PS3) – 1.24
  10. Professor Layton and the Last Specter (DS) – 1.16

No hardware figures yet :(

Highlights :

  • Modern Warfare 3 flattened the competition

  • HD systems were dominant

  • Shooters were dominant over others genres

  • No Mario game charted :)

Roughly the same as in the US, save that PS3 mattered more. 3DS was strong but had less success than elsewhere and, more than anywhere else, relied on Mario games to sell. With a low proportion of core gamers buying the system, 3DS may be weak until the next holiday season kicks off. Xenoblade was acclaimed by the critics and made the news, but failed to move important volumes (160K, which is nevertheless outstanding for a JRPG in Europe).

Worldwide (in millions)

  1. Modern Warfare 3 (X360) – 11.95
  2. Modern Warfare 3 (PS3) – 9.72
  3. Just Dance 3 (Wii) – 6.76
  4. Gears of Wars 3 (X360) – 5.16
  5. Super Mario 3D Land (3DS) – 5.14
  6. Battlefield 3 (X360) – 5.0
  7. Elder Scrolls V Skyrim (X360) – 4.95
  8. Mario Kart 7 (3DS) – 4.46
  9. Battlefield 3 (PS3) – 4.1
  10. Uncharted 3 (PS3) – 3.29

No hardware figures yet :(

Highlights :

  • Modern Warfare 3 flattened the competition

  • HD systems were dominant

  • Shooters were dominant over others genres

Nintendo showed that they can achieve nothing without their licenses : they rushed the development of 3DS Mario games to make them ready for Xmas and lift the alarming sales of their new handheld. There dependency on casual gaming lead to a software drought on Wii. Meanwhile, innovation, variety and new IPs have been almost exclusively delivered by PS3 and X360, which logically lead throughout the year. However, Sony is also recycling games on Vita, so they share a part of the blame. 2011 also shows casual gamers starting to shift from Wii to Kinect (at least in the US).

2012 should see the release of WiiU, but Nintendo’s eerie silence on their new system doesn’t bode well : the manufacturer is probably having a hard time convincing 3rd parties to develop for it. With no significant evolution from Wii and a higher price, casual gamers might also ignore it to turn themselves towards a cheaper X360+Kinect or an already (too) much casualised 3DS. WiiU is the only question mark this year : Vita will fail in the West and X360/PS3 should continue to be the leading systems in pretty much every aspect.

Catch-up post – 四回目の来日!(4th time in Japan)

At a first glance, you could think that I’ve grown quite blasé when landing at Narita International Airport. But the familiar scent of extreme humidity filled my thoughts with nostalgia so vivid that I felt like coming back home after a especially painful semester.

There were very few surprises in Tokyo : most of the games I had been looking forward to buy were available at rock-bottom prices (including the Blu-Ray of Advent Children and the demo of FFXIII at less than 3000) and as you could expect, a annoying number of people were brainlessly playing Dragon Quest IX on their DSs. I cannot fathom why those people don’t realize how much damage they’re doing to the future of this industry by encouraging such practices. It’s plainly obvious that SquareEnix is not doing any effort for us fans and concentrates on its statement of income. Dragon Quest IX is the second example of ‘how you jump backwards in technology’ (the first being Valkyrie Profile : Covenant of the Plume, which was dull and unpopular) : Dragon Quest VIII was working fabulously on PS2, but now we just have a weird-looking DS RPG the sole purpose of which is to suck money out of the poor fellows that have been supporting the series just to be betrayed. And now we have Final Fantasy Gaiden, the first Final Fantasy for the 6-year-old and less (on DS also) that should bring whooping money as well as howls of anger from people infuriated by the lack of good games. Last, but not least, Monster Hunter 3, developed on Wii for the sole purpose to take advantage of the scandalous number of systems sold in Japan, has been making the headlines of every magazine since we arrived.

We went for a udon in the evening, but just to run into another billboard dedicated to Dragon Quest IX… the curry udon was slightly less tasty than usual.

Initially published in French in August 2009.

1st half 2011 : Software and hardware sales analysis

Hey, everyone! Half of the year has passed, high time for a report from the console wars front :

Worldwide sales

  • Pokemon Black/White flattened the competition

  • Out of 47 games (bundled games are excluded), there are 15 X360 games, 14 PS3 games, 10 Wii games, 4 DS games, 2 PSP games and 2 3DS games

  • Out of 10 Wii games, there are 3 Mario games, 4 dancing games, 1 fitness game and 1 party game

  • GT5 still sells more than 1 million despite heavy criticism and contempt

HD software has a strong lead : both X360 and PS3 sell more SW than Wii despite smaller user base. PS3 turns out to be the top selling system for the 1st half of 2011 despite the recent Wii price cut. Costumers being obviously price-sensitive, PS3 and 360 price cut could possibly kill off the Wii since Nintendo will be entirely focused on 3DS/WiiU. 3DS actually disappoints and still doesn’t meet Nintendo’s forecasts, as it was essentially bought by Nintendo loyalists. The Xmas period will show whether casual gamers, who can make or brake the system, upgrade from DS to 3DS. Core gamers however, are likely to be deterred by the lack of strong and exclusive software.

Americas sales

  • Pokemon Black/White flattened the competition

  • Out of 47 games (bundled games are excluded), there are 18 X360 games, 16 PS3 games, 10 Wii games and 3 DS games

  • Out of 10 Wii games, there are 3 Mario games, 4 dancing games, 1 fitness game

  • No PSP or 3DS game charted

Pretty much the same as worldwide sales, this market leaning more towards 360.

EMEAA sales

  • Pokemon Black/White flattened the competition

  • Out of 47 games (bundled games are excluded), there are 12 X360 games, 16 PS3 games, 10 Wii games, 5 DS games, 2 PC games, 1 PSP game and 1 PS2 game

  • Out of 10 Wii games, there are 3 Mario games, 4 dancing games, 1 fitness game and 1 party game

  • GT5 is the 6th best selling game despite heavy criticism and contempt

  • No 3DS game charted

Pretty much the same as worldwide sales, this market leaning more towards PS3.

Japan sales

  • Out of 47 games (bundled games are excluded), there are 19 PSP games, 10 PS3 games, 8 Wii games, 7 DS games and 5 3DS games

  • Out of 8 Wii games, there are 3 Mario games, 1 fitness game and 2 party games

  • No X360 game charted

  • No Western game charted

Japan 1st half sales for 2011 confirm the shift from home consoles to handheld systems, with PSP stronger than ever and 3DS topping hardware sales. PS3 is well ahead Wii and X360 combined and will probably further increase its lead on Tales of Xilia and Final Fantasy XIII-2.

Third parties

PS3

X360

Wii

Black Ops 1,754,224

Black Ops 2,031,697

Just Dance 2 2’819’864

L.A. Noire 1,537,942

L.A. Noire 1,614,426

Zumba Fitness 1,708,708

Mortal Kombat 1,110,113

Homefront 1,193,562

Michael Jackson 1,030,144

Dead Space 2 837,838

Portal 2 1,059,856

Just Dance 693,457

Portal 2 792,350

Dead Space 2 986,546

Note that if we only consider the titles released in 2011, Wii has only Zumba Fitness, Marvel vs Capcom 3 enters the PS3 top (Black Ops out) and Crysis 2 enters the X360 top (Black Ops out).

The most successful PS3 and X360 third party games again more roughly the same, which demonstrates once that those audiences are very similar. Wii has only 4 third party games in the top 50, and all of them are dancing games… This clearly shows that third parties have deserted the system (3 of the latter are Ubisoft games) and that the Wii audience has uniform tastes. Vgchartz just revealed that Just Dance 2 is actually the best selling third party game on a Nintendo system EVER, further proof (if needed) that Nintendo casualized its home console to death, since the manufacturer itself has pretty much buried it.