“Why Do Game Consoles Sell What They Do?”: The History of Console Sales from the NES to the Present

As someone who has been playing video games for well over 30 years and has an avid interest in video games beyond just the games themselves, I felt that it was worth keeping up with the overall health of the industry. Sales figures are obviously a good barometer of said health, and in looking through sales data for console hardware, I’ve come to observe that sales, while not exactly predictable in terms of numbers, are attributable to several major factors, and that we can understand how and why consoles sell what they do. By understanding the “how” and “why” of sales, we can make reasonable guesses as to the relative success of a given system even early on in a generation, and explain the relative performance of any two consoles.

The purpose of this article is to give a (mostly) complete history of hardware sales in the console market, showing the factors, trends, and data to give as complete of a picture as possible on the “how” and “why” of console sales. I hope that this will serve as a valuable reference for anyone else interested in the subject. While many of the more general points I make in this article are already well-known to most others who also regularly discuss game sales, I felt this would still be a good resource for people less familiar with the subject material, and serve as a good go-to reference for more specific information on console sales.

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Are Used Games Harmful To the Game Industry?

(UPDATE: The article has been edited to take into account information on the XBO and PS4 revealed prior to and during E3.)

(UPDATE 2: The article has been edited to take into account news that Microsoft has rescinded their policy on second-hand XBO games.)

In my article “Do Video Games Cost Too Much?” I defended the video game industry’s current pricing practices, specifically the standard $60 price point for console games. I argued that the common complaints some gamers offer in regards to pricing practices — “Games cost more than ever,” “We’re getting less value for our dollar,” etc. — were false. But I did mention in that article that there are many legitimate complaints gamers have regarding the games industry, and in this article, I’ll be focusing on one of those, namely, used games and industry antagonism towards them. Continue reading

Review: “Halo 4”

“Well Enough Alone”

It has been over two years since Bungie’s final Halo title debuted, the reigns of the series having since been handed over to Microsoft’s 343 Industries. While Bungie’s next project “Destiny” is still a ways off, 343I has just released their first Halo title. Halo 4 is the much-anticipated direct sequel to 2007’s Halo 3, bringing us back to the story of Master Chief and Cortana after Bungie’s last two games took a detour by telling us the story of a squad of ODSTs during the beginning of the Battle of Earth and a retelling of the Fall of Reach from the perspective of a squad of Spartan-IIIs.

So, how goes 343I’s first attempt at making a Halo game? Are they worthy successors to Bungie’s legacy, or has the franchised suffered a blow because of Halo 4? Read on to find out.

A hero returns. But is his latest adventure up to snuff with the series in the hands of a new developer?

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