Heading into the holiday season, it's worth looking at NPD's sales figures from September in the United States with particular attention paid to the total hardware to software sales ratios of the current generation consoles. Although people typically call it the "attach rate," NPD was clear to point out to Joystiq that an attach rate corresponds to a specific title (e.g., Halo 3 has a 110% attach rate*). The sales ratio has been most controversial for the Wii as the console's been unfairly labeled as a Wii Sports seller, and not much else. Comparing current hardware to software sales ratios shows Xbox 360 leads with nearly seven games sold for every system. PS3 and Wii, in terms of this ratio, are practically equal, although the Wii has sold 2.6 million more units. The hard numbers:
- Xbox 360: hardware to software ratio: 6.59 (hardware total sold = 6.8 million; software total sold = 44.8 million)
- PlayStation 3: hardware to software ratio: 3.58 (hardware total sold = 1.9 million; software total sold = 6.8 million)
- Wii: hardware to software ratio: 3.44 (hardware total sold = 4.5 million; software total sold = 15.5 million)
Wii might be selling strong on both hardware and software fronts, but it could be doing better by focusing some of its marketing on actual gamers -- the ones who buy more games. It will be interesting to compare Wii's and PS3's data a year from now with the current data for Xbox 360. Microsoft's console has had an extra year under its belt to develop a strong software lineup, but with promising titles on the horizon for Nintendo and Sony (e.g., Mario, Smash Bros., MGS4, FFXIII, etc) the ratios may balance out in late '08. But for now, it's obvious why PS3 and Wii have such infamous reputations.
*Not a real figure; just a bad joke.