Remember in March 2015 when Sony's PlayStation 4 eclipsed 20 million units? Since then, it's supposedly gone up to over 30 million units sold. So the PlayStation 4 sold in little over half a year what the Wii U has taken nearly six times that amount of time to do. Surely, Sony has to have some kind of secret sauce, right? Are they ready to tell us what those ingredients are?
Apparently, they still have no clue why. It baffles 'em.
PlayStation/Sony frontman Shuhei Yoshida doesn't know what the PlayStation 4 did better than the PlayStation 3, other than making the PlayStation 4 easier to develop for than the PlayStation 3, which was notoriously super-powered and really hard to make games for. This easiness makes software much more available than the PlayStation 3, which was derided by memes 8-9 years ago for having no games. (I like to think you could still use those today, but I'm probably wrong at this point. Though, I wasn't wrong April Fools 2014, and it was still selling a ton then!)
He gives another reason. That GameSpot article says:
“Another reason why the PS4 has enjoyed such strong success, according to Yoshida, is that it's attracting people who never owned any last-generation console.”
That's... not a cause for why it's successful. That's an effect. What is the REASON that it's attracting people that skipped the PS3/Xbox 360/Wii generation? That means you haven't owned a console in over a decade, and that's probably over the age of a lot of current PS4 owners! ...Hm, maybe that's how it's doing that kind of attracting. They were too young or weren't born to have ever owned a last-generation console, so now is the time. Appealing to this young demographic is why you see Sony doing terrible things like sending PewDiePie (who is a glorified on-demand babysitter) birthday gifts.
That said, that explanation (and Yoshida's statement) actually contradicts this study by Nielsen in their January 2015 Nielsen 360° Gaming Report. Hm...with that many degrees, I wonder if it has a natural Microsoft bias.
|Nielsen 360° Gaming Report: Lifetime Console Ownership Among U.S. Households.|
Clearly, those numbers (91% of PS4 owners have owned a previous-generation console) contradict Sony's claims. In fact, it seems like Microsoft is doing better in the "bringing new folks in" department. Nielsen has another chart that gives the real reason why people bought the PlayStation 4. It's the same reason they bought the PlayStation 3, and similar to why they bought the PlayStation 2...
|Nielsen 360° Gaming Report: Top Factors Driving 8th Generation Console Purchase By Platform|
Besides the snark we can have about the Wii U doing backwards compatibility correctly and first (and not getting recognised by the media for it), the real reason so many casual folks bought the PS4 is that it doubles as a blu-ray player. So if they didn't already get their blu-ray playing from getting a PS3, they got it now. And we all know the PS2 sold as a cost-efficient DVD player.
It's telling that PS4 owners have the lowest rate of PS3 ownership vs. Xbox One-Xbox 360 owners, and Wii U-Wii owners. It's also telling how fun-factor didn't even make the list.
Anyway, having easy-to-develop consoles isn't a new idea. Appealing to the casual crowd isn't, either. And of the three consoles, Sony's is easily the most casual! So... it's pretty conventional, in the end. It's also conventional that, in terms of gaming, at least it... plays games without gimmicks that might scare people away. Even if those gimmicks are great, they can look scary if their stories aren't told well.
Ludwig has wanted to do something with that Nielsen 360° Gaming Report the whole year. And now he has! Yippee. Let him know how you feel why the PlayStation 4 is selling.