Sony's 2009 Results, Complete With Statistical Analysis
It's time for companies and analysts to view the year that was 2009, and the good news for Sony continues to flow.
Yesterday, we heard that December 2009 was the single biggest month in the PlayStation 3's history in the US and now, Sony has delivered more stats and EEDAR analyst Jesse Divnich has also weighed in with his thoughts on 2009. But first, let's go over the highlights, courtesy of SCEA:
- The PlayStation brand generated more than $5.1 billion in revenue in the US for 2009, a 26% share of the total video game industry revenue for 2009.
- PS3 sold 1.35 million hardware units in December 2009 in the US, which represents an 87% increase when compared to December 2008.
- PS3 hardware was the only home console to see double digit growth of 22% for the calendar year of 2009 (4.3 million total) when compared to the calendar year of 2008 (3.5 million total).
- PSP hardware also saw an increase of more than 122% from November to December 2009, making it a popular holiday gift item.
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 topped PS3 software for the calendar year of 2009 with a total of 2.8 million units sold to date, followed by Madden NFL 10 and Assassin’s Creed II for PS3.
- UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves has surpassed 1 million units in North America with more than 950k units reported by NPD in the U.S. since launch.
For a final, year-ending statement, SCEA Senior Director of Corporate Communications, Patrick Seybold, had this to say:
"It’s no surprise we’ve seen PS3 units sold every month nearly double since October. We knew 2009 would be a turning point for the platform due to the new price and a content line up that is fueling unprecedented consumer and industry interest with games like UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves. The consumer response has simply been overwhelming and we anticipate the high demand for PS3 to continue into the coming months as we work closely with retail to meet the demand. The best part of PS3’s story today is that 2010 will offer entirely new gaming experiences to consumers as we launch MAG, God of War III, 3D gaming, and the new motion controller this year. It’s never been a better time to be a PS3 owner."
Now, on to Divnich's analysis. We find that industry software sales were down a total of 10% in a year-over-year comparison, but that doesn't mean that all categories saw a decline. EEDAR's review contains some interesting notes, such as the increasing popularity of Mature-rated games. As some of you know, breaking even was the new "increase" in 2009, and sales for M-rated titles remained flat last year, which outperformed all other ESRB categories. Furthermore, Divnich adds that over the past five years, "mature games have had one of the most stable economies and reinforces a theory that whether a recession or economic boom, the core of our industry has and will continue to remain healthy." In PSXE's eyes, this result can also be attributed to the ever-rising average age of a gamer, which supposedly sits at around 35 years old at this time.
Another part of the analysis noted the sharp decline of music-based games. Worldwide sales for titles in this genre plunged 40% last year, which shows that not all types of games were hit with the same decline. The most profitable games in a tough year? The shooters, with the likes of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Borderlands, Halo 3: ODST, Resident Evil 5, Killzone 2, and Left 4 Dead 2 leading the pack. And lastly, we leave you with one final EEDAR observation:
"All too often the economy is blamed for the recent industry contraction. In reality, decreased sales in 2009 had more to do with a lack of innovation than economic recession. The growth of our industry now rests more on innovation than it ever has before, especially since non-traditional and casual markets consist of a larger share than in previous years. No longer can developers update a few maps, design some new weapons, add a few new characters, then throw a roman numeral at the end of the box and call it a “sequel”. That may work for core targeted games (Action, Shooters, and RPGs), but this strategy is not ideal for non-traditional and casual gamers."
EEDAR believes Nintendo "understands the mindset of its consumers the best," primarily because they "rarely release sequels within the same generation and, if they do, they are years apart." However, we will add that with the majority of the gaming population holding the title of "casual gamers," it's no surprise that the Wii continues to remain strong. And that's that. Was it the year of the PS3, as hyped at the start of last year? You decide...certainly seems to be.
1/14/2010 9:01:44 PM Ben Dutka