In the last of my three-part series on the current and future health of the console gaming industry, I'm going to focus on what is sure to be a clash of video game titans. Meanwhile, at Sony's E3 press conference, it was announced that the PS4 would cost $400, a full hundred less than the XBO, that it would not require any sort of internet connection to work, and that it would be placing no restrictions on lending, borrowing, trading, selling, or buying second-hand games. In the weeks following E3, after mountains of criticism as well as indications that the PS4 was garnering far more preorders than the XBO, Microsoft sought to undo the damage. However, initial reception is a short-term problem, and while it may affect sales in the first quarter or two after these systems launch, this will be a battle that won’t be fought by the earliest adopters. It is incumbent on Microsoft to convince those who haven't yet decided between PlayStation and Xbox that the higher price tag is worth it. If MS fails to justify that $500 price tag to the general gaming public, it will be a handicap that will hobble sales until the system reaches price parity with the PS4. The only major first-party title coming to the XBO during its launch window is Forza 5, and it's looking like there won't be any others until Halo 5 comes out, which is not until next year (most likely in the fall).
Unfortunately, Microsoft's failure to expand their first-party efforts may hurt them in the long run. I think the primary reasons for the 360?s success were its price, its superior online service, its one-year head start over the competition, and America's notoriously fickleness.
In addition to giving it a strong numerical advantage, the 360's head start allowed it to accumulate a solid selection of major software titles. So, the 360 already had a sizable amount of the American audience locked in by the end of 2007 thanks mostly to its one-year head start coupled with the strengths of XBL, a more competitive price point, and a better selection of games early in the generation, and it would spread from there, going on to retain a substantial lead in America, which it still has today. But despite the 360's dominance in America and its one-year head start, it couldn’t overcome the fact that PlayStation is a much stronger global brand. As is plainly obvious, except for its first few quarters on the market, the PS3 has consistently done better than the 360 did any any given point after its launch. Had both the 360 and PS3 cost the same, launched at the same time, and had roughly equivalent online services, it's possible and perhaps likely that the 360 may have ended up with sales far lower than what it has today.
Of course, the conditions that existed back in the early years of the seventh generation do not exist for the eighth generation. The PS4 has the advantage going into the eight generation, and it’s Sony’s ball game to lose.
But even if the PS4 is the sales leader by a landslide, the XBO will most certainly not be a failure, and I think it'll sell at least as well as the 360 over the course of its life if not more so (it might lose overall market share, but absolute sales numbers may remain constant or even grow due to audience size growth). Last week I talked about the health of the games industry in general, explaining how the console market is highly cyclical, that we're at the transition between generations, which is always the nadir of the cycle, and that, contrary to the cries of gloom and doom, the industry is still doing well and will rebound soon.
Nintendo's latest home console, the Wii U, has been the subject of much discussion and speculation as to how well it's been doing and how well it will do in the future. If this data tells us anything of relevance regarding the Wii U, it's that it's nearly impossible to project long-term sales for a system based on how well it does in the first few months after launch.
Still, the fact remains that 2013 sales for the Wii U have been utterly disappointing so far. But the most likely and obvious reason for the decline in Wii U sales is the relative lack of games.
In any case, the history of gaming shows that the old web adage "Content is King" applies just as much to a video game console as it does to a website. Some have suggested the lack of third-party support is something that has further complicated the above problem.
However, that bit of good news for the Wii U for the current quarter was dampened somewhat by the fact that despite debuting at #1 in Japan, Pikmin 3 only sold 120,000 copies in its first nine days, which while decent by Japanese standards, especially for a niche title on a system with an install base of barely over a million units in that region, isn't quite up to the debuts of some 3DS games released this year (Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon sold 280k and the 3DS re-release of Dragon Quest VII sold 800k during their respective launch weeks) and even falls short of the launch of some PS3 games (Metal Gear Rising sold over 300k during its launch week).
But we do have to keep one thing in mind when it comes to Japanese sales, and that is the fact they've largely abandoned home consoles in favor of handheld systems.
Of course, Pikmin 3 and The Wonderful 101, are niche titles (Pikmin 1 & 2 combined have sold less than 3 million copies, while Platinum Games' other titles typically don't sell more than one or two million either, if that). The Wii U is still a young system with plenty of potential for growth, and thus it's still too early to dismiss it as a failure, something the charts posted earlier show very clearly.
If the history of gaming has taught us anything, it's that we should never count Nintendo out.
Some of you may recognize me from my occasional posts in the comments sections for various articles here at IGN. If you've paid attention to the history of video game sales, you'd realize that the industry is in fact not in trouble, but rather going through a very normal part of a continual cycle.
Please note that in the above chart, Xbox, 360, and PS3 sales are by calendar year, while the others are by Japanese fiscal year due to lack of quarterly sales data, so there may be a slight margin of error there.
Each generation has generated anywhere from 32% to 46% more hardware sales than the previous one (technically, the seventh generation has so far managed only 21.3% growth over the previous generation, but the PS3, 360, and Wii will likely collectively add another 30 to 50 million units to that tally by time they go out of production, putting generation-over-generation growth on par with that of prior generations).
The current generation has likely already surpassed even those massive figures and by a comfortable margin. In addition, there have been more multimillion-selling titles in the seventh generation than in any prior generation. But the seventh generation produced more best-sellers than every previous generation combined.
So, both hardware and software sales have grown considerably over the past five console generations.
In any case, looking at sales data over the long term, it's clear that the constant cries of gloom and doom are entirely unfounded and are based on a simplistic view of a short-term trend. When it comes to writing a business letter, it’s not necessary to mention about choosing the size of paper, leaving margins of four sides, the basic features that should appear or the proper font style and size that you all knew well anymore.
Wikibon is a professional community solving technology and business problems through an open source sharing of free advisory knowledge. The hype surrounding Big Data, which showed no signs of abating in 2012, now has big dollars backing it up. The total Big Data market reached $11.59 billion in 2012, ahead of Wikibon’s 2011 forecast. Increased investment in Big Data infrastructure by massive Web properties – most notable Google, Facebook, and Amazon – and government agencies for intelligence and counter-terrorism purposes. In the enterprise space in particular, the combination of a better understanding of the use cases for Big Data and more mature product and service offerings resulted in a significant percentage of Big Data early adopters graduating from small, proof-of-concept projects to large-scale, production-level deployments.
The Big Data market is still within the confines of the early adopter phase and is poised for significant growth. The well-publicized lack of analytic specialists and Data Scientists armed with both the technical skill and business acumen to derive insights from large, multi-structured data sets merged from disparate sources.
A lack of understanding among enterprises on how to organize Big Data staff to best identify business requirements for Big Data projects and effectively communicate insights gleaned from Big Data to the business. Organizational resistance to adopting Big Data analytics-driven decision-making to replace “gut instinct”-style decision-making. Vendor marketing overly focused on “speeds-and-feeds,” product features and “Big Data-washing” rather than laying out a vision for Big Data in the enterprise, articulating a path to achieve this vision, and maximizing the potential for Big Data to disrupt well-established vertical markets. Development of Big Data platforms and tools by vendors that eschew open frameworks in favor of closed, locked-down solutions. A lack of best practices and related technologies for managing Big Data as a corporate asset, including data quality, data governance, and security platforms and tools. A dearth of Big Data application development tools and services that allow existing developers to build and customize Big Data applications using common and popular application development languages and processes. Regarding methodology, the Big Data market size, forecast, and related market-share data was determined based on extensive research of public revenue figures, media reports, interviews with vendors, venture capitalists and resellers regarding customer pipelines, product roadmaps, and feedback from the Wikibon community of IT practitioners. Many vendors were not able or willing to provide exact figures regarding their Big Data revenue, and because many of the vendors are privately held, Wikibon had to triangulate many types of information to determine our final figures.
Information types used to estimate revenue of private Big Data vendors included supply-side data collection, number of employees, number of customers, size of average customer engagement, amount of venture capital raised, and age of vendor.
It is critically important to understand how Wikibon defines Big Data as it relates to the market size overall and to revenue estimates for specific vendors in particular. First, from a technology perspective, Wikibon defines Big Data as those data sets whose size, type, and speed-of-creation make them impractical to process and analyze with traditional database technologies and related tools in a cost- or time-effective way.
Second, Wikibon believes Big Data requires practitioners to embrace an exploratory and experimental mindset regarding data and analytics, one that replaces gut instinct with data-driven decision-making, and exchanges stubbornness for a willingness to question long-held assumptions. Market-leader IBM offers by far the largest product and services portfolio by both breadth and depth.
Amazon continued and Google kicked off increasingly aggressive moves into the Big Data market. While M&A activity was relatively tepid, two important acquisitions took place in 2012 that have the potential to impact the long-term Big Data market. Microsoft officially entered the Hadoop market in 2012 with the release of an on-premise Hadoop product - HDInsight Server for Windows – and a cloud-based Hadoop service - Windows Azure HDInsight Service. A movement to bring SQL and NoSQL together in a unified platform was firmly established in 2012. Facebook, Google, and Amazon as well several three-letter government agencies continued to invest heavily in commodity hardware to build out massive internal Big Data infrastructures. As mentioned in the introduction of this report, Hadoop-related software and services matured rapidly in 2012, leading to increased adoption of enterprise-level products by companies in industries beyond the Web. As a result, leading Hadoop distribution vendors Cloudera and MapR enjoyed significant revenue growth last year. Likewise, in the related NoSQL space a handful of vendors that offer commercial versions of popular open source databases enjoyed significant revenue growth as pilot projects blossomed into production deployments supporting real-time, Web-scale applications and services. Below is a cut out of Big Data revenue associated with those vendors specializing in Hadoop and NoSQL software and services. Wikibon further expects the balance of revenue generation and value to shift from Big Data infrastructure and middleware to value-add services and software over the next five years. Wikibon believes Big Data infrastructure, middleware, and technical services will become increasingly commoditized as they mature and common standards are adopted.
Wikibon will be looking in more detail at the components that make up the Big Data market, shown in Figure 4.
Action Item: While Big Data vendor revenue is forecast to grow significantly over the next five years, Wikibon believes that Big Data practitioners will create much more value than technology and service providers in the long-term. The chart in the section "Big Data Revenue by Market Segment" should label the units as Millions instead of Billions.
Based on what I know about the data science services industry, your estimates of % of big data revenue for Opera Solutions, Fractal Analytics and Mu Sigma are off significantly. I came across this study thanks to a 5 pages article in Le Monde that cited Wikibon as one of their source for market analysis. I notice in the revenue table that the aggregated vendor total revenue (1,223,425) is off from what it is shown on the page (1,244,602). Jeff, came across this again this week as it was posted on LinkedIn and it got me thinking. In just two months from now, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will launch and the eighth generation will finally be in full swing. It’ll be played out for the rest of this decade and on into the early years of the next, and the results will be determined by the general gaming public. Since you still need a cable box to use the TV viewing functionality, not to mention said feature is apparently limited to watching live TV, it begs the question "What’s the point?" Is being able to watch live TV directly on your Xbox that big of a convenience? The only thing Sony is locking behind the PS+ pay wall is online gaming and the Instant Game Collection.
While both the Xbox and PlayStation brands rely largely on multiplatform titles, the importance of exclusives can never be underestimated or overstated, as some of the more popular exclusives can sell many millions of copies.
Most of the Xbox brand's exclusives are third-party, meaning that MS had to buy exclusivity rights.
In order to pad out their selection of exclusives, MS basically has to engage in "moneyhatting" to secure exclusivity rights from third-party publishers, which won’t be feasible after the first year or two when the systems have a large enough install base (Sony does buy exclusivity rights from third-party studios as well, but they're not as reliant on this practice as MS is). It has also experienced better sales growth over the course of its life (note the slightly widening gap in the second chart above). Even with the advantages it had, the 360 sold fewer units in its first 25 months in Europe than the PS3 did in its first 12 months.
The numbers show quite clearly that global audiences prefer Sony's offerings to those of Microsoft. It does have a much better selection of exclusives than the original Xbox did, so it most likely would have sold a lot better than the original Xbox.
The PS4 and XBO are launching only a week apart, so neither system has a massive head start.
Without a head start, the XBO won’t be able to lock in millions of gamers like the 360 did.
Whatever mistakes they've made in the weeks following the XBO's announcement, and whatever advantages Sony has over them, Microsoft Studios has built a strong brand that filled the gap left when Sega stopped being a hardware maker, and having both the Xbox and PlayStation brands breeds strong competition, which is good for gaming as a whole.
Now it's time to take a look at each of the major console brands and analyze them in a historical and contemporary context to make some projections as to how well they might do in the eighth generation. Some people think it's already doomed (and as everyone knows, Nintendo has been doomed since 1886), with many calling it "the next GameCube," while others think it still has plenty of potential to stage a comeback. Sales for the Wii U dropped drastically after the start of the new year, with only 400,000 units sold during the January-March quarter of this year. While only 460,000 units were added during the first half of 2013, the launch was strong enough to where the Wii U is still tracking not too far behind where the PS3 and 360 were in the months following their launches.
The GameCube was actually performing slightly better by the end of its fourth quarter (which was its third full quarter) than the PS3 and 360 were.
A system can have a spectacular launch yet not be able to sustain its momentum, while another system can have a flubbed launch but eventually recuperate and become a sales giant. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata admitted as much himself, saying "I understand that the real issue is the lack of software, and the only solution is to provide the mass-market with a number of quality software titles." Content, especially exclusive games, drives sales more than anything else.
The reason why Nintendo lost its dominant position to Sony in the fifth generation is due to content; they stuck with cartridges, third-party developers wanted discs, so most of those devs started developing primarily for the PlayStation instead. While that sounds likely at first glance — after all, losing third-party devs to Sony is what most likely hurt Nintendo most in the fifth generation —, there are two things we need to remember. However, the drought is starting to end now, with the next few months offering much-needed relief.
The DS is the best-selling system ever in Japan, selling 33 million units (about 21% of the nearly 154 million global tally), and the 3DS has been the best-selling system there for the last two years, with just over 12 million units sold to date.
All the skeptics were calling the 3DS "DOA," but the system has gone on to sell over 30 million units, which is exceptional for only two years of sales and is why Nintendo is still doing very well as a whole. While I maintain another blog where I originally focused on Halo and have more recently been focusing on general gaming subjects, I decided I would create a secondary blog here at IGN to talk about subjects that are more topical in nature. For the last year or two, it seems one can't go more than a week without hearing some journalist, analyst, or some other individual proclaiming that the games industry is "dying" or otherwise "in trouble." Some have even gone so far as to claim that we are approaching a repeat of the "Crash of 1983," where the console market catastrophically imploded on itself, causing the industry to lose a staggering 97% of its value by 1985 (though obviously that wasn't enough to kill console gaming forever, as Nintendo would single-handedly revive the market via the NES, which debuted in test markets in America in 1985 and released nationwide in 1986). In addition, I've unfortunately been unable to find sales data for Nintendo prior to 1997 (FY1996 sales for the N64 were determined by process of elimination), and there are no annual sales data for Sega, so this chart isn't quite complete for the fifth & sixth generation (though the Saturn and Dreamcast only sold about 10 million units each throughout their whole live cycles, so the error isn't substantial) and it doesn't go as far back as I'd like it to.


Gaming has become ever more mainstream over the decades, the size of the audience getting increasingly bigger, and as a consequence we've seen sales for hardware and software grow substantially over the last 25 years. While as you can see market shares for a particular brand can vary greatly, total sales for all brands are considerably bigger each generation. While sales data are a bit harder to come by (there doesn't appear to be any for any Sega system outside of VG Chartz, nor for the original Xbox, and Xbox 360 and PS3 software sales data are out of date), what data there is shows tremendous growth in tandem with that of hardware sales.
Revenues have increased so much that the games industry rivals the film industry, with some games making several hundred million dollars in their first 24 hours.
A basic understanding of the history of video games would tell you that there's nothing to worry about. Your letter looks more professional and persuasive when you don’t use indented paragraphs.
Factory revenue generated by the sale of Big Data-related hardware, software and services took a major step forward in 2012, growing by 59% over 2011(a).
This evolution naturally required increased investment in Big Data hardware, software, and services.
For the Big Data market to reach its full potential, enterprises and vendors must overcome several obstacles. This will limit interoperability with competing and complimentary products and reduce customer choice.
This list includes both Big Data pure-plays – those vendors that derive close to if not all their revenue from the sale of Big Data products and services – and vendors for whom Big Data sales is just one of multiple revenue streams. We also held extensive discussions with former employees of Big Data companies to further calibrate our models.
Projects whose processes are informed by this mindset meet Wikibon’s definition of Big Data, even in cases where some of the tools and technology involved may not.
The company also supports its Big Data practice with a well-crafted, high-level marketing campaign focused around its Smarter Planet initiative that often includes illustrations of real-world Big Data deployments. It did so mostly thanks to revenue derived from Big Data-related services, followed by sales of hardware to support Big Data deployments.
Each introduced new products and services to allow enterprises to leverage Big Data analytics and storage-as-a-service with the usual benefits associated with public Cloud services (elasticity, pay-by-the-drink, trading upfront CAPEX for monthly OPEX, etc.) Specifically, Amazon introduced RedShift, an analytic-database-as-a-service, to its portfolio and struck a deal with MapR to allow customers to run its Hadoop distribution on Amazon Web Service, among other announcements. WANdisco specializes in data replication across the WAN, which it applies to Hadoop (both its own distribution as well as Cloudera’s and Hortonworks’ distributions) with the aim of making the open source Big Data framework reliable enough to support mission critical applications. Hadapt and Teradata Aster, which kicked off this movement in 2011 continued to lead the charge but were joined by competitors Cloudera, Microsoft and others in 2012. Facebook alone spent close to $800 million on infrastructure in just three quarters in 2012. In many cases, companies that had previously deployed community (read: free) versions of vendor Big Data software bundles for proof-of-concept projects began upgrading to paid software and services to support production-level deployments. The company’s NoSQL document store is in use at Bank Of America, the Defense Intelligence Agency and Warner Brothers, among other household names in the media and financial services industries.
Note that these vendors account for total Big Data revenue of $272 million and are growing at a faster percentage rate than the rest of the Big Data market.
Looking beyond 2013, Wikibon forecasts the total Big Data market to approach $50 billion by 2017, which translates to a 31% compound annual growth rate over the five-year period 2012-2017.
As noted, hardware revenue accounts for 37% of Big Data revenue and a large portion of software and services revenue is associated with infrastructure software and technical services that tie Big Data platforms and data together.
Practitioners will increasingly look to NoSQL and in-memory database software, streaming analytic platforms, vertically focused analytical and transactional applications and application development platforms (both on-premise and Cloud-based) and associated consulting and professional services to address specific, high-value business problems and opportunities. When selecting vendors to support Big Data initiatives, therefore, CIOs and Big Data practitioners must evaluate the products and services on offer in the context of how best to monetize Big Data to achieve competitive advantage.
Upon further review and extensive feedback from the Wikibon community, it was decided that the original figure underestimated the level of revenue generated by original device manufacturers. We are close to $8 Million with all revenue coming from open source and increasing part from big data.
The report from Wikibon is based on primary research with specific data by vendor that adds up to the market total in a "transparent" way.
I do believe the India pureplays have much to gain and will be investing in differentiating themselves with Big Data Analytics & Cloud. It is yet another reason, and even more proof, that WikiBon is such a virtuous organization. The two systems are being preordered in record numbers, and anticipation for the new generation is high.
They showed off some games that would be coming to the system, introduced the Dual Shock 4, and announced various features, though the system itself was a no-show, there was no system specs, release date or price announced just yet. Just to rub salt into the wound, in what was perhaps one of the sickest burns in gaming history Sony released a humorous video detailing how to trade games on the PS4.
There will no longer be any restrictions on second-hand games, the system no longer has to regularly connect to the internet, the Kinect is no longer required to be connected to the system in order for the system to function, and indie devs can now self-publish. While the hardest of the hardcore will be lining up for the midnight launches in November or will otherwise be getting them this holiday season, they represent a small portion of the gaming public. These features, when combined with its Blu-ray player and all the streaming video apps like Netflix that are now standard for game systems, are a central feature of MS's messaging for the XBO. Are the Kinect's voice & gesture commands really that much better than a simple remote control?
I'd also like to point out that Sony is apparently going to offer a $500 PS4 bundle that contains two controllers, the PS Eye camera accessory, and a copy of Killzone: Shadow Fall.
Meanwhile, even though MS reversed their previous policy that mandated a regular internet connection (which would have doomed the system to a distant second behind the PS4, if not consigned it to dead last, as fully a third of all households lack broadband internet) and now the XBO no longer needs to connect regularly, it still must connect when you first get it to download the "Day One" update. In this area, the PS4 and XBO are a wash in the short term, with both systems having three major exclusives coming out at launch and a fourth coming out early next year. Their most notable third-party exclusive on the 360 is the Gears of War series, while third-party exclusives for the XBO include Titanfall, Dead Rising 3, Sunset Overdrive, and Quantum Break. They’d have to offer larger and larger sums of cash to publishers to cover the sales lost from not releasing on the PS4. Looking at what happened with their predecessors can help us understand how things will likely play out between the PS4 and XBO. By the end of 2007, which is often considered a defining year in gaming history, several major exclusives were released for the 360, including Crackdown, Forza 2, and the highly-anticipated Halo 3, which appealed very strongly to Western and especially American gamers and went on to become the best-selling non-Nintendo game of the year.
Based on available NPD data, while about a third of all PS3s sold so far have been sold in America, over half of all 360s have been sold in the U.S. It may have taken a comfortable second place in America, but globally I think it would not have performed nearly as well. While PSN wasn't much to talk about in the earlier years of the PS3's life cycle, it has improved over time, and now the premium PS+ service is just as robust of a service as XBL Gold (some might say more so thanks to its Instant Game Collection).
Furthermore, it’s price is a potential disadvantage amongst the general public, even if it isn’t amongst hardcore brand loyalists.
Also, I've been tracking software title rankings on Amazon's best-selling games list, and while the PS4 and XBO ports of COD Ghosts (which will likely be the biggest title coming to next-gen, as COD has always been a huge seller since 2007) seem to be at a dead heat, the PS4 port of Battlefield 4 seems to have a slight lead, while the PS4 versions of Assassin's Creed IV and Watch Dogs are far ahead of the XBO versions.
I'm picking up a PS4 on launch day (getting one first because it's less expensive and its exclusives interest me more), and I will likely be buying an XBO by time Halo 5 launches. The system actually had a very successful launch, with just over 3 million systems sold by December 31.
While the Wii U has sold 3,650,000 units from launch to June 31, at the same point after its launch the PS3 had sold only 4.2 million copies. That wasn't lost on some people, who back in 2007 actually remarked that the PS3 was performing worse during its early months than the GameCube did. There was certainly nothing comparable to the "Wii Would Like To Play" ad campaign on TV in the months leading up to and following the Wii's launch.
We had an 8-month dry spell where there were literally no major exclusives between launch and Pikmin 3. The reason why the PS3 and 360 didn't peak until very recently instead of a year or two after launch like normal is most likely because of a steady stream of quality content. First, the Wii U does indeed have plenty of third-party titles to go around, with publishers such as Ubisoft, Warner Bros.
Pikmin 3 was just the first light shower, and while it's a niche title, early sales figures are offering a positive sign, with the game itself being the #1 game in Japan the week of its debut and causing weekly Wii U sales in Japan to increase 2.7 times over the previous week, clearly demonstrating that games shift hardware units (Toukiden did the same for the Vita in Japan). Though it was one of the more high-profile Wii U titles for this summer, it sold only a meager 5000 copies in Japan on launch week.
What we really need to look forward to are not niche titles, but recognized and popular franchises with proven sales potential.
If Nintendo could revitalize the 3DS, they can pull it off with the Wii U as well, and the potential for a comeback for the Wii U is definitely there. It seemed appropriate given that IGN is a gaming & entertainment news site and thus topical subjects are the order of the day, plus it would leave my main blog free for focusing on subjects that have more lasting relevance. The console market, which generates the lion's share of industry revenue and is where most of the biggest game companies do most of their business, has indeed contracted over the last four or five years.
Overall, the seventh generation is currently about 3.4 times the size of the third generation in terms of hardware sales, which is a testament to how much gaming has grown since the 8-bit era. There were 500 million NES cartridges sold, whereas there was a combined total of 1.2 billion games sold between the N64 and PlayStation (225 million for the N64 and 962 million for the PS1). Assuming those are still the current attach rates (they've actually most likely grown since then, as all available data shows that attach rates for every system grows over time), then given that both systems have sold 78 million units that brings the total amount of PS3 and 360 games sold to date to around 1.45 billion.
With over 34 million copies sold, Mario Kart Wii is by far the best-selling non-bundled game ever and the only one ever to breach the 30 million milestone. Not only are the conditions that led to the Crash of '83 not present today, but the console market is still doing very well and simply going through a natural cycle. Feedback from the Wikibon community included multiple reports of $100 million+ deals from both government and commercial buyers.
While a detailed discussion of these obstacles is outside the purview of this report, they are worth noting. The biggest criticism of IBM from practitioners is that the company’s portfolio is so wide and deep it causes confusion. HP by its sheer size is in a position to impact and participate in a number of Big Data deployments.
Consolidated across vendors, professional and cloud services revenue accounted for $5 billion of total 2012 Big Data revenue.
VMware had already begun efforts to apply virtualization technology to Hadoop, and the acquisition of CETAS gives the vendor a more comprehensive Big Data portfolio.
Microsoft also announced PolyBase, which aims to allow the SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse to execute SQL queries against data stored in Hadoop. This spending is reflected in Big Data revenue for the original device manufacturer (ODM) category that appears at the bottom of the table.
While the global economic outlook is for slow to stagnant growth over this period, Wikibon believes the Big Data market will not be severely impacted and may, in fact, benefit from enterprises needing “to do more with less,” which effective Big Data analytics facilitates. This includes evaluating “speeds and feeds” and other product features but should also include evaluating how well vendors can assist enterprises in adopting a sustainable culture of data-driven decision-making. I don't see any reference to market share data in the Transparent Research report description so it's not clear where there baseline comes from. They have doubled their revenue & improved market share in last 6 years and are giving stiff competition to global MNCs. This is exactly the kind of info I need for context and I know many in large enterprises need this too.
In which category of your market forecast would you place these data collection services - perhaps SaaS, app software, professional services, or a mix? But the question on everybody's mind is "Who will come out on top?" They're both very capable systems with large fan bases and both will certainly sell very well, but only one can be the sales leader.
Overall, it seemed fairly well-received despite the lack of details regarding the hardware. We all know the basic story by now: The announce event was noted for its relative lack of focus on games (something that made it the subject of parody), but more important was the fact that from the announce on up the week of E3, the XBO was mired in PR disasters that MS brought upon it through the announcement of various unpopular policies as well as some boneheaded statements made by people like Don Mattrick.
Sony has been spot-on with their messaging these past few months, and everything has been going their way, a marked change from 2006 where Sony's E3 event was the source of ridicule back then (remember Giant Enemy Crabs and "$599 U.S. Whatever controversy there was before, it will quickly be a non-issue after launch, especially considering the main sources of controversy just aren't there any more. While the Kinect is no longer required to be connected to the XBO for it to work, Microsoft is still adamant on insisting that the device be bundled with the XBO, now and forever, no exceptions. After all, it's called the Xbox One because it's being marketed as not just a game console but also an all-in-one set-top box (though the PS4 can play Blu-ray discs and has streaming video apps like Netflix and Hulu as well). Also, what of households that already have a smart TV, smart Blu-ray player, or a set-top boxes like the Roku? For those uninterested in online gaming (most console owners don't play online; only a third of 360 owners have XBL Gold), having to pay an annual fee to access services like Netflix, Hulu, Facebook, the game DVR, live TV viewing, and so forth will be a turnoff for many potential XBO buyers.
This could prove burdensome to many who do not have ready access to the internet, potentially making it to where some of them will effectively be shut out.
However, as Microsoft technically does not own any of these franchises, there is a possibility, however remote, that they could all one day come to PS4. Unless they focus on expanding their in-house efforts, the XBO will quickly start to look like the 360, which by 2009 had been reduced to Halo, Gears of War, Forza, and Fable as its only major exclusive franchises (and as mentioned Gears is technically not even owned by MS), with a couple of one-off titles like Alan Wake (also a third-party title; its developer, Remedy, appears to make games solely for Microsoft now despite being an independent studio). So, let's start with the fifth generation, which saw Sony's sophomore effort and the debut of the Xbox brand. This means the 360 has to date sold about 50% more units in America than the PS3 has, while in all regions outside of America combined the PS3 is the one that has sold 50% more units than the 360.
But the conditions of the early seventh generation were what they were, and they allowed for Microsoft to greatly expand their market share, though the strength of the PlayStation brand still allowed for the PS3 to sell at a fast enough rate to where it has caught up with the 360 (and by time both systems go out of production, the PS3 may have a lead of a few million units). The PS4 is the one selling at the more competitive price point this time around (doubly significant since the seventh generation started before the ’08-’09 recession, whereas in 2013 many are still feeling the residual effects of the recession).
In terms of American sales, the XBO and PS4 will likely sell about the same, though the PS4 might sell somewhat better initially due to its price advantage, but in Europe I suspect the PS4 will outsell the XBO by a 2:1 margin and in Japan Xbox will remain largely irrelevant. Even multiplatform games that are further out are showing the PS4 version well ahead of the XBO version, sometimes by an obscene amount. The PS3, 360, and Wii all sustained their sales momentum, nearly doubling their total sales by the March 31 following their launches. There are just too many factors to take into account that can potentially affect how well a system will perform, including how strong its game library is (this is an important subject I will get to in detail in a bit), when it comes out relative to the competition, how much it costs, how well the competition is performing, and so forth. One such argument claims that the Wii U's lackluster sales were because it was "underpowered." However, this is an unfounded assumption as specs have never been a factor in determining the sales "winner" in any generation. Without proper marketing, lots of people might not be aware that a particular product exists, and when they do become aware of it they may not have sufficient information regarding the product in question. The only notable titles during the launch window were the launch games Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros.


In just the past year, the 360 got Halo 4, the PS3 got The Last of Us, and both systems got Far Cry 3, Black Ops II, Assassin's Creed III, BioShock Infinite, and the Tomb Raider reboot, among others, and Grand Theft Auto V is coming out less than two weeks from now.
It may do better in America, but the game will likely only have modest sales here, maybe enough to get it to limp to 500k copies globally over the course of the Wii U's life cycle. Given the tremendous success of their predecessors, Donkey Kong Country Returns: Tropical Freeze, Super Mario 3D World and Mario Kart 8 in particular should also prove to be very successful and will do more than anything to spur hardware sales growth.
The Big N has been in the games business longer than any other extant company, and they deserve far more credit that what they've been given lately. Looking at that trend in a vacuum, it's not too hard to understand how someone could come to the conclusion that the industry is "hurting" or "in decline." However, just like most things, you have to analyze these declining sales in a larger historical context.
To give an analogy for this cycle, just think of the console market in terms of the ocean tides. The PS2 did better than that alone with over 1.5 billion games sold, and the GameCube added over 208 million to the generational tally, plus there's however many games that were sold for the Dreamcast and Xbox. Add in the nearly 873 million Wii games sold to date and that gives us a total of about 2.33 billion seventh-gen games sold to date, and that number will continue to grow until the Wii, 360, and PS3 and all their games are discontinued. Occasionally you'd get a game that was lucky enough to breach 5 million copies, but even those were rare. There have been several other games to breach 20 million copies sold, including GTAV, New Super Mario Bros. Of course, we do have to keep in mind that we have no idea how much if any the market will continue to grow. IBM combats this confusion by initiating many Big Data customer engagements through its professional services division. Google finally got into the Big Data game by productizing Big Data tools and technologies, such as BigQuery, it has long used internally, and likewise introduced MapR as a service via Google Compute Engine.
The creation of the Pivotal Initiative further indicates that VMware and EMC are continuing to invest in Big Data for the long-term. Specifically, Facebook and others like it purchase, configure, and deploy off-the-shelf hardware from ODM’s such as Quanta, rather then purchasing commodity machines from vendors such as Dell or HP, to support the majority of their operations. Probably because we are mainly a European vendor, but we start to have some customer in the US too. Not that coming in first means much for anything besides bragging rights, but speculating on who the "winner" makes for an interesting mental exercise. While MS did show off several exclusive titles at E3, including the well-received Titanfall, the system itself was embroiled in controversy.
The two are on far more even footing right now, and the XBO is now looking like it will perform much better than what one would have assumed back at E3. But there are plenty of other more relevant factors that will determine each system’s success amongst the general public in the longer term.
If MS can persuade enough people that those features are worth it, then the higher price may not be a significant disadvantage. Will the XBO's non-gaming features really be that impressive as to be a deciding factor with these people? Microsoft should probably consider scaling back the number of features that require XBL Gold. It's still possible that programs will be offered to where certain retailers will allow the consumer to bring in their XBO to download the update there, but so far there's been no such program announced. They have a veritable army of first- and second-party studios at their disposal, including but not limited to: Naughty Dog, Sucker Punch, Guerrilla Games, SCE Japan (which includes Team ICO), Media Molecule, SCE Santa Monica, Polyphony Digital, Quantic Dream, and Ready at Dawn Studios. While the PS2 dominated the sixth generation, with the Xbox a distant second place, the PS3 and 360 were far more competitive and in terms of global sales to date the two are sitting neck and neck. Meanwhile, the PS3 had yet to accumulate a sizable library of exclusives; Resistance and Motorstorm were still the best-selling PS3 exclusives by far at the time, though by the year's end Uncharted and Gran Turismo 5 Prologue would debut. It eventually gained its own impressive selection of exclusives, reached price parity with the 360, and improved its online service, further cementing its status outside of America. The future is looking bright for the nascent eighth generation of console gaming, and I'm looking forward to seeing what the next few years of gaming will be like. While the GameCube peaked in its first full fiscal year on the market, the 360 and PS3's did not peak for years after their launch (very unusual for a console, as most peak before their third full year), which contributed to steady growth. In fact, the most powerful console of any given generation has to this day never been the one to sell the most units. For example, it's been suggested that many consumers think the Wii U is simply a tablet controller peripheral for the Wii. U (the former a pack-in with the Deluxe SKU), and those were obviously insufficient to drive sales on their own. From quarter to quarter, from year to year, hardware sales are driven primarily by strong software releases. Second, we need to remember that Nintendo has learned to cope with being far less dependent on third-party games than the competition is. They're an incredibly solvent company that has billions in the bank, so they can afford to risk supporting the Wii U in the hopes they can turn it around like they did with the 3DS, and besides, it's not like they're taking a huge loss with the system.
High tide (peak sales) is towards the middle of a generation, while low tide is during the transition from one generation to another. This is also the case for software based on the available annual sales data (only available for Nintendo and Sony consoles; Xbox 360 software sales can also be estimated based on attach rate data).
Wii, Modern Warfare 2, and Black Ops, and there have been at least a dozen over games that have sold between 10 and 20 million copies, among those being Super Mario Galaxy, Halo 3, Gran Turismo 5, and several other Call of Duty games. Nothing can continue to grow indefinitely — after all, there can be only so many people willing and able to buy a console — and we may eventually reach a saturation point.
A challenge and area of focus for IBM moving forward is to continue to articulate its Big Data vision in a way that focuses on industry solutions and not point products. Services that make data sets available to enterprises and other service providers are a key enabler to the Data Economy.
Needless to say, things weren't going good for Microsoft, and the war hadn't even officially started.
Finally, most of the XBO's features require an XBL Gold subscription, which could prove to be a deterrent for many (more on this in a bit). It's also possible that the need for the "Day One" update only applies to the initial production run, and future production runs will come with the update pre-installed, but again there's no guarantee that this will be the case.
In addition, popular third-party multiplatform titles debuting in 2007 like Assassin's Creed and Call of Duty 4 sold most of their copies on the 360 due to the system's larger install base.
Despite coming out a year after the 360 and despite the 360 outselling it in America by a wide margin, the PS3 has caught up with the 360 in global sales, with both systems selling about 78 million units worldwide. While Killzone: Shadow Fall looks like it will be by far the best-selling system exclusive, the XBO titles Forza 5, Ryse, and Dead Rising 3 are trending well ahead of the PS4's other exclusives Knack and DriveClub. The Master System was more powerful than the NES yet placed a distant second in the 8-bit era.
Then again, we do live in the internet age, so the relative lack of TV ads might not be quite as bad of a problem as one might think, as many if not most people can get their news and information from online venues, but it's still a problem nonetheless.
Nintendo Land clearly doesn't have the mass appeal of Wii Sports (the Wii's pack-in title) and while previous New Super Mario Bros. Ever since the N64, the majority of best-selling games on Nintendo systems have been Nintendo titles. Once all the upcoming games for FY2014 are out, we should see a complete reversal of the Wii U's fortunes. There needs to be another proper 3D "star hunt" Mario game in the vein of Mario 64 and Mario Galaxy.
In fact, on a per-unit basis, the Wii U will likely be more profitable in the long run than the PS4 and XBO. While there has been a decline in sales in the console market, the decline is perfectly normal and explicable, and it's certainly nowhere near the massive drop seen during the Crash of '83. 3, which sold 18 million copies back during the NES era, giving the title of best-selling non-bundled game ever, a position it would hold until Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas unseated it. The number of seventh-gen games to sell between 5 and 10 million are too many to be counted. In fact, it's quite possible we've already hit it and future growth will only happen as a function of population growth. And let's not forget about the tens of millions of households that don't have broadband internet at all. It's uncertain how much the need for this "Day One" update will affect the XBO's sales, but it could be significant in areas with poor or no internet infrastructure.
Currently, the only first-party studios they have that work on AAA titles are 343 Industries (Halo), Turn 10 Studios (Forza), Lionhead Studios (Fable), and Black Tusk Studios (currently unknown IP).
As mentioned, American gamers are quite fickle, and have no collective brand allegiance, and with the 360 being a better value proposition in the early years of the generation, they naturally shifted from PlayStation to Xbox (and Nintendo as well, but that's neither here nor there).
The negative publicity surrounding it from its announcement on up to when their unpopular policies were reversed has damaged the system’s reputation and may negatively impact its sales.
By the end of 2020, I think the PS4 will have sold around 110 million and the XBO about 85 million (that’s assuming the consumer base doesn't grow any).
While VG Chartz probably isn't the best place to reference preorder figures, their preorder numbers chart is consistent with what I've seen at Amazon, at least in regards to relative performance. But for now let's stick to hardware sales, since they're the most readily available sales numbers for all platforms. Since both it and the PS3 debuted in November 2006, yet by March 31, 2008 the Wii's LTD sales were roughly double that of the PS3, a ratio that would stay roughly constant for another two years after that. The Neo Geo was more powerful that the SNES and Genesis but barely sold because it priced itself out of contention ($600 for the system and over $100 for each game, and that's in early 90s dollars).
This is the case even on the Wii, where the only third-party titles that have sold more than 3 million copies are the Just Dance series, published by Ubisoft.
Given that the PS4 and Xbox One will be unlikely to break 2 million units each by the end of the year, the Wii U will likely be the sales leader for this holiday, and for many consumers will come across as a more affordable alternative to those newer systems, an alternative that finally has a decent selection of content under its belt.
Let's take a look at annual hardware sales over the years for systems from the current "Big Three" console makers. It was also the first non-bundled game to sell over 10 million copies and one of only four games in the 8-bit era to sell over 5 million copies. Assuming historical precedent holds, the console market will start to rebound by the end of next year, and should reach its next zenith somewhere between 2015 and 2017, depending on how long it takes each console to reach its peak. While those policy reversals may have won back many people and the fallout from this past summer will quickly fade into memory, they may have permanently lost some customers.
However, the Wii has already bottomed out, while the PS3 is still selling fairly well, causing that gap to close considerably; the Wii is now sitting at 100 million units vs. The N64 was more powerful than the PS1, yet was outsold by Sony's freshman effort by a 3:1 margin.
342 million), and when you go by a per capita basis, the differences in hardware sales aren't quite as stark, but software sales still present a huge gulf. While Nintendo largely squandered its one-year head start for the eighth generation, the strong lineup next quarter should definitely boost sales. They need to consider bringing back F-Zero and Star Fox, which had been abandoned on the Wii. No other non-bundled game would sell over 10 million units until the fifth generation, with Super Mario 64 and Gran Turismo surpassing that milestone. 3 reaching an unthinkable milestone that nobody would come close to for years, to an era where games with eight-figures sales numbers are almost routine and multi-million sellers are commonplace. If and only if the cycle does not hold — and that's not looking likely given the record preorders and general excitement for the PS4 and Xbox One — then we can start worrying.
Assuming there are exactly 78 million of each system, that translates to average sales per month of over 951,000 for the 360 and over 1,114,000 for the PS3.
As for why Nintendo didn't have hardly any games ready for the launch window (many were pushed back to summer or later), that's anybody's guess.
Its sales potential was recently boosted even further by the announcement that the price of the Deluxe SKU will be reduced to $300 effective on the 20th of this month to make it more competitively priced against the $400 PS4 and $500 XBO.
With the release of DKCR: Tropical Freeze, Retro will be free to start developing another Metroid game, and start on it they must. But regardless of how much it sells in the longer term, it should carve out a comfortable niche for itself and net Nintendo a decent profit. 5+ million sellers also became more common, with at least 15 other fifth-gen titles selling at least that many copies. Furthermore, developing and emerging economies could open up future opportunities for growth. Finally, the PS3 was the most powerful seventh-gen console, yet the far less powerful Wii has sold over 100 million units to the PS3's 78 million.
While third-party titles are extremely important for the PlayStation and Xbox brands, their importance to Nintendo is much more reduced. In addition, there will be a limited edition bundle offering a digital copy of Wind Waker HD and which will be released the day the price cut goes into effect. Finally, there's Shigeru Miyamoto's new IP, which needs to be officially unveiled as soon as it's ready. With ever-growing proportions of their populations becoming potential consumers of console games as their economic lots in life improve and they have more disposable income to spend on leisure activities, they may choose to spend that money on video games. Whether any of these numbers will actually translate to a clear win for Sony when the systems and games actually go on sale remains to be seen, and the actual results may be much closer, but things do appear to be favoring the PS4. So, for the average game-buying consumer, how powerful a system is is rarely a consideration. Nintendo has an army of first- and second-party development studios at their disposal, and they need to keep them firing on all cylinders, providing a steady stream of quality content. The pissing contests over system specs are the domain of fanboys and make no difference in the big picture. They hope to sell 9 million units during the entire current fiscal year, which ends March 31, 2014. With the current slate of upcoming titles and the upcoming price cut, they stand a very good chance of reaching that goal. While projecting future sales is no easy task, it doesn't stop some people from trying: Microsoft is projecting a somewhat modest growth rate of 28% in projected lifetime sales for the eight generation, with 385 million units sold combined between the three major systems during their entire life cycles vs.
If they reach it, that will put thy Wii U's LTD sales at around 12.5 million units, roughly identical to where the PS3's LTD sales were at after its fifth quarter on the market, and that's pretty damn good. If all goes well and Nintendo plays their cards right, the Wii U could potentially reach sales figures on par with that of the original NES's lifetime sales (~60 million units) by 2020, which, while that will likely not prevent them from ending up in third place for the eighth generation, would still be very good sales figures.



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