Thursday, February 07, 2008

Gaming's "Sea Change"

There's an article of interest by Seth Schiesel in last week's New York Times, which attempts to analyze last year's videogame sales stats (released in December by NPD Group). Although Schiesel's claim that the videogame market experienced a "sea change" this past year is a tad hyperbolic (and as Kotaku points out much of these arguments in this article have been made before), I completely agree that the figures point to some much larger changes within gaming that may be indicative of an important social shift around digital game usage and popular perceptions of the medium. Yes, that's right, I'm talking about the Wii...the domestic integration of physical and virtual play is exciting and fascinating, and I'm looking forward to reading some good theoretical explorations of this as scholarship in the area becomes available. But I'm also talking about Schiesel's identification of the spread of collaborative play...expanding beyond the realm of MMOGs and other multiplayer computer games, incorporating players of all kinds, frequencies and experience levels. The diffusion of mutliplayer gaming technologies, continued developments within portable play technologies such as the DS (which combines multiplayer gaming with portability), are opening up social conceptualizations of digital play...and making digital gaming much more inclusive.

Although the NPD doesn't seem to have a report of its findings available on its website, an issue of Wired blog from December reprinted a number of its sales stats. Most of you have probably already seen these, but I figured I'd reprint them as well for easy reference. These sales stats are for the US only:

Top-Selling Hardware/Consoles 2007
1. Nintendo DS - Sold $8.5 million in 2007 ($17.65 million to date)

2. Nintendo Wii - Sold $6.29 million in 2007 ($7.38 million to date)

3. Xbox 360 - Sold $4.62 million ($9.15 million to date)

4. PlayStation 2 - $3.97 million ($41.12 million to date)

5. PSP - $3.82 million ($10.47 million to date)

6. PlayStation 3 - $2.56 million ($3.25 million to date)

Top-Selling Console Games 2007
1. HALO 3 (360) - by Microsoft, Released Sep. 2007, Rated M: $4.82 million

2. Wii Play (Wii) - by Nintendo, Released Feb. 2007, Rated E: $4.12 million

3. Call fo Duty 4: Modern Warfare (360) - by Activision, Released Nov. 2007, Rated M: $3.04 million

4. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (PS2) - by Activision, Released Oct. 2007, Rated T: $2.72 million

5. Super Mario Galaxy (Wii) - by Nintendo, Released Nov. 2007, Rated E: $2.52 million

6. Pokemon Diamond (NDS) - by Nintendo, Released Apr.2007, Rated E: $2.48 million

7. Madden NFL 08 (PS2) - by EA, Released Aug.2007, Rated E: $1.90 million

8. Guitar Hero 2 (PS2) - by Activision, Released Nov.2006, Rated T: $1.89 million

9. Assassin's Creed (360) - by Ubisoft, Released Nov.2007, Rated M: $1.87 million

10. Mario Party 8 (Wii) - by Nintendo, Released May 2007, Rated E: $1.82 million

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