NINTENDO HAS MADE much of the Wii's ability to expand gaming beyond a core audience of enthusiasts, but the downsides of that commendable approach are becoming swiftly obvious - non-gamers don't buy games.
New data out from Wedbush Morgan - albeit from notorious jobbing hack Michael Pacther, who we covered previously - shows that Wii owners buy only 3.7 games a year, compared to 4.7 for the Xbox 360 and 4.6 for the PS3.
Indeed, it seems that many Wii owners - both from statistical and anecdotal evidence - play the Wii Sports game that comes in the box and nothing else.
Hardcore gamers buy more games because they spend more time playing games, obviously. The downside of casual gamers is that they are just that - and given that a large chunk of any console manufacturer's revenue comes from games licensing deals rather than the hardware itself, that's going to mean a shrinking stream of dosh for Nintendo from games companies.
The number of games bought per console - known as 'attach rate' in the industry - has disappointed industry insiders, who previously thought Wii was lined up to be the gaming industries saviour. Top Nintendo titles have been mega sellers for one week of chart sales, before swiftly dropping off as the fanbase for excited gamers is exhausted.
If the Wii has predictably the lowest attach rate, then perhaps it is equally obvious that the Xbox 360 has the highest. Of the two 'hardcore gamer' platforms, the 360 is not only the cheapest in terms of hardware - thus leaving gamers with more cash to purchase software titles - individual games are priced up to £10 cheaper than their PS3 equivalent in high street stores, as retailers gouge PS3 owners for every penny of the many they clearly have.
Those hoping to comb Wedbush Morgan for industry intelligence will have to do so behind the New York Times registration-wall. µ
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