Player 3 enters the game ith the inten o
it h hittin the market
he first quarter of 2017 was full of potential, with a wealth of triple-A titles hitting shelves and, of course, the much-awaited launch of the Nintendo Switch. But it seems the quarter only lived up to half of its promise, with sales decreasing 1.4 per cent in value and six per cent in units year-on-year compared to Q1 2016, according to a GfK report for the period. That’s not to say it was all bad news, as Sony had a great Q1 thanks to PlayStation 4 exclusive Horizon Zero Dawn and Capcom’s Resident Evil VII: Biohazard, which sold massively on PS4 (71 per cent of the copies shifted) over Xbox One.
In just under a month, the Switch managed to grab a 5.5 per cent market share in value. This good performance actually widened the already existing gap between the PS4 and the Xbox One, giving Sony’s machine a 50.9 per cent market share during Q1 2017, compared to 46.7 per cent for the last quarter of 2016 and 45.3 per cent for Q1 2016. In the meantime, the Xbox One’s market share fell quite sharply, from 39.1 per cent in Q4 2016 to 32.3 per cent during Q1 2017. While third-party games usually lean slightly towards the PS4, Microsoft paid heavily for the lack of exclusives in its portfolio during Q1 2017, with only Forza Horizon 3 making it into the quarter’s Top 20. The best-selling title on Xbox One for Q1 was actually Ghost Recon Wildands, whereas Horizon Zero Dawn was, understandably, the best-selling game on PS4. But Sony’s strong sales during Q1 isn’t the only explanation behind Microsoft’s below-average performance. Sony may have had a bold portfolio and a strong historical association with some franchises, such as Resident Evil, but a new player entered the hardware game this quarter, with Nintendo lauching its highly-awaited Switch on March 3rd. In just under a month (GfK closed its report for Q1 on April 1st), the Switch managed to grab a 3.4 per cent market share in units and a 5.5 per cent market share in value. Admittedly, that’s not a lot, but it did come at the expense of the Xbox One. It’s also more than the Wii U managed to achieve since at least Q1 2014. That said, the release of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild allowed the Wii U to see a slight
e analyse its impa t on the
sales ﬁ ures
Q1 UK PHYSICAL RETAIL TOP 10 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands Grand Theft Auto V Horizon Zero Dawn Resident Evil VII: Biohazard FIFA 17 all of uty nﬁnite arfare The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild For Honor ass ect ndromeda attleﬁeld
PS4, XO PS4, XO, PS3, 360, PC PS4 PS4, XO, PC PS4, XO, PS3, 360 PS4, XO, PC NS, Wii U PS4, XO PS4, XO, PC PS4, XO, PC
Ubisoft Rockstar Sony Capcom EA Activision Nintendo Ubisoft EA EA
Source: Ukie/GfK, Period: Q1 2017 - January 1st to April 1st
increase of its share, from 1.5 per cent to 2.3 per cent in value quarter-on-quarter. However, Breath of the Wild still sold 74 per cent of its copies on the Switch against 26 per cent on the Wii U. Interestingly, the Switch didn’t have a huge impact on Nintendo’s ranking in the publishers’ charts for Q1. It gained one spot in value, charting at No.3 with 12.2 per cent of the software share, and remained at No.3 as far as units were concered, with 10.8 per cent of the market. That’s likely because, even though the Switch had a strong launch (at the time of writing it has reached 2.74m units sold worldwide), the launch line-up for the console was actually pretty poor, with Breath of the Wild being the only triple-A flagship physical release for Nintendo. We can expect the platform holder to increase its share going forward, as other flagship titles release, starting with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which hit shelves on April 28th.
Breath of the Wild sold primarily on the Switch – 74 per cent of its copies
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