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I Don't Want to, but I Have To...
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Posted on 10/20/14
Well, Gamergate has spilled over into the mainstream media and the coverage appears to be nearly uniformly dreadful. Take " What is Gamergate, and What Does It Say About Gender In Video Games? " by David Konnow as an example.  It appears that the writer has done little to no...

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The Frogurt Toppings Contain Potassium Benzoate, And 22,000 Is Not A High Number

Posted on Monday, August 12 @ 20:33:22 Eastern by Heath_Hindman
When Homer Simpson walked into a haunted toy store looking for a gift, he found one; but for every good thing about the situation, there was a downside. The final one, however, went right over his head. The same scenario played out in July, with the Wii-U's Japanese sales chart. Wii-U's usual sales of 8,000 were given a boost up to 22,000; some seem to be planning a victory parade a little too early.



 



 






People don't seem to understand that a 200 or 300% boost of a small number doesn't automatically mean it's a good number. The Xbox 360 could see a 1,000% sales increase in Japan next week, but that would still hardly be a baby step in making up all of the lost ground. This is especially true when the boost only lasts a week or two, as it did with the Wii-U in July. Nintendo's console sold 22,000 units during the Pikmin 3 launch, but was right back down to 15,000 the week after that, then around 12,000, and has now gone back to 10,000.
 
Rainbow-guzzling optimists will point out that even 12,000 is proportionally a big step up from the sales of 8,000 that Wii-U pulled in weeks before Pikmin 3 and summer vacation arrived together. (Summer vacation begins in mid/late July in Japan. Our last day of school here was Friday, July 19th.)
 
This logic, however, brings us right back where we started, in that big percentages do not always mean big numbers. The 3DS was selling around 15k per week when people were mocking it and crying for a price drop. Nintendo reluctantly agreed, even itself seeing 15,000 as too weak to compete. These numbers were too small to generate revenue in 2011, and they're still too small now. So how would selling less than that number be sufficient? It isn't.
 
The Vita, too, saw large spikes of sales when a big game would come out, Persona 4: The Golden and Hatsune Miku being responsible for some of the biggest. Yet, its ability to sell 34k during Persona 4's release and 50k during Miku's launch two months later were not enough, and a price drop came 14 months after the system's launch. Spikes are great; every system depends on them. Just as much as a spike, however, a system needs consistent numbers that don't suck. You can't jump in a deep pool and avoid drowning by letting out five strong kicks every once in a while. Occasional breaths though you might catch, you're not gonna last long. To quote a song, "You gotta swim."
 
Of course, pointing out that "good" news wasn't all that good gets a lot of people angry and sad, in much the same way a child's heart takes a hit when finding out Santa isn't real. Believing something and then being told it's false can be disheartening, and lead people to say dumb shit like:


 
and...


 
This conversation isn't about Mario and Zelda, however. This is about 22k being a good number or not, and for all the insane amount of advertising Pikmin 3 got, to see it outsold by new PSP games and to see its system sales bump only manage 22,000 units is an undeniable miss. Mario and Zelda will, ahem, "defo" move more Wii-U's than Pikmin, but that's not the point. The point is the here and now, and right here, right now, the Wii-U has missed the mark yet again. Whether Mario, Donkey Kong, Wonderful 101, and Zelda can bring the thing's head above water for more than a moment each has yet to be seen. The possibility is absolutely there, but let's be honest with ourselves, this system is still struggling.
 
Next week and the week after might still see some decent Wii-U sales, as one of the year's biggest retail weeks is upon us: Obon. This string of holidays has now begun in Japan, and game shops know that it always brings in mountains of cash and shelf-clearing satisfaction. Every system will get a shot to the arm, and some of the more leggy software might reappear on the charts. The bump will be small but noticeable on the charts that come out this week, and then next week is when the real fireworks begin.

Well I mean, actually, the real real fireworks will be over, because the literal fireworks shows happen during the festivals, and the... I mean the festivals are part of the holidays, which by the time you read the charts, the holidays will be... I'll stop this.
Related Games:   Pikmin 3
Tags:   Japan, Sales, Wii-U
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