PlayStation Move Sell-Through Update - News

by Brett Walton, posted on 28 October 2010 / 14,465 Views

VGChartz has come under some scrutiny in the last couple of weeks over PlayStation Move estimates with figures released from Sony seemingly showing significantly larger sales than we reported. There are two fundamental reasons for this - firstly is that Sony is referring to a different measure of sales to VGChartz. Secondly, VGChartz underestimated their sales by around 20%.

Last week, Sony reported that PlayStation Move had sold 1 million units in the Americas and somewhere in the region of 1.5 million units in Europe. First thing to remember here is that to Sony (and indeed any manufacturer) a sale is counted as a sale by them to retailers - in other words "ship-in" by most analyst definitions. So by October 23rd, Sony claims to have shipped 2.5 million Move's worldwide to retailers.

The first difference in reporting here is the difference between units shipped-in to retail and units sold by retail to stores. Based on current VGChartz estimates, 50% of all Move controllers shipped-in have been sold-through to date. Two independent trackers seem to support this figure - analyst Michael Pachter commented that around 300,000 Move controllers had been sold in the USA during September (likely based on NPD data). Adding sales for Canada and Latin America, and sales for October upto the 23rd, the figure swells to around 480,000 units (1.15 is the typical ratio for USA to Americas and VGChartz tracking is showing October sales to date are around 30% of September sales). Even if one assumed that October sales to date were more like 50% of September sales, the figure would be 520,000 units - a far cry from the one million units shipped to date by Sony. Moving to Europe, it was announced a couple of weeks back that Move had sold 60,000 units from a 100,000 shipment in Italy. These are two isolated examples, but I just want to prove the point that a 50% - 60% sell-through rate a few weeks from launch with the holidays approaching is a common occurance and supported by two independent tracking services. So a sell-through of 1.25 million, as VGChartz estimates based on internal data, as of October 23rd isn't unreasonable.

The second difference in reporting is that VGChartz believes that the number of unique Move users is more meaninful than the number of controllers sold. As a developer, you are targetting a percentage of PS3 owners who are "Move-compatible", not the number of individual controllers sold. It also makes far more sense when comparing sales of Move to Kinect or Wii - if four people play Kinect or a customer buys a Wii with four controllers it counts as one sale, not four. Therefore, using historical trends on controller attach ratios, VGChartz reported Move sales as unique owners - a typical launch ratio for a new console is 1.7 controllers per console. This brings current Move sales to around 750,000 units by our estimates - seemingly far smaller than the 2.5 million figure given by Sony, but more representitive of the number of PS3s out there that are actually Move compatible.

Moving back to VGChartz figures, our current data shows the following cumulative sales:

Week 1 - 200,000 units
Week 2 - 395,000 units
Week 3 - 515,000 units
Week 4 - 600,000 units
Week 5 - 680,000 units
Week 6 - 745,000 units

Which ties in well with what other tracking agencies are reporting and represents realistic take-up of Move-compatible PS3s. The last sales report we did was in week 4 at 470,000 units which is considerably lower than the 600,000 units we are now placing on week 4 (22% in fact) and VGChartz did undertrack Move sales initially (any videogame product that sells well in non-gaming stores is hard to track accurately), but not by the margins that Sony's figures may suggest at first glance. It is also clear that with Sony still selling over 100,000 Move controllers per week, they will easily sell-through the remaining ~1.25 million by the end of the year (if not significantly more). Current VGChartz estimates place controller shipments at around 5 million units by March 2011, just over 4 million sold-through and close to 2.5 million Move-compatible PS3s.

Next week, VGChartz will publish a discussion with key analysts on the performance of PlayStation Move and other current videogame products and give expectations for the rest of the quarter.

Edit - since some are still questioning the motives behind tracking Move sales in this way, I'll paste some comments in here for everyone to read:

Why do we look at unique buyers for Move whereas we are happy with sold units for normal hardware? Most people own one console with anything from 1 to 4 controllers. Yes there are cases where people buy replacement consoles (RROD etc), new models (PS3 slim, 360 slim) but generally speaking most people buy one PS3, one copy of Gran Turismo, one copy of Uncharted 2 and a number of controllers. The situation with Move sales is very different to hardware sales and it is totally unfair and misleading to count individual controller sales when we are trying to compare Move userbase to say Kinect or Wii userbase.

The only reason we bother to track hardware sales in the first place is because we want to know the potential userbase. As a developer, I want to know how many potential buyers are out there for my product. If I am releasing a Move title this week, I could expect sales upto a potential maximum of around 750,000 if I had a 100% take-up rate. Unless people went out and bought multiple copies of my game (and why would they?) then the fact that there are 1.25 million controllers out there or 2.5 million controllers in homes and at retail make no difference to how much software I can sell.
What is important is how many PS3s are Move compatible and that is what we are estimating here.

That is why we are tracking Move in this way.

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Damnyouall (on 30 October 2010)

@nordberg "I think vgchartz guess not so bad for US (not including Canada) and Japan but all others country is practically pure guess like everyone can make." Especially for Europe, I'm getting the same feeling. Those numbers sound like wild guesses. For all we know, they could be off by as much as 50%. I don't think vgchartz has reasonable samples for all the separate markets. USA and Japan on the other hand are better documented.

nordberg (on 30 October 2010)

@kain_kusanagi i know vgchartz numbers are probably pulled from somewhere :), it will be very interesting if the site details the real numbers used to calculate her numbers (sales from amazon: XXX, sales from gamestop:XXX) and the formula used to transform the real number in the data everyone can see. I tough the vgchartz formulas have flaw because the site always need to adjust ps3 data after Sony announce the sales to retailers numbers. The true number always came from microsoft, nintendo and sony which can't lie (except if one of the 3 want an end result like Nortel in Canada (biggest Canadian company to bankruptcy in less than 10 years)). This true number is +2.9 millions xbox over ps3 as the end of september 2010. If you deny this number you are a fanboys or a CEO at sony or microsoft and know your company will be in trouble soon. Sony number was tougher to estimate because more sales was made in Europe and others country without good tracking data like NPD and vgchartz have problems to adjust data with these country. So, it is not intentionally vgchartz numbers was wrong (because at least vgchartz adjust partially her numbers when the site was not on track with NPD, Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo).

kain_kusanagi (on 30 October 2010)

@nordberg VGchartz's "guess", as you put it, are not just some numbers pulled blindly from a hat. It's an educated estimation worth a lot more respect than a video game fan's actual baseless hopes. You can't go around accusing that VGchartz intentionally props up Microsoft and low-balls Sony is what I was calling baseless. As for US, Japan, Europe, and Others. US is the biggest gaming market, period. Then Europe. Japan is a tiny portion and the rest of the world's country's individually barely make a dent in the totals. Nobody is going to track every little nation with a few hundred sales. It's not worth the effort. VGchartz tracks what matters and the North America and Europe matter. Frankly, in my opinion, Japan is becoming less and less important, especially when it comes to trends. And since you brought up accusations. When ever fans don't see the numbers they want they always call out bias. But when the numbers are in their favor they happily take it at face value. The fact that VGchartz goes out of their way to adjust accuracy as often as they can is proof they have no horse in the race. Don't assume VGchartz just makes up guesses based on nothing.

nordberg (on 30 October 2010)

@ reidlosdog "that assumption is as valid as yours." -You are perfectly right, my assumption use for most part irony (and maybe done late night too). Anyway, English is not my first language, i beg your pardon if i hurt you but i bet you are not as fluent as me in french :). @ kain_kusanagi "As for your accusations, they are baseless." -Maybe, but vgchartz numbers are mainly baseless too, That's my Point. You only need to check major adjustment done today. I think vgchartz guess not so bad for US (not including Canada) and Japan but all others country is practically pure guess like everyone can make.

kain_kusanagi (on 30 October 2010)

@theredsoldier When I said "Why would VGchartz care what the numbers are?" I was referring to them not caring who has the best sales. That is why I replied to clarify what my point was. There are a lot of people on here saying VGchartz is being unfair in how they track Move and all I was saying is they only car about being accurate not trumpeting one company over another. The only point I was ever trying to make was that VGchartz is not in the tank for any company and the way they are tracking Move is no different from the way they track all other products. As for the Xbox 360 failure rate. Here's a link: In it you will read that the unbiased Square Trade electronics-warranty company found that the Jasper chipset had a failure rate of only 4%. The latest chipset is a 45nm combined CPU GPU that runs extremely cool and efficiently. It's failure rate is probably even lower, but I don't have a link for you. I don't need to provide a link to about most busted Xbox 360s being replaced for free. It's common knowledge that MS has a 3 year warranty and they send out replacement units for free.

theredsoldier (on 29 October 2010)

@kain_kusanagi "VGchartz doesn't care who has the best sales, they just report it." Did I say the opposite? 1 - Your comment was: "Why would VGchartz care what the numbers are? They just track it, post it, and hope people come to read it." 2 - My answer was: "Wrong. They make assumptions that change the numbers they get at first. So, they actually "care what the numbers are"." 3 - Now you're talking about a different thing: not what the numbers are anymore but who has the best sales. "in that time they upgraded to much more reliable hardware. It is uncommon for people to have out of warranty issues because the replacement units failure rate is so much lower." Link, please. "it is uncommon for people to re-buy, especially now that the failure rate is below 5%" Link, please. "At it's worst, all Xbox 360s where being replaced for free." Link, please. You're talking without bases. I remember seeing several reports about the X360 failure rate and one that summarized all the information (I can't find them now but it's a matter of time to present you them all) and the idea I got is that the problem was much bigger and more critical than you're suggesting. Just to give you a clue, when the slim version came out: 1 - Its sales were extremely good not in the first week but along the weeks until now. 2 - Instead of getting a price cut, the console was more expensive but it got a bigger impact than PS3 slim (which had a big price cut). 3 - One of its advantages was the RROD abolition.

kain_kusanagi (on 29 October 2010)

@oniyide It doesn't really matter if the single Move controller is out of stock for the same reason that VGchartz doesn't count it as a sale. You need either the bundle or the PSeye to make it work. What that means is that everyone buying starter kits is buying a few more Move controllers so their whole family can play. That's why it's selling out, but it doesn't the increase total Move user base. A Move Starter kit and three move controllers counts as one sale, not four, and accounts for why there would be plenty of Starter kits and less single move controllers on shelves. Honestly I don't understand why people are being so particular about this. Nobody argues consoles sales based on extra controllers sold so why does it matter if extra Move controllers are sold out. I'm sure Sony probably sent out a hell of a lot more starter kits than single controllers anyway.

thismeintiel (on 29 October 2010)

Agree with homer. As long as you give us both numbers, it's cool.

atma998 (on 29 October 2010)

@geddesmond2 Now I get what you mean. But it doesnt change the fact that when tracking HW the only thing that matter is the userbase. You can buy 6 Move controllers if you want but you won't buy 6 copies of Sports Champions. As far as motion control goes, it is totally useless to know how much controllers have been sold, instead of that we want to know how much people will use this tech the same way we want to know how much people will buy a Wii or Kinect.

oniyide (on 29 October 2010)

@kain kusanagi I dont know what your looking at but the only seller I saw that was still selling Move single controller for 49.99 was Target and they were out of stock

kain_kusanagi (on 29 October 2010)

@theredsoldier VGchartz doesn't care who has the best sales, they just report it. Of course they care about being accurate. MS replaces busted Xbox 360 for three years, and in that time they upgraded to much more reliable hardware. It is uncommon for people to have out of warranty issues because the replacement units failure rate is so much lower. It was really just the first model that had a high failure rate and there have been several revisions to improve it. So yeah, it is uncommon for people to re-buy, especially now that the failure rate is below 5%. At it's worst, all Xbox 360s where being replaced for free. Those who think the Xbox 360 user base is inflated by replacement units have no statistical data to back up such a claim. In my opinion free warranty replacements don't effect sales numbers and out of warranty repurchases are a minority.

geddesmond2 (on 29 October 2010)

@ atma998 Why would anyone want to buy more than one copy of a game. Of course I won't be buying 2 GT5s, thats just stupid. My point is tracking move sales in a way thats benificial to the 15 or so dev teams thats developing for the move is dumb. You don't track consols like that for developers even though I know loads of people that own multiply versions of the same consol. Like even you can't tell me you don't know anyone who doesn't own the same consol twice or even 3 times. People want to see how well move is doing. Not how many individual users there is. I want to know how many moves were sold and I wouldn't care if Harry bought 4 and gave 1 to Suzie who then bought 2 making the total 6 but the userbase is only 2. See how confusing that is. I just want to know that Sony sold 6 moves controllers and not that Harry and Suzie make the move userbase 2. Ya get me.

MorgZ (on 29 October 2010)

Makes perfect sense to track Move as a platform which a PS3 either has or doesnt have. Number of Move controllers purchased is irrelevant as far as the market penetration of the platform is concerned.

theredsoldier (on 29 October 2010)

@kain_kusanagi "Only people who voided their warranty with system mods would have had to rebuy a busted console, and I doubt that's common." There are also people that got the RROD problem in their consoles after the warranty period was over (maybe you were thinking it lasts forever) and that's not uncommon. "Why would VGchartz care what the numbers are? They just track it, post it, and hope people come to read it." Wrong. They make assumptions that change the numbers they get at first. So, they actually "care what the numbers are".

theredsoldier (on 29 October 2010)

@atma998 "Since your brother owns 3 X360, I suppose he also bought 3 copies of Halo Reach and you will buy 2 copies of Gran Turismo 5 for your 2 PS3" If you count DLCs as new copies, he will actually be able to do that. The point here is what new versions or upgrades of products can bring to customers. Wii doesn't have storage capacity and it's so small that will hardly get a slim version, but you need to look at the world outside it, otherwise you won't understand the changes of the market.

theredsoldier (on 29 October 2010)

@STEKSTAV "Move is just a add on, and last i checked no one tracked peripherals?" Kinect is also a peripheral. So, no reason to track its sales, right? "the only thing the Wii has in common with the Move is the controller layout" Actually, that is one of the differences. For example, Wiimote can be integrated in Wii wheel. Can Move do a similar thing? No. Why? Because of its different layout.

FF_Fanatic (on 29 October 2010)

am I the only one who thinks this is way off, I mean pachter already apologized for being way off and he already said move should sell 3-4m moves by Christmas, that means there must be more than 745k moves sold already, I will believe jneul's estimations as they seem more accurate at 1.95m

reidlosdog (on 29 October 2010)

@ nordberg You need to get out of high school and learn how to argue. At least type a tangible argument that people can read. I don't understand half your sentences, which makes the other half kind of hard to understand. I can make an assumption: you are hurting the PS3 by showing that PS3 owners don't care about real numbers, or even real language. that assumption is as valid as yours.

Killiana1a (on 29 October 2010)

I stand corrected. As for VGChartz under-tracking Move sales by 20%, I think it was much more than 20%. A couple of posts here stated Move was selling at a rate of 100,000/week.

kain_kusanagi (on 29 October 2010)

@ nordberg Busted Xbox 360's got replaced for free by Microsoft so those people still have Xbox 360's that didn't get recounted as additional sales. Only people who voided their warranty with system mods would have had to rebuy a busted console, and I doubt that's common. As for your accusations, they are baseless. VGchartz uses the same methodology to track all three systems. VGchartz is unbiased and tracks impartially. Why would VGchartz care what the numbers are? They just track it, post it, and hope people come to read it.

nordberg (on 29 October 2010)

Your data is data is intended to publisher and developer? what a joke, a means if you want to make an article to compare potential market of Move controller vs kinect vs wii your statement make sense but as tracking sales number you fails. you always can make some assumption but if you indicate sales indicate true sales not sales depending on some assumption or at least indicates it clearly (not "move" sales but "Ps3 which support move games" sales). I can make some assumption too, why you always track xbox sales only around 1 millions less than what microsoft send to retailer but ps3 sales was always 3 millions less than what sony send to retailer even when ps3 have shortages like this spring, thats make no sense if you check microsoft and sony data. PS: Do not forget to lower the total sales of xbox of around 500 000, because the console have 5 years meaning more console was dead for good than sony and wii console which have only 4 years old (not counting have more chance to fails than wii and ps3). That s another assumption we can make if you want guessing on true sales to consumers !

kain_kusanagi (on 29 October 2010)

@ oniyide Upon closer examination it looks like the "PlayStation Move Controller" at is actualy being sold by a third party retailer called, "Hitgaming Video Games". That accounts for the markup. What's strange is that other third party retailers on are selling it new for $49.99. Very strange. The bundles, however, are readily available, including the starter kit which is the one most PS3 owners would need since the PSeye isn't all that popular. I don't know what that says about demand, but a quick search of US Amazon and Best Buy show the stand alone Kinect box totally out of stock from preorders. That's some crazy demand. The Kinect/360 bundles are still available at Amazon, but the 250 bundle is out of stock at Best Buy.

oniyide (on 29 October 2010)

@kain_kusanagi I just checked Amazon and there selling it for 75, no one is trying to buy it for that price. With a price hike like that it obviously means that there is a demand for the Move.

kain_kusanagi (on 29 October 2010)

@viewsonic9 I just checked Amazon and Walmart. The Move is 100% in stock in both bundles and separate, including the navigation controller. I don't know what "Play" or "Game" is, but the two biggest online retailers have Move waiting to be bought. Of course I'm only checking the US side, but then again the US is the biggest gaming market so it's what Sony really needs.

viewsonic9 (on 28 October 2010)

Try buying a Move Controller online. Its sold out on Amazon, Play, Walmart, Game etc despite 2.5m being shipped. That should probably tell you something.

atma998 (on 28 October 2010)

@geddesmond2 Since your brother owns 3 X360, I suppose he also bought 3 copies of Halo Reach and you will buy 2 copies of Gran Turismo 5 for your 2 PS3...

STEKSTAV (on 28 October 2010)

Id say.. why even track Move controllers at all? Its just that, a controller. Kinect is a new console launch, and the Wii is a Wii. The Move is just a controller. So why put yourself through some made up calculating just to make it fair in comparisons to other consoles is retarded imo. Kinect is nothing like the Move, and the only thing the Wii has in common with the Move is the controller layout. Should we start tracking Wii controllers? Move is just a add on, and last i checked no one tracked peripherals?

homer (on 28 October 2010)

It makes sense to try to keep up with amount of move ready ps3's but it would be cool if you also put up the total amount of moves sold.

ioi (on 28 October 2010)

@Jordahn - we are reporting sales of the Move controller - they are listed clearly in the article. We are also reporting estimated Move-compatible PS3 userbase which is the figure we are defining as units of Move hardware sold and will be directly comparable to units of Kinect hardware sold or units of Wii hardware sold when considering motion control userbases. Nobody is hiding or misleading anything, all we are doing is coming up with an apples to apples comparison across different products.

Bokal (on 28 October 2010)

It will be very very hard to get reliable data on Move only PS3s... and it will get more and more unreliable as the time will pass, and people will buy more move controller only (without the cam). At launch, people will buy more cam + 1 controller. And later, more controllers only, to complete the set. So, as I understand the motivations, I doubt the 1.7 number will ever be right. Good luck finding an accurate algorithm!

geddesmond2 (on 28 October 2010)

Yous are tracking Move sales in this way just incase one of the 15 or so developers making games for the PS Move can look at the data and go "Oh my game could possibley sell that much" Yeah I don't see why yous don't just give both numbers then. I'm not a developer so I'm interested in how many individual controllers are sold. I'm not interested in how many possible userbases there is. My brother has 3 xbox 360s and I will have 2 PS3's when I buy the 320GB PS3 in a months time. Thats just speaking for 2 people I know. How is individual consol units acceptable when everyone knows loads of people with multiply types of the same consol but for move it needs to be broken down. Yeah I know yous explained it in the article but theres only a handful of developers for Move that needs this data.

Jordahn (on 28 October 2010)

"it is totally unfair and misleading to count individual controller sales when we are trying to compare Move userbase to say Kinect or Wii userbase." There is the hypocrisy right there. Why talk about "fairness" when there isn't even an accurate way to track the Move userbase to begin with? And since a minority of console owners have more than one of the same current gen console brand in their household, what's to stop some people from owning a couple of Kinects? And I do not question the reasoning of an attempt to estimate unique MOVE users. But if VGChartz will not be reporting the sales of the MOVE controller itself just for the sake of numbers so we can make our own reasonable assessments, then that's just an attempt to hide information. "It is totally unfair and misleading" to call something "fair" when the methodology of counting and then comparing the sales of product is different given the nature of those products. I'm starting to call bull on this one.

Pavolink (on 28 October 2010)

---The situation with Move sales is very different to hardware sales and it is totally unfair and misleading to count individual controller sales when we are trying to compare Move userbase to say Kinect or Wii userbase--- This is just what I want to hear. Your doing a great job vg chartz!

Jordahn (on 28 October 2010)

dark_gh0st_b0y, there was a slight increase in PS3 hardware sales in both EMEAA and the America during the MOVE release. Then, there was a +400,000 worldwide adjustment for the PS3 afterward. There could be a number of reasons for the increases, but it would be unreasonable to not include the MOVE.

EncodedNybble (on 28 October 2010)

Seems like a reasonable logic as no one will really know the number of move wands a "move household" will have. I'd assume that the attach ratio of controllers to hardware will be higher than 1.7 for the move as there are some single player games that will be better with 2 moves and I don't think I know of any games which are better with 2 dual shocks/360 controllers/Wii motes.

ioi (on 28 October 2010)

@qwert - read the article again please.

AnthonyW86 (on 28 October 2010)

A number of 750K complete Move systems is still pretty good if you ask me. Also it means Move could have a head start of 1 million by the time Kinect arrives. So it will take Kinect probably atleast 3 weeks to catch up, maybe even close to december to overtake it. It's looking to be an interesting holiday season.

heruamon (on 28 October 2010)

Godd info, but the people who raise a "stink" are trying to do so to make a false point, not because of anyhting that resembles commonsense.

dark_gh0st_b0y (on 28 October 2010)

Move is gone off the shelves? then where's the hardware increase?

qwert (on 28 October 2010)

ioi, how you explain your 600 000 single move after 4 weeks instead of your now 1,25million. (50% of 2,5 million) a 100% error?

atma998 (on 28 October 2010)

Well, after all these explanations I'm sure there will be some people that would still remain in total denial. *sigh*

binary solo (on 28 October 2010)

Individual countries will vary, both due to relative difference in popularity and whether retailers in the country under-ordered (thinking Move would be a slow seller) or over ordered (thinking Move would be the new Wii). I think Move was difficult for retailers to accurately predict for sales prior to launch, and it turns out to have done better than some peope thought and not as well as others thought, so it pretty much defied most predictions. I think as a developer in the launch phase of a new piece of HW or peripheral userbase is a consideration, but seeing a steady increase in userbase is more important. A developer who is today thinking about making a Move game isn't going to look at today's userbase to decide whether it will be economic to develop a game. They are going to look at how it's selling from week to week and what are the forecasts for user base around the time when their game will release (1 year later). Forecasts of 2.5 million user base by March (assuming there is still good consumer uptake) will mean if you make a good Move game for release next holidays then you should get profitable sales. The early userbase is often an enthusiastic user base (which it should be with Move, because Move works very well) and so the attach rate for good games is much higher.

ioi (on 28 October 2010)

steverhcp02 - as has been pointed out, your senario can just as equally be applied to a console. I buy a Wii, my brother likes Brawl and Galaxy, my mom likes Wii Fit and my dad likes Mario Kart. That way we are reaching 4 different customers? No. It is still one unit of hardware of the 75 million that a developer is hoping will buy their game. The reason for tracking sales in this way is to ensure consistency of numbers, simple as that. There are 39 million PS3s out there, maybe something like 100 million controllers that people use to play PS3s. There are 75 million Wiis, maybe something like 180 million Wii Remotes. 45 million 360s, 120 million Xbox controllers and 750k "Move compatible PS3s" with 1.25 million PS Move controllers. We can't switch from one base to another if we want to compare like for like - either we count controllers or we count units of hardware.

Fumanchu (on 28 October 2010)

Can I file a motion that this be edited from 'unique Move users' to 'Move households'? In essence, the users are meaningless because the household will only purchase 'unique' titles regardless if it's 1 user or a house of orphans. Somewhere along the way people forgot this...

oniyide (on 28 October 2010)

I think this thing is bigger than anyone wants to admit. Hell, I bought Move and I was in the flop camp

siphillis (on 28 October 2010)

im not so sure about the sellthrough numbers, 50% seems really low it is probably like 80%. i live in germany and here i cant get my second move controller because in every store its outsold. the biggest retailers are all sold out . I cant even get the controller in the uk because there every online retail store i visit is outsold. you can only buy overpriced controller on ebay or marketplayce dealers on amazon, even the starterpack is outsold.

Demotruk (on 28 October 2010)

My last comment was wrong, it was 2007 and not 2006 when Wii Remotes and Nunchuks sold 8.5 million combined in the US. I copied someone else's mistake.

oniyide (on 28 October 2010)

@seece no one is disputing the reasoning behind it, only the methods, any way you slice it there is no way that VGchartz "unique user" #s are correct, where are their #s coming from??? Its all guess work, to take those #s at face value you have 2 fall in the "Move hater" camp. If your pro Move then your going with what Sony said. either way any side is up for debate, but for my money im going to go with the actual #s of controllers sold.

jkudlacz (on 28 October 2010)

This is awesome, 70% of people that comment here just make stuff up and hope rest of us will just believe anything they say. Reasonable has tried to clarify it for all of you. Also original article if read carefully makes sense. Sure there are many variables in relation to unique users. Household with 1 PS3 and 4 different users (Mom, Dad, son, daughter) or they may only own 2 controllers but have 4 users that like different games. Sony will hit past 4 if not 5 Million sold to Retailers by end of year. Please keep in mind 2.5 Million number is week and a half old. It is probably 3 Million + by now. Sure titles are limited at this point but this will only get better over next 4-5 Months. Now main titles are Sports Champions, Ruse, MAG, Heavy Rain, Resident Evil 5 Gold Edition, NBA 2K11 bunch of ports from Wii, Sports, EA Sports Active, LOTR Game, Dead Space Ignition etc. Other titles that are coming, LBP, Killzone 3, SoCom 4, Sorcery and few More. Sony has a patent for motion control that goes back 9 years. Sony said on numerous occasions that they sell each and every MOVE at profit. It is probably $10-15 per unit which adds up to $30-45 Million at this moment in their pocket and it will go up. Move will sell like a Console slow start and then it will go up based on new SOFTWARE that hits the market. It is kinda interesting because some developer may not make a game for it because small user base, but other will say, if I make a good title for it and because of it user base grows my next title will sell so much better. My prediction is 4-5 Million sold by years end and they will not be able to keep up with DEMAND. Also that number mean about 2.5-3 Million households because of 1.7 attach rate.

pukem0n (on 28 October 2010)

nobody has any money left for that crap with all the great games coming right now. people will buy it after they are done with their good games ^^

theredsoldier (on 28 October 2010)

Numbers are 22% higher now, some good explanations were given...still, all of this means that only after 6 weeks Sony has reached 50% of initial shipment. This continues to be hard to believe, not only because all the comments of stockouts I saw after 1 month of Move sales (which VG Chartz claims that only 1020k were sold out of 2500k), but also because Sony said that they wanted to increase the production. I know Christmas period is coming but...increase the production when not even one half of the total shipment was sold and it is only expected to happen by the end of the year? Why would they want to produce more after knowing (or expecting) that the initial shipment is enough until 2011? If these numbers and projections are true, why doesn't Sony produce more units only in December? Why do they want to have stock (= more costs)? For me, this story still remains a mystery.

Demotruk (on 28 October 2010)

" Stop comparing Move to Wii, its dumb you cant compare a controller to a console, that makes no sense. Kinect and Move those you can compare" In six weeks after launch IN THE US ALONE Nintendo sold 8.5 million Remotes and Nunchuks. This doesn't count the ones that came with the Wii and was before Wii Play launched.

Nybbas (on 28 October 2010)

well with the whole "unique users" thing, does this mean that we arnt going to count xbox 360 sales for users who had theirs red ring and had to buy a new one? (I bought two controllers, so I actually kind of agree with their method, in their defense its really hard to judge this shit, I just felt the need to release some pent up fanboy rage)

Demotruk (on 28 October 2010)

This is far more in line with what I expect. And by this measure, it's a pretty lackluster start for Move. Comparing it to the Wii launch (EU and Others since Japanese data is still to come), in the first two weeks Wii had sold 705K in US. After six weeks (which includes December so isn't as fair) it stood at 2 million across the Americas and EMEAA. If you go by the standard some wish to apply here, and include extra Wii remotes, well within the first six weeks in the US alone 8.5 million Wii Remote and Nunchuks were sold seperately (Wii Play had not yet launched). After 6 weeks on the market Move software is still showing no signs of picking up legs (Sports Champions is the only one that hasn't completely fallen off the charts), and Move controllers are selling less every week. You can choose to judge this as if it were a video game from a third party and say "well it's making money so it's successful" if you wish, but if we even assume this is covering it's R&D costs, costs of software development, marketing and hardware manufacturing, that is not the way a platform is usually judged. Platforms are judged by their ability to produce a strong ROI in the long run, which effectively means it must create a large install base in order to encourage development and sell a lot of profitable software (and make as little loss or as much profit on hardware as possible) to justify the initial investment. Move as a platform is starting quite slowly. If I were a third party publisher looking at these numbers, especially software numbers, it would not encourage me to support the device.

Seece (on 28 October 2010)

"The second difference in reporting is that VGChartz believes that the number of unique Move users is more meaninful than the number of controllers sold." How can ANYONE question this method? Seriously whoever is, stop and think ..

oniyide (on 28 October 2010)

i do see where VGchartz is coming from but its still BS, how can they know for sure who bought how many controllers for how much, unless someone took a poll and actually asked Move owners if they bought more than one controller for there households they cannot possibly be certain. Stop comparing Move to Wii, its dumb you cant compare a controller to a console, that makes no sense. Kinect and Move those you can compare

Icyedge (on 28 October 2010)

Stever, you have a very good point about unique users. Though, to be fair, same can apply to console, you can have multiple user on 1 console but it remain only 1 console, not 2. The metric isnt perfect, but at least we use the same metric to compare everything, which is important. Unless we start calculating userbase by numbers of controller sold for everything, I think IOI method is best. Nonetheless, you have a very good point. Your example is perfect to demonstrate that you can have multiple users on 1 console or controller.

Darth Tigris (on 28 October 2010)

I support VGChartz rational here. While it may not present the best case scenario (to the chagrin of some of you), it presents a more useful one.

steverhcp02 (on 28 October 2010)

The thing about "unique" users is I bought 2 move controllers for my house and sports champions. My girlfriend had really no interest in move but we got to playing table tennis and archery and she was okay with it. So now all of a sudden shes going to buy Get Fit or EA active 2 games i never would hav ebought, so now all of a sudden my 2 controllers which are 1 "unique" user have become 2 "unique" users in this sense of developer wanting to know potential customer base. This is why there are too many variables. Technically if on efamily buys the Move PS3 bundle and no extra moves that could be 5 "unique" users for move. 2 brothers with different tastes, a sister and the parents all buying 5 different kinds of games with one Move bundle sold. This is why unit sales matter and can be discussed. I think this whole "developers need to know potential customers" is getting ridiculous and out of hand. Track the unit sales, if devs make quality software it will sell and the amount of Move controllers, like i mentioned, is still relevant because the most anyone can use at once is 2, so anytime you cross over to 3 controllers sold it is theoretically 2 unique users since a second person is needed for the third controller to be active.

YogS (on 28 October 2010)

@Rockyb Exactly. Sony showing us how many Move has been shipped didn't said that this is unique userbase, but just clear sale of their product, for them is less important how big is userbase in this case and more important to sell just more units. So you should show us REAL sale of each Move unit (1.3 million) and then add "which translates into ~745,000 unique userbase".

NYANKS (on 28 October 2010)

Haha this is awesome, epic confusion ftw.

silicon (on 28 October 2010)

my impression of someone who's visited this site over the passed few years is that VGChartz likely has knowledge of sales from EB Games, but not other retailers. However, since EB Games makes up for a large part of the sale their estimations are usually accurate... unless there's software or hardware that sells better from more casual gaming retailers. I.E. Walmart sells out of Move but not EB Games. Similarity, EG Games still has Kinect but Amazon and Best Buy don't. (correct me if I'm wrong) It makes sense that something that targets a casual market is under reported.

BMaker11 (on 28 October 2010)

told you it would be difficult to quanitfy actual sales of move. How do you know how many are unique users? How many are single controller owners? Said this a week nd a half, maybe even more so, ago

Rockyb (on 28 October 2010)

you should say in the article how many moves have been sold so far and THEN you "estimation" of userbase

ils411 (on 28 October 2010)

did you just use Pachter's original guesstimate of 300,000? Seriously? Didn't he retract that statement?

flagstaad (on 28 October 2010)

Think of move as a controller not a console and you will understand VGchartz numbers better. I'll use a Nintendo example... Last week Nintendo reported that it has sold 65.3 million controllers in the USA, according to vgchartz numbers they had sold around 30 million Wiis in the same region (consistant with Nintendo own data). That only means that there its a potential market of 30 million individual users for your games in USA not 65.3 millions, and that's what matter to the developers/prublishers. Now you can use the average controller ratio (65.3/30 = 2.1) to other things like define how many players will be ideal for your games to support or how much money Nintendo its gaining from those sales, but that's usually not the main reason you want to know the sales data.

ioi (on 28 October 2010)

@IMU1808 - does the article not give total sales of controllers then from that estimates an install base given a clear set of assumptions which are laid out in a careful, transparent and methodical way? @Reasonable - you miss the point. Most people own one console with 2,3,4 controllers. Yes there are cases where people buy replacement consoles, new models etc but generally speaking most people buy one PS3, one copy of Gran Turismo, one copy of Uncharted 2 and a number of controllers. The issue here is very different to hardware and it is totally unfair and misleading to count individual controller sales when we are trying to compare Move userbase to say Kinect or Wii userbase. The only reason we bother to track hardware sales is because we want to know the potential userbase. As a developer, I want to know how many potential buyers are out there for my product. If I am releasing a Move title this week, I could expect sales upto a potential maximum of around 750,000 if I had a 100% take-up rate. Unless people went out and bought multiple copies of my game (why would they) then the fact that there are 1.25 million controllers out there or 2.5 million in homes / at retail make no difference to how much software I can sell. That is why we are tracking Move in this way.

Cunning_Linguist (on 28 October 2010)

While I don't disagree with the estimates posted I do wonder how many of the existing 1 million or so pre-Move PSEye owners have upgraded simply by buying a standalone controller have been taken into account. Is that included in the 745k estimate?

flagstaad (on 28 October 2010)

@KylieDog: There can be a number of reasons why there were shortages for small periods of time in Europe: Sony said it sold 1.5 million move units to retailers, but they don't ship all the units at the same time, so they understimate first or/and second week shipments. Or they could pre-sell some units and that 1.5 million make reference to the shipments of the first month and a half. Its money in the pocket for Sony and a good reason why they are increasing production, because they can only ship let's say 250.000 units to retailers and they need more move controller only or something along those lines.

Reasonable (on 28 October 2010)

BTW I think it's been a mistake by the team to mix estimating sell through of pure units (the 1.25 million) and unique users within the same articles as it's clearly confused a fair few readers. It also opens up a can of worms, as TBH all the figures here must have a degree of error in terms of unique users - i.e. we might note the 38 million PS3s but some percentage must be second purchases, etc. (same for 360 and Wii) and therefore the unique full price base must be smaller - not to mention the untracked second hand install base. So, I'd say focus on units sold (in whatever combinations) and then, as seperate, interest only articles, play with the estimates on install base. Unlike the rest of the HW and SW Move represents some particular challenges. Mind you, I suppose it does generate a lot of activity for the site, and I don't mean that negatively. It is about estimating numbers. I just feel it's clear from the comments here alone (never mind a lot of threads) that a lot of people really aren't following the train of estimates and extrapolations from reported shipped to estimate of install base. I'll add that, as I've noted elsewhere, while it will surely have a smaller install base, if Move continues in this vein it does stand a good change of selling more units than Kinect, and being equally profitable for Sony. The question will be how much the smaller install base affects sales. I think the launch titles were weak to okay at best, so I feel that hasn't been fully tested yet, particularly with a lot of people (myself included) getting Move due to already having titles like EyePet, Heavy Rain, etc vs really being interested in the launch titles themselves.

IMU1808 (on 28 October 2010)

Not only do I think it's undertrack but I also think what VGC did was just plain bull. Don't just give your estimates. Give what your data states as TOTAL sell through. THEN give your estimates of unique users and make sure to label them as estimates based on trends. At least the total sell through has data to back it up. Your estimates have very little ground to stand on, especially in a Gen that's been so different from past.

DirtyP2002 (on 28 October 2010)

I think this is the best and most reasonable. 750k in 6 weeks is solid. Not breathtaking, not a flop.

sirroman (on 28 October 2010)

What about tracking the PS-eye instead of controllers to track Move Compatible households?

Pyramid12 (on 28 October 2010)

LOL @ fallen So much QQ on your post mate wats wrong you one of the PSmove will flop crowd b4 launch now trying to do excuses? Sony iz lying? ROFL

ithis (on 28 October 2010)

"Hard data" and "Pachter estimated 300k" do NOT go together at ALL. It would be interesting to know PS Eye install base and weekly sales of stand alone units to see if those picked up and how. Would help the estimate a little. Anyway, extremely difficult to estimate unique house holds so GL with it. Good effort so far.

fallen (on 28 October 2010)

Every hard data has sown Move not selling well. From Euro charts where the best selling Move game, sports champions, performed poorly, now on to Japan, where Move software also did poorly, to USA, where Pachter estimated 300k sales. The fact is all evidence points to Sony's numbers being misleading or false. And if they chalk up another huge shipped console number tomorrow all out of whack with recorded PS3 sales like the last one was, well I'm going to call BS on that one too. They are the only company doing this. Microsoft and Nintendos shipped numbers match with Sales.

KylieDog (on 28 October 2010)

If it is only ~50% sell through in Europe why were many retailers for a while sold out and then had price hiked second sellers only? Not to mention Sony saying they need increase production.

Xbbjf9s (on 28 October 2010)

@jordahn- well said

Michael-5 (on 28 October 2010)

Some people are just critical. Good Job recording Move sales, but when Kinect comes out, can you designate a local on the website for Move and Kinect sales? Like call Move a game or something and record unique users as well as controller sold. Also consider labeling Move capable games under a new label (similar to PSN labeled games). Just some ideas, great job, and to be honest, I am surprised the PS Move is selling so well.

Jordahn (on 28 October 2010)

The bottom line here is that it's almost impossible to accurately unique users of MOVE. It can be anywhere from a person with a PS Eye buying a single MOVE controller to try a few demos and to play a couple of retail games to a household who has four MOVE controllers and a couple of NAV controllers of course with the PS Eye. We just don't truly know. But as long as SONY is making money on MOVE, developers are supporting it, and there is consumer demand (and so far all three are true) then that is what really matters. I have never criticized VGChartz's numbers on MOVE. In fact, I've praised it in the beginning. But you haters need to open your minds up to be gamers and see that MOVE as so far been good. Also, MOVE production has been ramped up. That says something.

ethomaz (on 28 October 2010)

Great article... but one error: "Michael Pachter commented that around 300,000 Move controllers had been sold in the USA during September (likely based on NPD data)" It's not true... 300k was not accurate because Pachter later said was wrong... so this number can not be taken into account.

HexenLord (on 28 October 2010)

... I've been to 3 Walmart stores and 2 Gamestops looking for 2 extra move controllers in the past week. Sold out. Even the cameras have been sold out. If they wanted to track unique Move sell-through, why didn't they track camera sales?

Reasonable (on 28 October 2010)

@ghutto - you really read and understood the article, didn't you? Oh, no, wait... you didn't. Sony has sold 2.5 million to retailers - that's their money in the bank. VgChartz estimates sell-through from retailers at 1.25million - that's to customers. This seems reasonable (and as I estimated 1.3 I'm happy to go with that!). VGchartz is then estimating, using a 1.7 ratio of controllers to sales, that there are 745,000 unique owners many of whom have multiple controllers. This is the guesstimate bit as the ratio is fairly standard for controllers but of course Move has arrived late in PS3 cycle and comes in lots of purchase options, so the ratio while a guide could be wildly right or wrong. For the record I estimate a slightly higher install base of around 800 to 850K, but hey, that's just me. For a peripheral launching early before the holidays, I doubt Sony are too upset by those sales. They are solid, and if word of mouth is good then they will see equally solid sales throughout the holidays, giving them a pretty decent initial launch of what is, that way Sony are marketing it, simply a new peripheral vs a whole new console launch as MS are pushing Kinect. As for the production question, they are selling out of Wands at retail quite a bit - i.e. they misjudged demand for individual Wands vs bundles. The bundles are in place and stocked bu they clearly need to produce more single unit Move wands to meet the demand for that particular SKU.

Ghutto (on 28 October 2010)

Hahahahahahahaha lol! Like I said all the time, 6 weeks to sell only 745.000 units it's a shame! Move is a failure.

mchaza (on 28 October 2010)

if 1.25 were sold why would sold increase production by 4x if they aren't selling out at retail. sure 1.25 already would mean doubling of production but again is crazy. I am estimating that the figure is around 1.75-2.25 million units sold. It means there is around 250,000-750,000 units un sold but gives sony an real reason to ramp up production as retailers are calling for more stock. while 2.5 million sold is unrealistic at the moment i believe it is above 1.5 million at the moment.

wanderson75 (on 28 October 2010)

Thanks for the clarification Brett. Good work.

Carl2291 (on 28 October 2010)

People. Don't you get it? VGC is reporting sell through to households. Sony are reporting number of units actually sold. One household wont necessarily have ONE PS Move controller.

Raze (on 28 October 2010)

Would like to see how many of those sales are HW bundle sales w/consoles. I remember an argument a while ago that the Move would sell to current customers but wouldn't draw the casual market away from Nintendo.

Pyramid12 (on 28 October 2010)

LMAO here it comes!

Lord_Yggdrassil (on 28 October 2010)

Sony are talking out of theri ****** ass. No way in hell has MOVE sold 2mil to consumers.

YogS (on 28 October 2010)

Still IMO it's wrong. If there is 50-60% sold rate at shipped units so there is 1.25 million sold, not 745,000 as it means UNIQUE USERS. Simply don't mess with unique users, just tell raw data how much Move units have been sold.

Pyramid12 (on 28 October 2010)

WOOO!!!! bu bu but itz a flopz! whoohohohohohoho were are the haters???

Carl2291 (on 28 October 2010)

Great article Brett. Should clear up quite a few things... And Move is doing great!!

fwap (on 28 October 2010)

Move down. Kinect, you're up.