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Playstation Move software sales are abysmal to date

David Hughes's picture

The Playstation Move hardware is selling reasonably well, but figures from the NPD November 2010 report indicate that software is a very different story.

As of the beginning of December, Sony had shipped 4.1 million units of the Playstation Move hardware to retailers. While that number is not representative of actual sell-through, HULIQ estimates that the Move is selling a solid 1-1.25 million units per month. This pales in comparison to Microsoft's current 2+ million units per month for the Kinect, but is reasonable considering the level of marketing and R&D investment the company put into the peripheral platform. The big headlines have been about the shortages of the Kinect, but there have been shortages of the Move as well.

Sony can sell as much hardware as it wants, but the long-term future of any hardware item is software. On that front, things are not looking good for the Playstation Move. According to a report by Gamaustra, none of the top 5 software sellers with Move compatibility were titles specifically designed for the system, and one (Eye Pet) dates back to the first lukewarm introduction of the Playstation Eye. According to Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter, games with "Move" in their title have sold a remarkably poor 200,000 units when added together.

HULIQ believes that this particular number is somewhat disingenuous, since there are reasonably high-profile Move titles that don't have "Move" in their titles: The Shoot, Time Crisis: Razing Storm, and the PSN title Tumble come to mind. That said, none of these titles crack the top 5 Move compatible title list provided by the NPD Group:

  1. NBA 2K11
  2. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11
  3. Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition
  4. Eye Pet
  5. R.U.S.E.

Of these, it's likely that only Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 saw a fair amount of purchase based on Move compatibility, since the swing of a motion controller is a logical addition to a golfing title. NBA 2K11 is a strongly selling sports title that has even gotten some end of the year awards, so Move compatibility is not likely high on the list of purchase intent. Resident Evil 5 got some attention for its patch enabling Move compatibility, but it's a somewhat older game that gamers are likely purchasing for the DLC packaged in with the Gold edition, not the Move functionality. Eye Pet was mentioned above, and given weak sales of the PC version, it's hard to see R.U.S.E. (a strategy title) selling well on a console.

Which leaves the few titles typically discussed by the press when talking about the Move (listed above) seemingly dead on arrival. If Move hardware sales at least remain constant, there will be a large enough install base for both first and third-party developers to improve the state of affairs for Sony, but things are not looking good for the Move as a viable software-selling platform.

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