Super Street Fighter IV is one of the most anticipated titles among the fighting game community. SSFIV releases next week and at a $40 price point the game is sure to do some pretty good numbers on the sales side of things. With that being said, I estimate that the PS3 version will outsell the Xbox 360 version in next month’s NPDs. Here is why I believe so.
Looking back at the release of Street Fighter IV last February, the Xbox 360 version sold 466,000 and the PS3 version sold 403,000 in that particular month. Considering that the 360 in North America dominated multiplayer game sales for most of 2009, these numbers are pretty interesting.
Xbox 360 console sales have continued to either go on pace with or outsell the PlayStation 3 on an average basis, but dual console ownership will play a part in swaying SSFIV sales to PS3. The PS3 Slim has changed the landscape of gaming preference for select games and this trend will continue to make ripples in future NPD charts.
Along with the inflation of attach rates between the consoles, dual console owners may find themselves buying Super Street Fighter IV on the PS3 because of the preference being displayed by other friends due to the mental conception that the PS3 is better for fighting games because of its controller. It does not matter if you personally believe this to be true, but this viral thought is embed in the minds of gamers. This will play a role in making consumers purchasing decisions more interesting among a broader number of people when compared to last year numbers.
Piracy will also play a slight role in the shift in sales. The 360 version of the game has leaked on the internet already. This isn’t a huge problem in general, but dual console owners in particular who obtain the game illegally are likely buy the game on the PlayStation 3 if they intend on making a purchase. The PS3 will be used as their legitimate source playing Super Street Fighter IV.
Also for people who are really into Street Fighter, they may find themselves purchasing two copies of the game or the PS3 version only for tournament and competition purposes. Even though above average players more often than not play with some kind of custom controller or joystick, the PlayStation is the system standard for many fighting game events. Leaning those players towards the PS3 version as well.
Overall, people who consider themselves “true” gamers will tell you sales don’t mean anything. That quality is what matters. This is a nice way to see the world, but the world is a mean place. Quality is of great importance, but the cornerstone of this generation is sales talk. You can’t speak on one without talking about the other. It’s a never-ending cycle and I’m just here to say that Super Street Fighter IV will do better on the PS3. Quality talk can be saved for another discussion.