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Author Topic: Sales Discussion- GTA, Halo 2, and Others  (Read 2946 times)
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Kevin Grey
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« on: October 28, 2004, 06:04:40 PM »

I'm quoting my response here to some sales discussion in the Bard's Tale discussion that Jeff properly pointed out didn't belong there.

This was in response to Chaz's assertion that while GTA will sell great it will be on training wheel's compared to Halo 2's sales.

Quote from: "my response"
I'm unclear why people expect Halo 2 to sell so much more than the first Halo when Halo is already pretty much the defining game on Xbox.  How many people own an Xbox, are chomping at the bit for Halo 2, but haven't purchased Halo?  Some may wait for Halo 2 for their Xbox purchase but again- if you want Halo 2 so bad why haven't you already purchased an Xbox to play Halo 1 (neglecting PC sales) especially when there is no corresponding Xbox pricecut with Halo 2's release?  

There is no doubt Halo 2 will be huge and will sell to a much larger percentage of the console userbase than GTA.  However, Halo 1 has sold 3.5 million copies in the US.  The GTA's have sold double that.  It might be close (especially if GTA's gang focus turns off some of the market) but I don't think a Halo 2 victory here is assured.

Pre-orders are a different animal.  They are largely a function of hardcore support.  Zelda: Wind Waker held the record for largest pre-orders ever prior to Halo 2 with 750k.  Yet Wind Waker has only sold 1.5 million to date, great for the Cube but nowhere near the top for this generation despite the record pre-orders.  My gut feeling is that GTA's more casual appeal limits the interest in pre-orders compared to Halo 2.



I find game sales a pretty fascinating topic so I'm always up for the discussing them.
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« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2004, 06:06:56 PM »

It might have more to do with the fact that right now there are a whole lot of great exclusives for the Xbox and that group is just more hungry.
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« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2004, 06:22:41 PM »

Since it's in a new thread, I'll comment on this.

Based on sales of GTA3, GTA: Vice City and Halo I'm going to go out on a limb and say:

GTA: San Andreas will outsell Halo 2 from a pure sales number perspective.  Let's look at the numbers that are out there:

- GTA3: Sold over 7 million worldwide in first release year (IGN 2nd paragraph)

- Vice City: Sold at least 8.5 million copies worldwide between release in October 2002 and February 27, 2003 (CNN) - interesting note here is that word was there was 4 million pre-orders, far larger than Halo 2's 1.5 million now.  I am going to guess San Andreas had over a million pre-orders, you just never heard about it because Rockstar never released a PR saying how many pre-orders there were like Microsoft did with Halo 2.

- Halo: north of 4 million worldwide at the end of January 2004 (Xbox and PC versions - Ferrago)

There was recently this on IGN as well that talks about GTA3 selling 11+ million worldwide and Vice City 13+ million worldwide.  They also say San Andreas will win in pure sales numbers over Halo 2.

However they make the case for those going at this from another angle.  Halo 2 will most likely sell more systems versus GTA: San Andreas.  Even at 10 million sales San Andreas is not touching 50% of US Playstation 2s (I'm not sure of the number total, but I know it is over 25 million PS2s in the US).  If Halo 2 does 5 million it is probably closer to 50% of total systems than San Andreas would be.  It all depends on the point of view you take on it, but from a pure sales number perspective, San Andreas will win.
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« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2004, 06:24:19 PM »

Quote from: "Rob_Merritt"
It might have more to do with the fact that right now there are a whole lot of great exclusives for the Xbox and that group is just more hungry.
Did you mean there aren't a whole lot of great exclusives on the XBox?  Cause that would make more sense as to why Halo 2 is so maddeningly pre-ordered.

In my experience, XBox gamers have been pretty freakin' conformist when it comes to their buying habits and game libraries.  To put that another way--is there anyone that still owns an XBox who won't be buying Halo 2?  Frankly, if Halo 2 doesn't interest you, chances are you've already ditched your XBox for another system (like I did awhile back).

Now, last time I checked the statistics, the PS2 had a far greater user base than the XBox did--so GTA:SA already has a leg up on Halo 2, as it's an exclusive capable of reaching more users.  What also makes me believe GTA:SA will outsell Halo 2 is its broader appeal:  those who love action games can shoot their hearts out in it, those who love racing games can collect and tweak cars and bikes, those who love RPGs will enjoy the character growth and story, etc.  There's something for nearly everyone in GTA:SA.  Not so with Halo 2.

My money is on GTA:SA outselling Halo 2.  With the new model PSTwos out and that reinvigorating hardware hype, I can see plenty of Christmas mornings opening with a brand new PSTwo and GTA:SA lying beside it.

The race will be close for awhile, GTA:SA always holding a noticable, but not huge, lead.  Once we're past the holidays, though, GTA:SA sales will stay fairly stable, while Halo 2 sales will bottom out.  Why?  Like I said above, who owns an XBox and won't be getting Halo 2?  The XBox market will be amazingly saturated, and Halo 2 sales will drop to a trickle.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2004, 06:32:10 PM »

Agt Fox- that 4.5 millin number for VC was number shipped to stores not customer preorders (which is what Halo 2's 1.5 million is).  I expect Halo 2's number shipped to stores to be in excess of 3 million.
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« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2004, 06:36:04 PM »

Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
In my experience, XBox gamers have been pretty freakin' conformist when it comes to their buying habits and game libraries. To put that another way--is there anyone that still owns an XBox who won't be buying Halo 2? Frankly, if Halo 2 doesn't interest you, chances are you've already ditched your XBox for another system (like I did awhile back).


*raises hand*

I thought Halo was pretty ho-hum and I won't be buying Halo 2 (For refernce I have about 60 xbox games). xbox is for sports titles, racing games and action-RPGs like BG:DA for me.

San Andreas was a system-seller for me. I bought a PS2 yesterday just to play San Andreas (plus the other 5 games I picked up with the buy 2 get 1 free sale at TRU).
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AgtFox
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« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2004, 06:36:16 PM »

In the GTA3 thing I linked via IGN there is this paragraph:

"Once again blowing away everyone's expectations, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City has apparently already pre-sold more than 4 millions copies, according to retail sources. Yeah, 4 million. Have you pre-ordered yours?"

I'm not saying IGN is the bastion of everything correct or anything, but that's where I got the info.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2004, 06:51:15 PM »

Quote from: "AgtFox"
In the GTA3 thing I linked via IGN there is this paragraph:

"Once again blowing away everyone's expectations, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City has apparently already pre-sold more than 4 millions copies, according to retail sources. Yeah, 4 million. Have you pre-ordered yours?"

I'm not saying IGN is the bastion of everything correct or anything, but that's where I got the info.


I don't have links off hand but I'm sure that number is pre-sold to retailers.  Its one of the PR gimmicks that many publishers will use similar to touting a game "has  already sold a million copies" when what the publisher is actually referring to is "sold a million copies to stores ie shipped.  I think MS is on record that the 1.5 million Halo 2 preorders are a record and Nintendo said the same before with Wind Waker's preorders.
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AgtFox
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« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2004, 06:57:16 PM »

It's all "fuzzy math" and "spin doctoring" slywink
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« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2004, 08:03:12 PM »

The funny thing is that people will argue sales numbers until they're blue in the face... and Paper Mario will still end up being the best game they've played this year smile smile

That said, time to fire up more GTA:SA...
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farley2k
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« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2004, 08:19:07 PM »

I can't imagine how Halo 2 could out sell GTA since the PS2 install base is so much larger.  Even if every person with an Xbox bought Halo 2 I don't think in pure numbers it would match GTA:SA simply because there are so many more PS2s out there.
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« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2004, 08:29:56 PM »

Quote
I can't imagine how Halo 2 could out sell GTA since the PS2 install base is so much larger. Even if every person with an Xbox bought Halo 2 I don't think in pure numbers it would match GTA:SA simply because there are so many more PS2s out there.

I agree.  Statistically, Halo 2 has no chance against GTA:SA.
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« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2004, 09:42:12 PM »

Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
In my experience, XBox gamers have been pretty freakin' conformist when it comes to their buying habits and game libraries.  To put that another way--is there anyone that still owns an XBox who won't be buying Halo 2?  Frankly, if Halo 2 doesn't interest you, chances are you've already ditched your XBox for another system (like I did awhile back).

Now, last time I checked the statistics, the PS2 had a far greater user base than the XBox did--so GTA:SA already has a leg up on Halo 2, as it's an exclusive capable of reaching more users.  What also makes me believe GTA:SA will outsell Halo 2 is its broader appeal:  those who love action games can shoot their hearts out in it, those who love racing games can collect and tweak cars and bikes, those who love RPGs will enjoy the character growth and story, etc.  There's something for nearly everyone in GTA:SA.  Not so with Halo 2.

My money is on GTA:SA outselling Halo 2.  With the new model PSTwos out and that reinvigorating hardware hype, I can see plenty of Christmas mornings opening with a brand new PSTwo and GTA:SA lying beside it.

The race will be close for awhile, GTA:SA always holding a noticable, but not huge, lead.  Once we're past the holidays, though, GTA:SA sales will stay fairly stable, while Halo 2 sales will bottom out.  Why?  Like I said above, who owns an XBox and won't be getting Halo 2?  The XBox market will be amazingly saturated, and Halo 2 sales will drop to a trickle.


1.5 mil is not the base install for xbox in the US. Halo 1 is still in the top 10 for sales the last time I checked (a few weeks ago). It has sold consistantly, and has a high attach rate.  It's never fallen out of the top10 for sales. I think your comments on Halo 2 being a tentpole of sales is skewed beyond reason; it seems to be that counter-backlash topic you brought up in another thread.

As to GTA:SA outselling it, no kidding. The fact that there are more PS2s means that even if the attach rate of GTA (which reflects the popularity of the game more than total sales) is half, the installed bases are dramatically different.  

I disagree with the PSTwo statement though; the PSOne sold better because it also dropped in price and became the econo-station. The market saturation for PS2 has, frankly, hit it's stride. It will go up, but not dramatically. PSTwos will be purchased to replace burnt out PS2 systems, and the occasional newcomer. You're not going to see a glut of system sales based on the PSTwo alone.

I further suggest that since the Xbox potential market is not saturated, that the Halo2 sales will keep up, or be only marginally smaller than, the hardware sales themselves.

As to your comment about the diversity choices of Xbox gamers, I'm inclinded to believe you haven't looked very hard. The PS2 is just as railed as the xbox market, except it panders to overwrought anime- based RPGs rather than FPS games. Frankly, the PS2 market thus far has had a horrible record for FPS genres; with every port comes sacrifices to immersion and experience (just look at the Clancy games ... they couldn't even include doors in the PS2 rainbow six games. puke )

As I understand it LE, you resent the Xbox (and subsequently people who enjoy theirs). I don't know if it's a problem you have with the predominant games on the system, you hate microsoft, or that an Xbox fell out of a 5 storey window and killed your brother.

I have an aversion to the PS2, as I don't feel like paying full sticker price for 480i games (I borrow a friends PS2, I know how bad it looks on a 51" widescreen). If the system were to be cut in half, I'd have me an Xbox and a PStwo to tool around in rented games. See, I'm part of that potential market; I enjoy RPGs as much as you likely do. But I enjoy other games as much and don't mind missing out on them.

As it stands, I've got enough games on coming out on PC and Xbox that I'm interested in that don't justify losing out 4 games this season to be able to afford a system alone, let alone tack on 1 or 2 games that truly interest me in the platform. Yes, that does mean I think people would be crazy to buy an Xbox for Halo2 alone, and I stand by that. But I can think of many other reasons to have the big green brick plugged into my pretty tv(s).
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« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2004, 09:44:37 PM »

Quote from: "farley2k"
I can't imagine how Halo 2 could out sell GTA since the PS2 install base is so much larger.  Even if every person with an Xbox bought Halo 2 I don't think in pure numbers it would match GTA:SA simply because there are so many more PS2s out there.


Exactly. We're comparing apples to oranges. We should be looking at attach rate. The impact the game has on their respective markets (and growth in the market itself).
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« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2004, 09:58:41 PM »

Quote from: "Kevin Grey"
I don't have links off hand but I'm sure that number is pre-sold to retailers.  Its one of the PR gimmicks that many publishers will use similar to touting a game "has  already sold a million copies" when what the publisher is actually referring to is "sold a million copies to stores ie shipped.  I think MS is on record that the 1.5 million Halo 2 preorders are a record and Nintendo said the same before with Wind Waker's preorders.


To clarify :

GTA3 had 4 million pre-order shipment requests. That is, the total number of games shipping to retailers on release date is 4 million. That is *not* preorders, and they got burned for that one.

Windwaker had 750K pre-orders. That is, a list of 750,000 customers waiting for the game, and those games wouldn't ever sit on a shelf. They go to a gamer right away. The shipping volume would be higher than that number although I don't know that is was publicly announced. I don't know if it beat 4mil, but it might have. I also don't recall if that was worldwide or just in the states. Likely just in the states.

Halo2 has 1.5 million people who have ante'd up money (or met whatever preorder requirement based on retailer) for the game. In the states. Alone. Given that half are the $55 US for the collectors and half are the regular $50 one, that's a whopping 78.75 million dollars worth of Halo 2 in one day. If it were all just the standard halo2, it would be 75 mil.

It can be argued that a) that doesn't mean everyone buys it the first day, or b) that those ones preordered may or may not actually be purchased.
Neither point matters, because the fact is that it's 1.5 mil people committing to the purchase prior to release, and B any not sales lost in abandoned pre-sells would be made up in standard retail sales on the first day.

I'm not sure that MS intended to announce the 1.5 mil, but I do know that just weeks before the announcement an irresponsible reporter indicated there was a 1mil shipping volume. The press release may have been twofold; one to toot their horn, and secondly to address that statement as false.
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« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2004, 10:26:31 PM »

I think Halo2 will outsell San Andreas in 2004.  Long term(PS2+PC+Xbox), I think San Andreas will beat it handily.

I think the new PS2 will sell like hotcakes.  Its extremely cool and a lot of people's PS2's are getting old, or will be on the fritz and they need a new one anyway.  Some people might even buy an extra one just to put in another room or something like that.

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« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2004, 12:43:28 AM »

Quote from: "olaf"
Some people might even buy an extra one just to put in another room or something like that.


I plan on it.  I am just not desperate enough quite yet.  I miss out on a lot of PS2 love because I don't have it in my bedroom where I spend the majority of my time (despite inferior equipment).  I just wish it was cheaper.
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« Reply #17 on: October 29, 2004, 01:14:46 AM »

Quote from: "stiffler"
Quote from: "olaf"
Some people might even buy an extra one just to put in another room or something like that.


I plan on it.  I am just not desperate enough quite yet.  I miss out on a lot of PS2 love because I don't have it in my bedroom where I spend the majority of my time (despite inferior equipment).  I just wish it was cheaper.

Yeah our bedroom DVD player just died and I am debating on whether or not to replace it with a PS2.

olaf
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« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2004, 03:26:00 AM »

Quote from: "olaf"
Yeah our bedroom DVD player just died and I am debating on whether or not to replace it with a PS2.


I'd wait to see some specific impressions regarding the DVD playback.  The PS2 is servicable as a DVD player in a pinch, but it just isn't a very good player.  I'd throw my money at a cheap standalone player which should save you some headaches.  It really depends on how often you use it, but if yours died I am assuming pretty decent use.

Perhaps Sony has improved the DVD playback with the new design, but as I said, I would wait to read more.  That said, it is a great excuse to buy one, isn't it? biggrin
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« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2004, 03:31:49 AM »

Well the "New PS2" (no, it is not called the PSTwo) has the progressive DVD player that the networked last PS2 had, which could read DVD-Rs and stuff, so I would guess it has a better DVD player in it.
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« Reply #20 on: October 29, 2004, 03:46:12 AM »

I have a launch day PS2 that can read DVD-Rs...so maybe thats not just exclusive to the new system, which btw on the bottom of the box does say "PSTwo" biggrin even though its not hte official name.

I am going to go try to work the trade in deal tomorrow for a PSTwo, as my original system is encountering a few problems playing dvds.
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« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2004, 03:51:55 AM »

Quote from: "AgtFox"
Well the "New PS2" (no, it is not called the PSTwo) has the progressive DVD player that the networked last PS2 had, which could read DVD-Rs and stuff, so I would guess it has a better DVD player in it.
So can it play burned movies, or do I need a mod-chip to do that?
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« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2004, 04:01:52 AM »

Dude, Chris, my LAUNCH DAY PS2 plays burned movies (my best friend seesm to think its clever to burn friends seasons and watch them at my house from time to time)
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« Reply #23 on: October 29, 2004, 04:52:29 AM »

Quote from: "stiffler"
Quote from: "olaf"
Yeah our bedroom DVD player just died and I am debating on whether or not to replace it with a PS2.


I'd wait to see some specific impressions regarding the DVD playback.  The PS2 is servicable as a DVD player in a pinch, but it just isn't a very good player.  I'd throw my money at a cheap standalone player which should save you some headaches.  It really depends on how often you use it, but if yours died I am assuming pretty decent use.

 


As a secondary DVD player I've been very happy with the PS2.  Unless you have a monster setup in the bedroom I think the PS2 would be fine as a DVD player in there.
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« Reply #24 on: October 29, 2004, 05:19:20 AM »

Quote from: "Rage"
Dude, Chris, my LAUNCH DAY PS2 plays burned movies (my best friend seesm to think its clever to burn friends seasons and watch them at my house from time to time)
If you don't mind checking, what's the serial number on your release day PS2?  I have a VERY early PS2, but I don't know if it's a release or not.  Plus I'm getting a PSTwo anyway.

Are there any confirmations one way or the other as to whether the PSTwo can play burned DVD movies without a modchip?
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« Reply #25 on: October 29, 2004, 05:28:24 AM »

When i go tomorrow AM to trade it in I will check out the serial #, give me until then smile
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« Reply #26 on: October 29, 2004, 10:42:23 PM »

LE-
serial # U0626583
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« Reply #27 on: October 30, 2004, 02:39:40 PM »

there is one major decideing factor for this game.
Parents will more likely buy H2 over GTA due to the life like
gang violence..
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« Reply #28 on: October 30, 2004, 03:48:09 PM »

Quote from: "juniordan"
there is one major decideing factor for this game.
Parents will more likely buy H2 over GTA due to the life like
gang violence..


Yeah but both of those factors were in place for previous games in the series.  While I think GTA is even more "mature" wrt adult content than previous GTAs I don't think the difference is great enough for any parents who deemed their kids suitable for GTA3 or VC.
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« Reply #29 on: October 30, 2004, 03:53:05 PM »

Quote from: "Kevin Grey"

Yeah but both of those factors were in place for previous games in the series.  While I think GTA is even more "mature" wrt adult content than previous GTAs I don't think the difference is great enough for any parents who deemed their kids suitable for GTA3 or VC.


Plus, those kids are older now. slywink
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« Reply #30 on: October 30, 2004, 04:25:07 PM »

I was watching a TV show last night that said they expect GTA:SA to sell 4 million in its first week and eventually move about 14.5 million units worldwide. The Xbox installed base is something like 16 - 17 million consoles right now. No way Halo2 can match that.
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« Reply #31 on: October 30, 2004, 05:35:13 PM »

I think 4 million its first week is over optimistic but we'll see.  I also think that 14.5 million is pushing it because that would have it outselling the previous two which I'm not convinced San Andreas will do.
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« Reply #32 on: October 31, 2004, 06:29:42 AM »

4 mil the first week?  What show was that?  2 mil seems possible.  4 mil doesnt.

FWIW, I played some DVDs on my new PS2 this weekend.  They all played fine.  The setup was a little wonky, it had Parental Controls enabled by default which was mildly annoying.

olaf
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