Xbox 360 attach rate beating PS3 and Wii – but does it really matter?

October 22, 2008

Xbox 360 attach rate beating PS3 and Wii - but does it really matter?The hardware sales figures we discuss every month are just one aspect of this generation console war between the PS3, Wii, and Xbox 360. Software, or games, are just as big a part of it. And on this score, Microsoft win big, with the Xbox having a much higher attach rate than either the Wii and PS3.

The latest NPD data showed sales in the U.S. for the month of September, and as is usual these days, the Wii dominated proceedings. The Xbox 360 had a good month after those much needed price cuts kicked in, while the PS3 again failed to live up to its potential by coming in last place.

But, as Gamasutra investigated, the software attach rate, the number of games sold per console sold tell a different story altogether. The Xbox 360 owns its competitors on this score, with the average owner having already bought 8.1 games. This compares to just 5.5 for the Wii and 5.3 for the PS3.

NPD Group analyst Anita Frazier commented:

They can be an indication of the health of a system. If a hardware system is doing gangbuster sales, then the tie ratio can go down even if there are lots of overall sales.

But those figures don’t tell the full story either, and fail to take in to account the year head start the Xbox 360 had over its rivals, being released a full 12 months before the Wii and PS3. In fact, if 2008 is taken individually, the figures show that the Xbox 360 attach rate has stalled, while the Wii and PS3 rates have increased enormously.

So what does it all mean, and is it really that important? Well yes and no. Firstly, attach rates really only matter towards the end of a console’s life because that is when we really see what percentage of those consoles have sat on the shelf unplayed since being bought, and which have been used extensively. So the figures right now are rather pointless.

But much more importantly than that, they say nothing about the quality of the experience, only focussing on the quantity. What’s to say that Xbox 360 owners have bought more games but also been disappointed by those purchases? While Wii and PS3 owners may have bought less games but been eminently more pleased with the results of their buying decisions.

To an individual gamer, these figures will mean less than nothing. They will buy the system of their choice, and then the games they fancy playing, and have fun. Simple. Attach rates are really only something which one of the console manufacturers can grab on to and shake in the faces of the other. And Microsoft is taking every opportunity to do just that.

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17 Responses to “Xbox 360 attach rate beating PS3 and Wii – but does it really matter?”

  1. Matt:

    Did you write this one for me? I know that not long ago, I pointed out that I am willing to go where even Sony loyalists won’t, and I will go there again.

    Attach rate is an indicator of a console’s health.

    High attach rate is a sign of poor console sales, its a sign that not enough people are buying the console to keep attach rate at a healty level (see the PS3 and Wii).

    Even if the people buying your console are good game buyers, an attach rate of over 8 now is far too high. It’s a sign of poor sales, and I don’t mean right now, but a whole long trend of poor sales.

    The 360 seems to be nearing the end of its life, if the attach rate is to be believed.

  2. John Pospisil:

    If you have tried to create an account, and didn’t receive a password, we’ve now got the system working, so go here:

    http://gamer.blorge.com/wp-login.php?action=lostpassword

    To get your password.

  3. Ivan_PSP:

    Xbox 360 LMFAO myth… Microsoft better start releasing good games or else. Fable II sucks Gears of War 2 is pure hype the rest is history. That attach rate is pure lies.

  4. Rhino:

    I seem to remember you saying some time ago Matt.

  5. Bourne:

    “they say nothing about the quality of the experience, only focussing on the quantity”

    ^^^

    I can’t really put it any better DAVE

  6. Barnabe Jones:

    Bottom line is the PS3 and Wii both came out a year or so after the 360. Most people who own a 360 have had the console longer and have accumulated more games as a result. It’s not that surprising at all.

    I would place money on the PS3s attach rate growing, while the Wiis will remain the same or maybe decline.

  7. ncaissie:

    The 360 and the PS3 should have higher attached rates then the wii. And to be fare the 360 has a year head start on the PS3.

    Next year at this time we can look back and see or if someone has the 360 attach rate for last year at this time then you can compare.

    They both are designed for gamers and gamers are going to spend more on games then the casual games of the wii.

  8. ncaissie:

    And thanks for the login system.

  9. harry sachz:

    My last post didn’t make it…. I wonder if this one will..

  10. MAK:

    360 is retarded…actually i take that back….people who fall for M$ xbox 360 attachment scams are fucking retarded…..did anyone notice M$ stock….look how low its going…LMFAO….and did you notice that the wii guitar controller battery leaks and they cause burns….look how wii is a complete piece of garbage….they cant make a system write…the owner of nintendo is an ugly fuck….no wonder why they are stupid

  11. harry sachz:

    I guess the login system hasn’t stopped the idiots. Unless there’s a way to ban logins and have a 1 username for 1 email address policy. But then again, it doesn’t stop people creating hotmail accounts…

  12. ncaissie:

    Yeah.
    They need to ban IP’s also.

    Mak you are an idiot. The Wii guitar does not have a battery.
    The wiimote plugs into it stupid.

    you must be one of Ivans accounts.

  13. ncaissie:

    Yeah.
    They need to ban IP’s also.

    Mak you are an idiot. The Wii guitar does not have a battery.
    The wiimote plugs into it stupid.

  14. MAK:

    @ ncaissie….gay name btw….o yeah, GET YOUR DAMN HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS….OR IN YOUR CASE, GET YOUR ASS OUT OF HEAD…..

    http://gizmodo.com/5067386/rage-wireless-guitar-leaks-acid-can-burn-your-rock-jewels

    DUMB FUCK

  15. Happyhockum:

    Do attach rates matter?

    Seems a bit of a silly question to me, of course they do.

    They tell us (and more importantly game developers) which systems sell games.

    We all know, for instance, that a big chunk of PS3 owners did not buy them for gaming, they bought them for the Blu-ray playback.
    So the sales numbers the PS3 posts are not a great indicator of how it will shift games and this is something that cannot have a great effect on developers wondering where to point their limited resources.

    The Blu-ray player in the PS3, whilst a smart move in some respects has nevertheless been an extremely doubled-edged sword to Sony and does have it’s serious drawbacks.

    Meanwhile Nintendo & Microsoft laugh all the way to the babk.

  16. Happyhockum:

    Sorry my error, poor edit.

    “this is something that cannot have a great effect on developers wondering where to point their limited resources.”

    should, of course, have read

    “this is something that cannot help but have a great effect on developers wondering where to point their limited resources.”

    Anyone who seriously imagines game developers are not interested in sales numbers and which system sells the most games is just kidding themselves.

  17. Happyhockum:

    …..and Ninty & Microsoft laugh all the way to the bank. ;)

    :(

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