You may not have heard (if you have no interest at all in video games and your head was buried in the sand), but Metal Gear Solid 4, Hideo Kojima’s swan song for Solid Snake came out last week for the Playstation 3. Many have been looking forward to the game, and many have heralded/hoped it would be the savior of the PS3.
While Sony’s system has gained some ground on competitors Microsoft Xbox360 and Nintendo Wii over the first few months of 2008, it has still been firmly ensconced in third place in this generation. According to VGChartz.com, current worldwide sales have the Wii in a commanding lead with 27.42 million, 360 in second with 19.13 million, and PS3 in third with 13.26 million. The Xbox360, of course, was release a year ahead of the Wii and PS3. It is interesting to note as well that PS3’s growth and speed of sales almost exactly mimics that of the Playstation 2, which won last generation’s battle by a landslide, now having sold well over 125 million units worldwide. At this point in its life, it only trails PS2 by about 700,000 units, and surpasses the 360 by about 3 million. Nevertheless, fans and critics alike have hailed MGS4 as the first must-have exclusive for the system. The question is, has it truly turned out to be a system seller?
Well, in short, yes. Metal Gear Solid 4 was the hands down best seller on the PS3 last week, beating out top 5 mainstays Grand Theft Auto 4, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, Guitar Hero 3, and relative newcomer Lego Indiana Jones. In fact, on day one of sales, Thursday June 12th, 1.3 million people worldwide took Solid Snake home for one last mission. While that doesn’t come close to the record-shattering 2.48 million units Halo 3 sold on day one last fall, it’s a great achievement for the PS3. The PS3 saw a 180% increase in system sales week over week in the United States, as well. This included about 70,000 bundles w/MGS4 in box. Worldwide, sales increased by more than a factor of 2. Last month, according to NPD, the PS3 sold just under 200k units in the US; last week, about 120k.
All in all, it’s been a good week for Sony, a great week for Konami, and a fun sneaky week for gamers. Sony of course hopes to continue this trend, though most analysts expect a significant drop off this week. The other “savior-of-the-PS3” game, Final Fantasy XIII, has no firm release date yet, and isn’t expected out until 2009, alongside God of War 3. Hopefully, we’ll hear more about Square Enix’s powerhouse role playing franchise at E3 in mid July.