When assessing the current console battle, one can always point towards top multiplatform sellers – when the product is mostly identical in quality across the competing consoles – as being good indicators. In this way, it's very interesting to hear about the massive accumulated sales for Grand Theft Auto IV , and how they're split between the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Well, they are split, apparently…almost right down the middle. We don't have the exact numbers but we do have the word straight from the horse's mouth, so-to-speak. During a conference call where Take-Two Interactive reviewed their first-quarter financial results, one analyst asked, "…can you give us an idea as to this 13 million GTA 4 units, how many of those are Xbox 360 platform? So what's the addressable market for the downloadable The Lost and Damned." In reply to the first question, Take-Two CFO said, "It's approximately 50/50, Ed." So, roughly, one can assume that the PS3 and 360 versions of GTAIV each sold equally well, which further begs the question: is it really sensible to have exclusive downloadable content? The current rumor concerning this very subject is that The Lost and Damned will eventually find its way to the PS3, but not until some time next year. GTA fans that are also PS3 owners and who don't own a 360 aren't happy about the situation, but there's little we can really do about it. Take-Two is obviously aware of the split in sales regarding the PS3/360 versions of GTAIV, so maybe now that it's staring at them in black and white, they'll do something about it.
As for the split itself, one has to remember that when the game launched in late April of last year, the user base gap between the PS3 and 360 was very large, and Sony certainly hadn't sold 22 million units as they have now. Therefore, it stands to reason that perhaps the blockbuster franchise garnered most of its fans during its exclusive PS2 days, and that remaining lot has caused the 50/50 split despite the PS3/360 gap (which is closing, but still separated by about 7 million units). It's just a theory, though. If you want to read the entire transcript for Take-Two's earnings call, feel free…it's a little long, but still interesting for business-oriented minds.
Related Game(s): Grand Theft Auto IV