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In the archive
Video and online audiences

Share of video games hardware by type in retail, 1998–2012

Archived May 2014

Data on portable or handheld devices became available as a separate category in 2001, including the original 8-bit as well as the newer 32-bit portables. Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance, the first of the 32-bit handheld consoles, was launched in Australia in June 2001. Nintendo and Sony both launched new handheld systems in 2005, the DS and PSP respectively. In particular, the PSP has broader camera and music features.

At the other end of the hardware capacity spectrum are the stationary consoles using advanced computer technology to enhance the gaming experience. Sony launched their PlayStation 2 in Australia in 2000; this was followed by Microsoft’s Xbox, and Nintendo’s GameCube in 2002. In 2006, Microsoft and Nintendo both launched new consoles, with Microsoft’s Xbox 360 released at the start of the year and Nintendo’s Wii shortly before Christmas. Sony’s PlayStation 3 was released in March 2007.

The sale of ‘current generation’ consoles (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii) has remained steady over 2011 and 2012 at 65 per cent, accounting for almost two-thirds of all units sold and almost three-quarters of retail value. Handheld devices or portable consoles comprised 35 per cent of units sold in 2012, unchanged from the previous year, and 28 per cent of retail value. The number and value of 128-bit hardware continued their decline in 2012.

  Share (units sold)
8-bit 16-bit 32-bit 64-bit 128-bit Current-gen1 Portable consoles2
1998 23% 2% 49% 25% n.a. n.a. n.a.3
1999 32% 1% 48% 16% 3% n.a. n.a.3
2000 45% <1% 38% 10% 6% n.a. n.a.3
2001 <1% <1% 29% 4% 29% n.a. 38%
2002 <1% 9% <1% 71% n.a. 19%
2003 2% 3% 72% n.a. 23%
2004 1% 73% n.a. 26%
2005 51% n.a. 49%
2006 32% 20% 48%
2007 19% 37% 44%
2008 8% 51% 41%
2009 5% 56% 39%
2010 2% 56% 42%
2011 1% 65% 35%
2012 <1% 65% 35%
  Share (value of sales)
8-bit 16-bit 32-bit 64-bit 128-bit Current-gen1 Portable consoles2
1998 14% <1% 57% 29% n.a. n.a. n.a.3
1999 25% <1% 57% 17% 1% n.a. n.a.3
2000 28% <1% 38% 9% 25% n.a. n.a.3
2001 <1% <1% 18% 2% 61% n.a. 20%
2002 <1% 4% <1% 87% n.a. 9%
2003 1% 85% n.a. 14%
2004 83% n.a. 17%
2005 53% n.a. 47%
2006 23% 40% 37%
2007 10% 62% 27%
2008 4% 70% 26%
2009 2% 69% 28%
2010 1% 72% 27%
2011 <1% 73% 27%
2012 <1% 72% 28%

Source: The NPD Group. For data prior to 2011, GfK Retail and Technology Australia. Data may only be reproduced with permission.

Notes:
Figures may not total exactly due to rounding.
1. Due to changing terminology in the gaming industry, ‘bit’ is no longer used when talking about the new consoles. ‘Next gen’ was changed to ‘Current-gen’ in 2011 and includes Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360 and, from 2007, PlayStation 3.
2. Separate category since 2001 only; includes both 8-bit and 32-bit devices.
3. Included in 8-bit category.

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