sales figures

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Bill Loguidice's picture

Is Nostalgia a Pure Numbers Game?

Matt Barton and I were having a discussion about mass market, or more mainstream popularity, and specifically how that applies to journalistic coverage (articles, videos, books, etc.) of videogames and how popular said coverage becomes. My theory is relatively straightforward and - on the surface - fairly obvious: The more you skew your coverage towards the best selling platforms and games - and naturally the latest and greatest games - the more interest you'll generate. This can be further expanded by saying that the more specific you get - to a point - the better. For instance, if you cover all things Nintendo you get that enviable combination of nostalgia and present popularity, but if you further targeted your coverage to just Nintendo puzzle games, you will lose a not insignificant percentage of that same audience.

Also, there are far fewer people like me who consider themselves videogame and computer agnostic and have a genuine passion for anything and everything related to the subject. In other words, it might be a tough sell getting a large number of people interested in videos covering videogames and computers from all eras and in any context (gaming, productivity, etc.) as it would be if you just focused on say Apple iPhone apps. In short, though I believe what I believe and like what I like, the reality it is not representative of how most people think of or like things.

Let's look at the total system sales over the lifetimes of a few major platforms:
* Atari 2600 Video Computer System (1977 – 1992), ~30 million
* Commodore 64 (C-64) (1982 – 1994), the best selling computer of all time, up to 30 million units (though some argue as few as 17 million units)
* Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)/Famicom (1983 – 1995), ~61 million
* Sony PlayStation 2 (PS2) (2001 – Present), ~140 million (and counting)

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