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Thread: Accurate (probably) Dreamcast hardware sales

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    Raging in the Streets A Black Falcon's Avatar
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    Default Accurate (probably) Dreamcast hardware sales

    Now, I've posted before info such as that chart showing DC/N64/Saturn/PS1 sales, but want some numbers? Well, thanks to BKK and Celine on NeoGAF, we have them. Here's the relevant thread: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?p=149907650

    The Dreamcast sold 9.13 million systems worldwide. I've mentioned this before, since the number was discovered, oh, last year I think it was, but now info adding more details has also been found. It's a little bit contradictory, but mostly makes sense, and there's an interesting, though sad, story here too.

    So, the Dreamcast released in December 1998, late in Fiscal Year 1999; remember a fiscal year for Sega goes from April in one year to March in the year of the number -- so FY99 is April 1998 to March 1999.

    This first chart is Sega's expected hardware shipments to their regional offices -- Sega of Japan, America, Europe, and Non-Japan Asia. This is the "consolidated" sales chart (explained below).
    Quote Originally Posted by BKK (thread link above)
    Code:
    	  Japan	     North America  Europe     Asia	 World      Sum Total
    1999 03	  900,000	   -	       -        -	   900,000    900,000
    2000 03	  950,000    2,100,000        700,000  160,000   3,910,000  4,810,000
    2001 03	  470,000    1,780,000	      930,000  210,000   3,390,000  8,200,000
    2001 09   130,000      530,000                                      8,860,000                                             
    2002 03*   40,000      230,000	                                    9,130,000
    Total   2,490,000    4,640,000      1,630,000  370,000   9,130,000
    *Forecast
    This next chart is the "non-consolidated" sales chart (explained below). It shows shipments from each regional office to retailers. The last listing, "Remain.", is all sales after December 2000 added up together. I'm not sure why BKK added them all up instead of breaking them down, as they are in the first list above. The DC sold well in 2001 because in part of all those pricedrops. Sega managed to sell through their stock even if it took super-low, higher-loss prices to do it.

    Also note that the "2000 12" listing at the end of the second chart was Sega releasing Q1-Q3 results for the 2000 part of FY2001 -- in early 2001, they said how many DC systems had sold in April through December 2000, before the end of the full fiscal year. Remember that January 2001 is when Sega announced the DC's discontinuation, so I'd guess that they did the announcement related to that.

    Quote Originally Posted by BKK
    In addition when announcing Dreamcast discontinuation Sega released shipments for the 9 months ending December 31st 2000, along with a breakdown of remaining inventory;

    [CODE]
    Code:
    	  Japan	     North America  Europe     Asia	 World      Sum Total
    1999 03	  900,000	   -	       -        -	   900,000    900,000
    2000 03	  950,000    2,100,000        700,000  160,000   3,910,000  4,810,000
    2000 12   280,000    1,350,000        560,000  130,000   2,320,000  7,130,000
    Remain.   280,000    1,200,000        460,000   90,000   2,030,000  9,160,000
    Total   2,410,000    4,650,000      1,720,000  380,000   9,160,000
    If you compare the two charts, there are a few discrepancies -- the second chart shows 80,000 less total sales in Japan than the first chart shows shipments, 10,000 more sales in the US than the first chart shows, 90,000 more sales in Europe than the first chart shows, and 10,000 more in Asia than the first chart. Here's BKK's explanation for this:
    Quote Originally Posted by BKK
    Whilst broadly the same as the one above it seems that some inventory initially intended for Europe was sold in Japan. That still leaves 30,000 units unaccounted for by Sega's forecast for 2002 H2, which coincidentally is the difference between Sega's Japanese forecast (170k) and the actual Japanese shipment reported by Nikkei (200k). So it looks like 110,000 units initially intended for overseas ended up being sold in Japan. Maybe these had yet to be shipped from Japan when they discontinued the console, but that's just speculation.
    It's not known if this is actually what happened or not, though. I'd think that the later non-consolidated numbers would be the more accurate ones, not the consolidated ones, because they are shipments from the actual regional offices, or are supposed to be. That would go against BKK's explanation. So yeah, it's kind of weird; no real answer here yet. The overall difference here is only 30,000, though, so it's a relatively small issue, though odd.


    Beyond that, the more important story here is an interesting one. So, Sega shipped a lot of systems to the US in 1999 and early 2000, thanks to the Dreamcast's fast start here. However, after good sales in its early months, DC sales struggled in 2000, as things such as that chart I made a thread for some time ago showed; remember how the DC was outsold by both the N64 and PS1 in every single month of 2000 in the US. So, in March 2000, Sega of America still had 400,000 unsold Dreamcasts that had been shipped to them, and Sega of Europe still had 340,000 unsold Dreamcasts. Only 540,000 DCs were shipped to the US between April and December of 2000, and none to Europe (or maybe 80,000 unreported or reported-as-shipped-to-Japan-in-the-first-chart ones, to cover that discrepancy?).

    Sega didn't want to entirely admit how mediocre DC sales were after 1999, so when reporting sales for that December 2000 reporting point, Sega's solution was, it seems, as was discovered in the thread I linked, probably to change their reporting practices. This post explains it (thanks to Aquamarine, BKK, and Celine): http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...8&postcount=33 Apparently, Japanese companies reporting sales can count them two different ways, either "consolidated" or "non-consolidated". Consolidated sales report only shipments from the main (Japan) distribution warehouse. These numbers are the first chart above. This counts all shipments to regional offices as sales; this is how Sony and Nintendo usually reported sales back then, and Sega did too, until 2000. After seeing the large amounts of leftover inventory in the US and Europe office warehouses, Sega changed to "non-consolidated" sales, which only count shipments from regional offices to retailers as sales. These numbers are the second chart above.

    Through September 2000, this article shows how SoA and SoE had done at selling off those holdover systems: https://www.segasammy.co.jp/english/.../20001027e.pdf SoA had sold the 400,000 and had gotten 200,000 more systems shipped from Japan. SoE, however, still had 110,000 of the 340,000 systems from the previous fiscal year not yet sold, no new shipments yet.

    The issue here is, when they changed how they counted sales, Sega didn't say it. So, it made DC sales look higher than they were, if you add up the yearly sales numbers. Do that and you get 8.94 million sales by the end of December 2000, and 9.87 million sales overall for the system. But Sega only reported 9.13 million sales overall, and only 8.2 million total sales as of December 2000! So, which number is right? Is the 8.2 million number wrong, or the regional sales numbers? Of course, the answer here is that the change in reporting explains it all, and the real number is, unfortunately, 9.13 million total, and 8.2 million as of 12/2000, for the reasons explained above. The issue is, Sega didn't go and say "oh yeah and 740,000 of the sales we're reporting as sold in FY2001 were also reported as sold in FY2000 because we changed reporting practices to make our shipment numbers look better". So it took this long for gamers, at least, to figure out what had happened.

    Meanwhile, in Europe, in April 2001 Sega sold off the distribution rights for DC hardware to Bigben Interactive, probably because of the discontinuation of the system and struggling sales. See the press report here, as found by BKK: http://www.telecompaper.com/news/big...h-sega--265113 . At that point 1.2 million Dreamcasts had sold in Europe -- 700,000 between October '99 and March '00 (FY00), 500,000 between April '00 and March '01 (FY01). BKK estimates that Bigben probably took on 430,000 systems, showing how DC sales in Europe were struggling (only 30k sales in Jan-Mar '01?).

    Overall, as the numbers above show, despite the change in reporting, the Dreamcast did sell best in North America. ~4.6 million systems sold here, versus ~1.7 million in Europe, ~400,000 in (non-Japan) Asia, and ~2.4 or 2.5 million in Japan. Despite this, Japan and Europe got more games after October 2001 than the US did, for whatever reason (I know, apparently SoA said 'no new releases after October unless they're done already', dumb move)... yes, it is annoying that Europe got Shenmue II, Rez, and Headhunter while the US didn't. Oh well.


    As for the Genesis, Sega's official production number is 30.75 million, as reported to the Japanese trade association CESA. There are several issues with this number that make it not the final total, however:
    1) Majesco and Tectoy sales numbers would definitely not be included in that number, and they add up to 4+ million.
    2) It's not clear if Western sales from after the Japanese discontinuation in March 1996 are counted in this number either (certainly at least hundreds of thousands here).
    ... And the only other definitely reliable Japanese sales number only covers through FY'93, so it'd be useless for overall sales.

    So yeah, I'm sticking with 35 million as my guess for overall Genesis sales. Maybe a little more. More than that if you add in licensed clone systems which can't play cartridges.

    And as for the Saturn, the final number is 9.26 million. That's close to what previous estimates put it at. Sold well above the DC in Japan, but well below it in the US and Europe, adding up to slightly higher overall sales. I'm not sure how specific the data that's out there is about regional or yearly sales, I don't think it's as good as later on. Sega, unlike Nintendo, has not gone back and clarified sales of their old consoles.

    But for the Dreamcast, that data exists, and 9.13 million is the final number. It's sad that that number wasn't higher, but Sega just could not afford to stay in the industry... they were out of money, thanks to all their bad decisions, so they had to kill the system off early. It's really too bad.
    Last edited by A Black Falcon; 01-31-2015 at 12:42 AM.

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    Banned in the USA Master of Shinobi Crystalpepsifan's Avatar
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    Hmm...interesting if true.

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    Road Rasher Folco's Avatar
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    Was "accurate" and "apparently" really needed in the title ? :-)
    It's shipment data provided by Sega (well shipment data + inventory since DC was discontinued) and that's still available on SegaSammy site.
    Of course I realize that for most gamers sales data (especially old sales data) is an obscure argument (as it should).

    BTW ABF, you mixed "consolidated" with "non consolidated".

    Also I would have put in your post Saturn hardware and software shipment LTDs until FY'98 for a good point of reference with the final LTD.
    Oh and DC software LTD too.

    EDIT:
    Forgot to say that should be noted that "production number" and "shipment number" are two different things (although in the case of DC since it was discontinued the total production could be considered as the final number).
    For example SCE for a long time reported the "production number" (which is obviously higher than the "shipment number") when PS3 didn't sold so well they switch back to shipment data.

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    Nice post & info, A Black Falcon. Thanks for sharing.

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    Raging in the Streets A Black Falcon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Folco View Post
    Was "accurate" and "apparently" really needed in the title ? :-)
    Accurate because it is real info; apparently because of the discrepancies between the two sets of data.

    It's shipment data provided by Sega (well shipment data + inventory since DC was discontinued) and that's still available on SegaSammy site.
    Of course I realize that for most gamers sales data (especially old sales data) is an obscure argument (as it should).
    Stuff on Japanese websites often isn't something people in the West find... I didn't know about this until that thread, and even then it required that additional info about the consolidated/non-consolidated thing to make sense of it, Sega didn't mention that. But really, looking to Japanese reports for old sales info is somehow something people didn't seem to do until fairly recently.

    BTW ABF, you mixed "consolidated" with "non consolidated".
    Where? I'll fix that.

    Also I would have put in your post Saturn hardware and software shipment LTDs until FY'98 for a good point of reference with the final LTD.
    Oh and DC software LTD too.
    I don't remember those numbers offhand... I'm sure I've seen them before, though.

    Also, what was it for the Saturn for a regional breakdown, like 5 million Japan overall, 2 million US, ? Europe?

    EDIT:
    Forgot to say that should be noted that "production number" and "shipment number" are two different things (although in the case of DC since it was discontinued the total production could be considered as the final number).
    For example SCE for a long time reported the "production number" (which is obviously higher than the "shipment number") when PS3 didn't sold so well they switch back to shipment data.
    True, but as you say game companies go back and forth between which of those two numbens they report, and production numbers are probably more common than actual sales numbers, so that's often all we have to go on.

    For instance, pretty much all of the sales info Nintendo has released about how their older consoles sold is production numbers, not actual sales numbers. All we can do is assume that maybe they eventually managed to sell everything...

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    Hero of Algol TrekkiesUnite118's Avatar
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    The Dreamcast and the Saturn numbers seem about right and in line with the typical 9-10 million numbers thrown around. The only crazy one I've seen is that silly 17 million one that sometimes pops up for the Saturn. But most people are aware that number is utter nonsense.

    The only one that doesn't make sense is the Genesis one. If 30 million is the total number that means Sega barely sold 1 million more since those numbers released back in 1994 that Wikipedia used fort he 29 Million number, which doesn't reflect the sales data we have from old NPD data. I think the 35-37 Million number is much closer to accuracy for that system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    The Dreamcast and the Saturn numbers seem about right and in line with the typical 9-10 million numbers thrown around. The only crazy one I've seen is that silly 17 million one that sometimes pops up for the Saturn. But most people are aware that number is utter nonsense.

    The only one that doesn't make sense is the Genesis one. If 30 million is the total number that means Sega barely sold 1 million more since those numbers released back in 1994 that Wikipedia used fort he 29 Million number, which doesn't reflect the sales data we have from old NPD data. I think the 35-37 Million number is much closer to accuracy for that system.
    Can I see the source that state MD total shipment was 29M in 1994?
    What credibility does it have?

    Also why would you mix shipment data (Sega) with sell-through data (NPD)?
    Note that NPD won't vouch for the accuracy of their old data.

    Quote Originally Posted by A Black Falcon View Post
    Stuff on Japanese websites often isn't something people in the West find... I didn't know about this until that thread, and even then it required that additional info about the consolidated/non-consolidated thing to make sense of it, Sega didn't mention that. But really, looking to Japanese reports for old sales info is somehow something people didn't seem to do until fairly recently.
    Indeed it's a niche argument.
    It's not a recent thing though, just that only few really cared to do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by A Black Falcon View Post
    Where? I'll fix that.
    For example:
    "Consolidated sales report only shipments from the main (Japan) distribution warehouse. These numbers are the first chart above. This counts all shipments to regional offices as sales;"
    should be
    "Non consolidated sales report only shipments from the main (Japan) distribution warehouse. These numbers are the first chart above. This counts all shipments to regional offices as sales;"
    and so on.

    Quote Originally Posted by A Black Falcon View Post
    I don't remember those numbers offhand... I'm sure I've seen them before, though.

    Also, what was it for the Saturn for a regional breakdown, like 5 million Japan overall, 2 million US, ? Europe?
    It's in that thread.
    No regional break down unfortunately.

    Quote Originally Posted by A Black Falcon View Post
    For instance, pretty much all of the sales info Nintendo has released about how their older consoles sold is production numbers, not actual sales numbers. All we can do is assume that maybe they eventually managed to sell everything...
    No, all Nintendo LTDs (for example in that thread) are "sold to retailers".
    Last edited by Folco; 01-31-2015 at 04:06 PM.

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    Raging in the Streets A Black Falcon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    The Dreamcast and the Saturn numbers seem about right and in line with the typical 9-10 million numbers thrown around. The only crazy one I've seen is that silly 17 million one that sometimes pops up for the Saturn. But most people are aware that number is utter nonsense.

    The only one that doesn't make sense is the Genesis one. If 30 million is the total number that means Sega barely sold 1 million more since those numbers released back in 1994 that Wikipedia used fort he 29 Million number, which doesn't reflect the sales data we have from old NPD data. I think the 35-37 Million number is much closer to accuracy for that system.
    First, it's 30.75 million, not 30 million. Also, once again, those 35-37 million numbenrs would of course include ~2 million from Majesco and 2-3 million from TecToy.

    Beyond that, yeah, is the 29 million number credible? And anyway, if the 30.75 million number is for when the system was discontinued in Japan in March '96, instead of the real final shipment total, then it seems plausible; 29 million as of December '94, 1.75 million more in the next 15 months as it died in Japan and fell behind in the West... then some unknown number (we may have estimates for this, but not proven shipment totals unless the 30.75 million number includes it, which it's not clear if it does or not) in the rest of '96 and '97, then 2 million from Majesco in '98, plus TecToy which did its own thing all along.

    Also, does that number include the Nomad, or not? And how much did the Nomad sell, anyway? I don't think we have any credible info on Nomad sales, that 1 million number has to be nonsense.

    Even if 30.75 million is Sega's final production number, the real number is at least 34.75 million, maybe more depending on how many of TecToy's systems you count. Probably at least 35 million, really (Nomad, etc.).

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    Road Rasher Folco's Avatar
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    @ABF
    I edited my previous post with the answers to you.

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    Hero of Algol TrekkiesUnite118's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Folco View Post
    Can I see the source that state MD total shipment was 29M in 1994?
    What credibility does it have?

    Also why would you mix shipment data (Sega) with sell-through data (NPD)?
    Note that NPD won't vouch for the accuracy of their old data.
    The 29 million number comes from a gaming magazine reporting on 1994 numbers. It has Japan at 3.5 million, 14 million for the US, the remainder is split up between Brazil, Asia, Australia, and Europe. I did a google search but couldn't find it, though you can probably find it on this forum, it's been posted numerous times. Overall it lines up with what we know about that time frame, it also reports on SNES numbers and those line up closely to Nintendo's official numbers if I remember correctly.

    However Sega of America themselves announced in 1998, before the Genesis 3 released, they had sold 20 million Genesis systems in the US. So that's 6 million more since 1994. Again that lines up with what sales data we've seen from NPD releases and what not. So just doing some basic math the number should at least be 35 million right there, and that's assuming the thing completely stopped selling in all ther territories. While that's probably true for Japan since it was dead at that point and was discontinued later that year, it still was doing well in Europe and Brazil. Then when we factor in the sales of the Genesis 3 that number should increase as well.

    Basically the 30 million number doesn't make any sense. If it's to be believed then that would mean Europe, Brazil, Australia, and Asia only accounted for 6.5 million systems sold, which doesn't make sense. I wouldn't be surprised if the 30 million number was what it was when Japan discontinued it in 1995/1996 and doesn't factor in continued production in other regions like North America, Europe, Brazil, etc.

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    Road Rasher Folco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    The 29 million number comes from a gaming magazine reporting on 1994 numbers. It has Japan at 3.5 million, 14 million for the US, the remainder is split up between Brazil, Asia, Australia, and Europe. I did a google search but couldn't find it, though you can probably find it on this forum, it's been posted numerous times. Overall it lines up with what we know about that time frame, it also reports on SNES numbers and those line up closely to Nintendo's official numbers if I remember correctly.
    Is it this one?
    http://i.imgur.com/ta5o7dl.jpg

    The total shipment data in that german article which came out in May 1995 do not match with the official shipment data we have from Atari and Nintendo:
    Jaguar: 125K as December 1995
    SNES: 36,53M as March 1995
    Last edited by Folco; 01-31-2015 at 04:34 PM.

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    Raging in the Streets Yharnamresident's Avatar
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    I sometimes go back and forth with Trekkies, but I agree with him on this one.

    And the Nomad is kinda screwy to include, but the Majestco Genesis definitely qualifies for adding sales. I hate seeing that debated.


    Also didn't SoJ sell Dreamcasts online until 2006? I doubt it counts for much, but it should count.
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    Actually it's pretty close when you add up to the end of FY94, which is what it's reporting on if I remember correctly:

    http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=701305

    If my math is correct by March of 94 SNES should be at the following:

    Japan: 11.82 Million
    US: 14.45 Million
    Europe and the Rest: 5.79 million.

    That article only has UK and Germany so we can't really do an accurate comparison there. But it's other numbers are as follows:

    Japan: 11 Million
    US: 15 Million

    While not spot on, they're pretty darn close. When we add up the numbers from the official source we have about 32.06 Million Shipped by March of 1994. That article puts the number at about 31.5 Million. I'd say that's pretty close.

    Quote Originally Posted by Folco View Post
    The total shipment data in that german article which came out in May 1995 do not match with the official shipment data we have from Atari and Nintendo:
    Jaguar: 125K as December 1995
    SNES: 36,53M as March 1995
    Yes, it would be inaccurate if it was reporting on 1995 numbers, but it's not. It's reporting on 1994 numbers. As for Jaguar, those numbers have been all over the place for years. I really wouldn't use that as a guide.

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    Road Rasher Folco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    Actually it's pretty close when you add up to the end of FY94, which is what it's reporting on if I remember correctly:

    http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=701305

    If my math is correct by March of 94 SNES should be at the following:

    Japan: 11.82 Million
    US: 14.45 Million
    Europe and the Rest: 5.79 million.

    That article only has UK and Germany so we can't really do an accurate comparison there. But it's other numbers are as follows:

    Japan: 11 Million
    US: 15 Million

    While not spot on, they're pretty darn close. When we add up the numbers from the official source we have about 32.06 Million Shipped by March of 1994. That article puts the number at about 31.5 Million. I'd say that's pretty close.

    Yes, it would be inaccurate if it was reporting on 1995 numbers, but it's not. It's reporting on 1994 numbers. As for Jaguar, those numbers have been all over the place for years. I really wouldn't use that as a guide.
    Since the article claim to be reporting data until December 1994, you then believe Nintendo shipped 5M between January 1995 and March 1995?
    That would be impossible.

    Also Jaguar LTD was reported directly by Atari:
    http://google.brand.edgar-online.com...wW3W68chGZucz7

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    Hero of Algol TrekkiesUnite118's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Folco View Post
    Since the article claim to be reporting data until December 1994, you then believe Nintendo shipped 5M between January 1995 and March 1995?
    That would be impossible.
    The article doesn't say December 1994. It just says Year ending in 1994. That could mean December or it could mean Fiscal Year. Considering how close the numbers are to the fiscal year numbers I'd bet it's reporting on Fiscal year numbers at least as far as Nintendo is concerned.

    Quote Originally Posted by Folco View Post
    Also Jaguar LTD was reported directly by Atari:
    http://google.brand.edgar-online.com...wW3W68chGZucz7
    Yes, years after that magazine article was posted. Again, numbers were all over the place for that one, I don't think we should use it as a guide here. Just because the Jaguar numbers are wrong doesn't mean we should ignore the fact the SNES numbers are pretty close to the the FY1994 totals, and the Genesis numbers coincide with what we know about it's market performance at the time.

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