Well isn’t that just amusing…
A lot has been said about Microsoft insisting that monthly average users (MAUs) are more important as a metric for a system’s success than hardware unit sales- people maintain (and I do agree with them, for the record) that Microsoft made the shift to this metric to obfuscate their console sales, which are vastly dwarfed by Sony’s.
Which makes Sony’s statement today that much more amusing. See, in its latest financial report (via DualShockers), Sony’s Chief Financial Officer Kenichiro Yoshida said that with regards to the PlayStation business, monthly active users is now becoming more important and meaningful as a metric than hardware sales; hardware sales are still important, he added, but since platforms are now becoming ecosystems, MAUs is a more meaningful metric.
It’s an interesting notion, of course, and in the future, as we move towards digital services, and platforms become more about ecosystems than about hardware, install base will obviously become less important than engaged users. Of course, hardware sales will never become unimportant- and really, the best thing to do would be to share both numbers.
For now, that has not stopped Sony from sharing regular updates to console sales numbers for the PS4- but I wonder, will this last forever, especially if the next PlayStation doesn’t sell all that well? As the PS3 and PS Vita have shown us multiple times in the past, it’s not like it is beyond Sony to obfuscate their own sales numbers when they are low.