Sony is keen for us to know that Move is doing quite well for them. At GDC in San Francisco, the company’s developer support engineer spoke about how many units they’d shipped.
Gabe Ahn said that Sony has shipped 10.5 million Move units. What that means is as confusing as ever. Firstly, “shipped” doesn’t often mean “sold”, it just means what retailers have ordered to have in stock. There might be a warehouse somewhere with 9.5 million Move controllers sitting on crates. There isn’t, of course, but there might be. Stating “shipped” numbers doesn’t tell us how many people have actually bought one.
Another cause for confusion is the modular nature of Sony’s Move system. Does Ahn mean that the company sold 10.5 million of the wands with the little glowing balls on? Does he mean 10.5 million Move sets consisting of at least the camera and the Move wand?
Does he mean 10.5 million units of something needed to make Move work — the Nav controller, wand or camera? My guess is that the figure is accumulated shipping figures for the Move wand and Nav controller.
Not so impressive when you consider that plenty of people bought more than one Move wand. A typical set up might be considered two wands and a nav controller, for example. The most interesting figure would be the install base for Move-capable consumers and what equipment they have, specifically. If a developer makes a Move game, how many people can they hope to sell it to? How many if that game requires more than one Move wand to work?
For comparison, after Kinect’s first 16 months, it has sold (or shipped, who really knows?) 18 million units, including bundles. So there are roughly 18 million people capable of buying the next dancing game released for Kinect.
What is perhaps more interesting here is the fact that Sony is still keen to talk about Move. With Sorcery finally popping up out of hiding yesterday, there seems to be some renewed vigour in the peripheral. Hopefully this means that Sony is going to put a bit more weight behind creating unique, quality experiences for the device.