I want to properly deal with the issues facing ANYONE trying to get detailed sales figures for the ATARI hardware, as too much speculation has been reported as fact.
Basically, as a gamer who owned a 2600, 800XL, 520STFM, Lynx and Jaguar, all during their commercial lifespans, i was very well used to seeing Atari P.R in full swing, proudly proclaiming how sales and profits etc were up.
You look at something like the news section in say Computer Gamer magazine, Sam tramiel quoted as saying ATARI sales up by 82% along with net income up by $59 Million, for year ending of 1986 and whilst he strongly hinted this was due to the ST, you never saw a platform specific breakdown, nor region specific break down of the sales or profits due to....
All you did hear Sam say was that Atari's video game systems also sold well in 1986, but again no mention of specific regions.
This is important as the UK was still waiting for the 7800 (and would recieve the XEGS instead, initally) and the aging 2600 was now selling new for around £35 (Computer Gamer estimated some 20,000 2600's were still being sold each year here in UK at Feb'87).
But Atari, like Sony does today (PS4 figures just..PS4 figures, never a breakdown of Slim, Standard and Pro models, it seems), just gave vague statements.
UK Magazine Raze even went as far as to point out Atari UK used to claim it held 50% of the UK Console market games share, but never broke that down to specifics ie 2600, 7800+XEGS
Many years later when Atari UK's Darryl Still was asked about Lynx figures, he said he probably knew at the time, couldn't put a figure on it now, they were less than should of been..then goes along with suggested figure of between 2.5-3 Million.
Next thing you know, it's in Retro Gamer magazine as a factual 3 Million.
Based on what real research/concrete evidence?
Darryl also asked about European (not even UK only) 7800 sales..All he had in reply was how well it was stocked by European retail (stocked doesn't mean sold to consumer though) and Atari used to ship a lot of units to mail order catalogues (where you could pay in installments each month) and in less affluent areas of the UK..so what do we learn from that?
It sold better when you could pay of price over a period of months and it sold well in areas where it was cheapest games console option avaiable.
Edge magazine of ALL places made a very important point when they did a big feature on the (then) Top 10 best-selling consoles in the world, ever...
In the "Lies And statistics" box-out:
Excellent figures exist for SUCCESSFUL hardware, with companies falling over themselves to press-release the latest million odd sales....
More problematic, those seen as FAILURES (and those licensced out to different global manufactuers).....
As companies not exactly going to be rushing out figures of how poorly a flagship system has done...
Edited by Lost Dragon, 20 February 2017 - 04:02 PM.