View Full Version : Xbox 360 bests Wii, PlayStation 3 in US holiday sales

13th January 2007, 08:03
Xbox 360 bests Wii, PlayStation 3 in US holiday sales (http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070113/tc_afp/afplifestyleusitgamecompanysonymicrosoftnintendo_070113023100)

Xbox 360 bested Wii and PlayStation 3 in US holiday season sales as Microsoft scored what analysts expected to be a lasting victory in the new-generation video game console war.

Sony's prior generation, PlayStation 2, outsold all the freshly launched consoles in a twist that industry insiders saw as a sign that new players were being enticed into the video game world.

Sony sold 1.4 million PlayStation 2 consoles in the United States in December, compared with only 491,000 of the PlayStation 3 (PS3) model, according to figures from market research firm NPD Group.

Meanwhile, buyers snapped up 1.1 million Xbox 360s and 604,000 of the family-oriented Wii consoles made by Nintendo.

"The Xbox 360 is the best-value proposition," Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey told AFP. "The Wii is hard to find and the PS3 is overpriced."

Japan-based electronics firms Nintendo and Sony introduced their new consoles in November, while Microsoft had the Xbox 360 on store shelves a year earlier.

"The Wii was a disappointment," Hickey said. "That was the biggest surprise."

Sony and Nintendo both failed to come to market with enough units to satisfy demand.

Desire for Wii consoles remains "absolutely phenomenal" and Nintendo will likely post strong sales when they ramp up distribution of the consoles, Hickey said.

"Any unit Nintendo got on the shelf would have been sold, and that means Nintendo left half the dollars on the table in 2006 and will make up for it in 2007," Hickey said.

"Wii is the first digital game board that everybody can play -- from your child to your mom. Everyone will be buying the Wii."

PS3 will suffer a more dismal fate unless it comes up with a blockbuster game title to entice players away from Xbox 360.

"Gears of War" for Xbox 360 was the most successful game software in December, with 815,700 copies sold, according to NPD.

A new generation of superstar video game Halo made exclusively for Xbox 360 is being created, Hickey said.

The Xbox Live feature connecting gamers via the Internet is "unbelievable" while Sony "dropped the ball" with the performance of the PS3 online feature, according to the analyst.

PS3 is also the highest price console, with the premium model selling for 600 dollars while Xbox 360 is priced at 400 dollars and Wii at 250 dollars in the US market.

Once Sony solves its production problem and gets ample supplies to stores, it's "going to be really bad" because demand likely would not be there, Hickey predicted.

Overall, the video game market is thriving, according to analysts.

The theatrical launches of Wii and PS3 "created a buzz," curiosity, that lured people from the sidelines into stores where they found PlayStation 2 consoles could be had for less than 200 dollars.

Wii with its motion-sensitive controllers that let players get in on the action is winning over "casual gamers" more interested in virtual sports than pretend warfare.

"The market is expanding," Hickey said.

Sales of game software along with accessories, consoles and handheld players in the United States in 2006 surged to 12.5 billion dollars from 10.5 billion the previous year, according to NPD.

Nintendo's DS was the top-selling game player of any kind in the US market in December, with 1.6 million units sold.

It would likely become common that US homes feature two gaming consoles, the Wii and either Xbox 360 or a PlayStation for hardcore gaming, Hickey said.

"You have to give the edge to the Xbox 360," Hickey said.