by Carlo Longino

Surprise: A Console That's Available For Purchase Outsells Two That Aren't

from the fun-with-statistics dept

While the Nintendo Wii and the Sony PlayStation 3's arrivals into the market were met with a lot of hoopla (and plenty of stupidity, the actual supply of the machines themselves couldn't match the actual hype. Few of the consoles were actually available, while those that were being sold by third parties carried a high premium. It's hardly surprising, then, to see that the Xbox 360, which was essentially available to anybody wanting to buy one, outsold both the Wii and PS3 in December, and its dominance during the month really doesn't signify how things will play out among the three machines over the long term. After all, the same sort of shortages happened when the Xbox 360 launched, and now it's the dominant console. Certainly not being able to have large numbers of machines on hand for the holiday season -- though it looks like supplies might be easing -- gave the Xbox 360 a boost. But the real battle will be to see which console leads sales at the end of the 2007 holiday season, and for the entire year. Update: Well, hold on: it looks like the numbers upon which the original story may be inaccurate. NPD Group, the purported source of the sales figures, says it's not yet released numbers for the timeframe being discussed, and won't do so until next week.

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  • identicon
    Matt Bennett, 2 Jan 2007 @ 12:33pm

    I know it won't be the PS3. I think it's going the way of the NEO GEO.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Beau Williams, 3 Jan 2007 @ 1:39am


      Of course time will only tell who comes out on top. However I still think you are making an unfair comparison. The 360 has already out sold many times over the fraction of a percentage that the NEO GEO sold in it's lifespan, compared to the other consoles of it's time.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Xenohacker@hotmail.com, 2 Jan 2007 @ 12:33pm

    Who Cares?

    Does popularity really matter all the consoles will be outdated in a couple years anyways. A guy from Techdirts perhaps department said so. HaHa

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2007 @ 9:31am

      Re: Who Cares?

      Ignorant. So you're essentially saying that because the technology will become obsolete that it makes little or no difference which one sells the best at market. Interesting. I predict you will be leading the next big business failure... oh, wait... do you work for Sony?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bumbling old fool, 2 Jan 2007 @ 12:49pm

    If its not a Wii, its going back.

    Remember that article about getting the wrong tech for xmas? Everyone who got a 360 is standing in that returns line.

    (ok, not everybody, but my next door neighbor is)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    rijit (profile), 2 Jan 2007 @ 1:13pm


    The Wii would have out sold the Xbox 360 if the units had been available but the PS3? There are units on the store shelves and they have been in stock since December 23rd here in Texas. I believe the PS3 will eventually catch the Xbox 360 IF Sony doesn't drop it or delay new features too long.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    chris richardson, 2 Jan 2007 @ 1:45pm

    ps2 outsold them all

    hahahahaha. that's right, the highest selling console this christmas went sony's other console - the forgotten PS2.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    CJ, 2 Jan 2007 @ 2:16pm

    "Does popularity really matter all the consoles will be outdated in a couple years anyways"

    everything gets outdated. every computer you ever buy, every car you ever drive, everything. play the consoles while they are around. nobody suggested popularity was important.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Jan 2007 @ 2:34pm

    The 360 can be hacked with no other hardware added. the people who know about that will opt for the free games. i dont know anyone who dosent have a hacked 360 anymore. my son has 17 games for his system. all i had to do was spend $400. i got a 360 and a wii for my kids this year. the ps3 is over priced. there are some places that have ps3's stacked up on shelves and no one to buy them. sony droped the ball on this sytem. the problem with them shutting down after 1/2 hour of playing them is sad. you cant even go to bestbuy and play them right now. its to much trouble to reboot the things in there case. with the price tag they put on them i would hope they would have had more of the bugs worked out of them then the 360 did.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Arkwin, 2 Jan 2007 @ 3:14pm

    the problem with them shutting down after 1/2 hour of playing them is sad. you cant even go to bestbuy and play them right now. its to much trouble to reboot the things in there case.

    Just to let you know, that is not a real Playstation 3 system. I forget the name the give them, all my friends have a ps3 and I've only seen it freeze once, and you didn't have to restart the system, just hold down the PS buttion and exit the game.

    Not like my friends XBOX 360, we left dead rising on for 8 hours and it bricked itself. after taking it apart and heat gunning it to resoder everything, it lasted 24 more hours of dead rising and died again. I've also played the we, granted I do think the wiimote is a great idea, the system is lacking some major power, and the wiimote just pisses me off sometimes. The PS3 is the future, blue ray, cell processor, it's already got Yellow dog linux for it. It's basicly a gamming system and a computer. We've put linux on my friends PS3 and it works like a charm, the only things they need to do is wifi(I think they already added a guidde on how to set it up) and openGL.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    M, 2 Jan 2007 @ 3:22pm


    The Nintendo 64 is still the best. Good ol' days...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ehrichweiss, 2 Jan 2007 @ 3:56pm

    they were

    The Wii's were actually not on the shelves because they were selling so quickly, not limited availability. I know for a fact(my sister is a Nintendo rep) that 4 million Wii's made it to the marketplace in the US before the end of 2006 and they're still impossible to find.

    As for the PS3, they aren't getting $600 of my money for, as Arkwin suggests, a "gaming system and a computer" seeing as how my computer whips the PS3 hands down for graphics and performance, doesn't require Sony's DRM BS and only cost me about 1/2 that to put together.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Paco, 2 Jan 2007 @ 4:02pm


    Has any system had more long term success than the original Nintendo Entertainment System? Yeah, the Playstation and PS2 were nice, but something better always came along. The N.E.S. stood head and shoulders above all of it's competitors for YEARS, not just a few months until the next great thing came out.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Eddie ELZ, 2 Jan 2007 @ 5:05pm

    360 top Dog..

    360 hands down is the best system, playing on the best online interface in any system. PS3 is overpriced and the games are lacking. Wii is great for the different type of gameplay it offers. I'll pick up a Wii before a PS3 any day. HD DVD looks great on my Xbox 360.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Eric Baker, 2 Jan 2007 @ 5:48pm

    Sales Comparison Nov 05/06

    Here's the first month sales data as reported by the NPD (to be fair):

    PS3 Unit Sales Nov. 2006 - 197,000
    Xbox360 Unit Sales Nov. 2005 - 325,902
    Wii Unit Sales Nov. 2006 - 476,000

    Now for fun, lets add these:
    PSP Unit Sales Nov. 2006 - 412,000
    Xbox360 Unit Sales Nov. 2006 - 511,000
    GBA Unit Sales Nov. 2006 - 641,000
    PS2 Unit Sales Nov. 2006 - 664,000
    DS Unit Sales Nov. 2006 - 918,000

    For some reason, I can't find any original Xbox sales numbers. It's weird to me articles would include the PS2 sales and not the Xbox sales..
    I'd say the real winner is Nintendo (Wii, DS, GBA) since they actually make money on all of their products sold. (+games and peripherals).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Eric Baker, 2 Jan 2007 @ 6:20pm

    To continue...

    According to Sony, they are only releasing 7 million units for 2007 and 6 million units for 2008. It's also reported that the PS2 will be outselling the PS3 during that time as well. And being that the Xbox360 has sold almost 10 million units to date, it has already beat Sony's sales numbers for 2007. Some are even saying that with the number of games coming to the Xbox360 this year, including Halo 3 and GTA, and the fact that they extended their original warranty (even for those who bought it last year), they just might sell 20 million consoles by this time next year.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Shalkar, 2 Jan 2007 @ 6:38pm

    Breakdown of the Systems

    Wii: When it comes down to it the Wii is the "best bang for your buck" when you consider it's only $250 before taxes where applicable. Where in Nintendo did decent for the Gamecube, they will slaughter this console round with the Wii. The price is nearly perfect considering todays economy. The games are fun, but of course being launch titles they can only get within sight of the true potential of the Wii. By Christmas next year we'll see some REAL games for the Wii! As for right now, the only killer title for it is of course the newest Zelda. The Wii can even output in 420p if I remember right.

    Mark my words: Wii for the "Wiin" this round.

    Xbox 360: Definitely the "high end" console to have. If you have a HDTV and you play games, you owe it to yourself to get this system. While the launch titles deserved to be chucked in to the garbage before they even hit the store shelves, there are some really great games for this system. Namely "Gears of War", "Viva Pinata", "Oblivion", "Dead Rising" and "F.E.A.R.". While there are obviously other games that one may take quite a liking to, those 5 are the primary games to look for. Being that you can get the HD-DVD add-on for a "mere" $200 is quite good also. While you can get a decent HD-DVD player for around $150 before shipping and any applicable taxes, one has to consider the quality of such players as opposed to one made directly by Microsoft, whom of course had a major hand in making this format. As for whether you should care about HD-DVD or Blu-Ray, consider that it's not really worth worrying about it yet and you're better off waiting a couple of years before caring.

    Bottom Line: The Xbox 360 will do pretty great and will help assure a "stronghold" of sorts towards the generation after this. It will provide for greater advancement in the high end department of gaming. A.K.A. Second Place(for this generation)

    (As for which format will win, my prediction is HD-DVD as todays market just doesn't want to pay for the extremely higher price of Blu-Ray. Albight, when it comes down to it if they get the Blu-Ray to be as reliable as the HD-DVD format and the price about the same, I would say that the Blu-Ray would win hands down. The only problem is, that I can promise you that Blu-Ray won't meet that criteria before HD-DVD is in the majority of homes that will care about HD and thus, it will have already lost.)

    Playstation 3: It's doomed. There really is no other way of looking at it. Unless they fix all the hardware problems, make sure the games never cost over $60(including any special editions of games), and lower the cost to at least $400, there is no way for this console to survive this round. Sony made a gigantic mistake by not waiting until Christmas of '07 to release this console. If they had waited until then and fixed all of their current problems by then, including how many were available for the initial launch, and making the price tag about $100 for both versions of this console, then they would have had a pretty decent fighting chance. As it is though, Sony is going to take a BIG hit with this mess up! There are no two ways about it.

    R.I.P. Playstation 3: While I'm quite certain enthusiasts who love modding may love the array of options that are open to them with this system, the fact is they're a minority when it comes down to it. It's a realistic fact that Sony may actually decide to cut their loses and either stop making the Playstation 3 permanently or until they can fix the bugs and the price tag. While their attempt to make a computer/gaming console is admirable, admirable won't save this system from the grave.

    Summary: Wii has already won, Xbox 360 is going to do really awesome and the Playstation 3 is playing chess with the grim reaper. Wii is for anybody who likes games, the Xbox 360 is for people who love HD and games that are on the edge of technology that is available to them(physically and monetarily) and the Playstation 3 is for modders.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rob, 2 Jan 2007 @ 8:53pm

    Something To Ponder

    The 360 sold 2 M, the Wii sold 1.8 M.

    That sounds like the 360 sold at a faster clip, but it didn't. It was available for almost 3 more weeks than the Wii was.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    sam, 3 Jan 2007 @ 5:54am


    where did you get these "statistics"? I work at the corp offices of a mainstream gaming company and our numbers indicate that the wii outsold the ps3 and 360.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Eric Baker, 3 Jan 2007 @ 9:01am

    Yes, Numbers

    These aren't statistics, they are numbers reported by the NPD Group that tracks all of the companies
    The Wii only outsold the other systems in November.
    Try Google: "nintendo wii sales 2006 npd". You will find several stories on the first page with that same data (as above).
    But, being that the Xbox360 had 3 weeks in Nov. over the Wii, I would say that in the same Nov. 19th-Dec 31st timeframe, the Wii did outsell the Xbox360. I guess we'll know later this month when the NPD Group releases all of the sales numbers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Sanguine Dream, 3 Jan 2007 @ 11:06am

    The way I see it...

    Most gamers are gonna first pick a PS3 or 360 as their "main game" machine. I'm not knocking Nintendo but I don't think many people will want the Wii as their main system due to its lacking hardware and and not getting the big games like Gears of War. But I think the Wii will shine when it comes to people who want a second system.

    I see a lot people taking the Wii as a second system becuase of the fun factor and the price. If you have already dropped $400(for a 360) or $600(for a PS3) then you are more likely to go for the $250 Wii instead of dropping $400 or $600 for the PS3 or 360 you didn't buy as your first system.

    Add that to the fact that Nintendo is targeting non-traditional gamers (whole families instead of just the kids, the olderly, and as much as I hate to say it, the majority of women) this generation the Wii is looking very good. The 360 (a very powerful console that is catering to the home theater market as well as the console market) is the only thing that will keep them out of first and if the 360 is on top then I think Nintendo will take 2nd for sure.

    As for Sony I think they have too many pissed off customers out there. And with the high price of the system people are scared of shelling out that much money for something they may not like. I have no pity for the people that thought they were gonna get rich quick by selling a PS3 on ebay but now are struggling to get rid of them. Hell I've been seeing PS3s on the shelf for the last serveral weeks but I have yet to see a Wii for sale.

    But that's okay I have enough PS2/Xbox/GC stuff to play until the Wii is plentiful again. I hope to have a 360/Wii combo by the end of 2007. Maybe buy one this summer and other this Christmas.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Wizard Prang, 3 Jan 2007 @ 12:03pm

    Not really a valid comparison, is it?

    Comparing this year's hot new console with last year's not-so-hot, not-so-new console is, well... a little pointless.

    Obviously the new thing(s) will always - either by accident or by design - be in short supply. Remember how difficult it was to get an Xbox360 for Christmas 05?

    Given that they have been out for a year, one would hope that they have gotten their supply chain sorted out by now.

    Nothing to see here folks, move along...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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