Updated console sales numbers

Not too long ago, I posted some sales numbers for the new generation consoles. Since there was some concern as to the validity of those numbers, I’ve held off a few weeks commenting more while looking for other numbers. Recently, Gamasutra has posted their own numbers for December sales along with end of year totals. The VGCharts site I linked to last time shows higher numbers than Gamasutra, so I’m not sure who is correct. I just want to take a peek at the Gamasutra numbers, though, and read through them a bit as if those were the correct numbers.

According to the official hardware statistics released this afternoon, the PlayStation 2 continued to be a popular platform at retail, selling 1.4 million units for the month (37.1 million to date in the U.S.). The Xbox 360 also impressed, selling 1.1 million in December (with 4.5 million lifetime to date), while the Wii sold 604,200 units for the month, putting its total North American number sold at 1.1 million units.

Elsewhere, the severely supply-constricted PlayStation 3 was found to have sold through 490,700 units for the period, with 687,300 units sold since its launch in November – no doubt somewhat of a disappointment for console creator Sony.

I still want Sony to do well with the PlayStation 3. More competition means better value and better games and hardware for us gamers. I know based on my comments in the past, it might seem like I don’t want Sony to do well. The reality is, I don’t think Sony is doing well, but I keep hoping things will go better for the console and that the company will start performing better in handling this round of the console wars. That said, I want to think about those PS3 numbers. According to other reports, Sony was able to meet their projected end-of-year target of 1 million consoles available in North America. That means Sony failed to sell nearly one-third of their consoles available for sale in the launch period.

I haven’t spent a lot of time looking for “experts” to give their analysis, but I suspect that price might be a big factor there. I’d love to get a PS3. I’d be saving my pennies to grab one for $300. Even at $400, I’d see if I could save enough to get one maybe this summer. I just can’t see paying $600, even if I get a Blu-Ray player (which I, like many others, don’t even care about). I suspect I’m not the only consumer who feels this way.

My quest for end-of-year products shipped numbers for the Wii has been fruitless thus far, so I can’t comment on how many remain in the channel. I do know, however, that people are still reporting troubles finding the Nintendo console, and that the number sold is near the projected end-of-year numbers Nintendo had around launch. Still, it will be interesting to find and compare the numbers to what Sony is going through.

[tags]End of year North American console sales, How the new generation of consoles are selling[/tags]