The hardware sales figures for the US are in once again, and well, not much has changed since last time. Nintendo are still dominating, the PS3 just pipping the Xbox 360, and the PS2 continuing to defy its old age.
Before I started writing at Blorge, I never used to pay much attention to the monthly hardware sales reports, but now they’ve taken on a whole new meaning, and are an important measure of where the industry is headed.
The figures for February really don’t show many surprises, although there are a few interesting tidbits to come out of the NPD report for the second month of 2008.
Hardware – February 2008
Nintendo DS – 587,600
Nintendo Wii – 432,000
PlayStation 2 – 351,800
PlayStation 3 – 280,800
Xbox 360 – 254,600
PS Portable – 243,000
Nintendo are still way ahead of everyone else, with the DS being the top selling console, with the Wii not far behind. Stocks seem to be appearing again after the holiday season shortfall, but are being snapped up just as fast as ever.
The PS2 beat both it’s younger brother, the PS3, and the Xbox 360 in to third place, and by quite a margin too. It seems despite the manufacturers best efforts, there are still a slew of people who aren’t willing to jump generations quite yet, and see the Playstation 2 as a cheap but powerful games machine.
What’s more, the games are now dirt cheap, with classics being available for just a few dollars in many stores, meaning it’ll still be a viable games machine for younger children, or those on a budget for many years to come.
According to Gamepro, even NPD analyst Anita Frazier was surprised by its continuing success:
“I was most surprised by the PS2 hardware sales numbers this month,”
“While it certainly has earned its spot among the now-gen slate of console systems because of it staying power in the marketplace, the fact that it realized such significant growth this month is really a testament to its broad adoption.”
The Playstation 3 did beat the Xbox 360 this month, for the second month in succession, but it’s lead did fall back quite substantially. I thought on the back of Blu-ray winning the DVD format war, the PS3 would do better, but no.
Software – February 2008
Call of Duty 4 (360) – 296k
Devil May Cry 4 (360) – 295k
Wii Play (Wii) – 290k
Devil May Cry 4 (PS3) – 234k
Guitar Hero III (Wii) – 223k
Mario and Sonic: Olympic Games (DS) – 206k
Lost Odyssey (360) – 204k
Turok (360) – 198k
Guitar Hero III (PS2) – 184k
Rock Band (360) – 162k
What’s also interesting is the software sales associated with the major consoles. The PS3 only had one game in the top ten, which would lead me to believe there are a hell of a lot of people either buying the console as a cheap Blu-ray player, or waiting for the big summer releases such as Gran Turismo 5, and Metal Gear Solid 4.
Microsoft need to pull something out of its hat to stop this trend, or the Xbox 360 will be consigned to the dustbin quicker than anyone ever imagined it would. Be it a new Blu-ray add-on, a bigger hard drive, or some manic price cutting across the board, something will have to be announced, and fast.