PS3 Lagging In Game Console Sales
In January, the Wii sold 436,000 units in North America. The second place console was a surprise- Sony's seemingly antiquated PlayStation2 sold 299,00 units. Xbox 360 came in third at 294,000 units with the PS3 coming in fourth with 244,000 units. Sony also sold 210,00 PlayStation Portables in January, which makes its total game console sales quite strong.
While the PS2 is legacy at this point, money talks. The US retail on the PS2 is now just $129. The Wii comes in at $250, while a base model Xbox 360 is $299. There are two versions of the PS3 available, one at $499 and the upscale model at $599
Some believe that PS3 will not provide the decisive blow in the format war that Sony wants it to unless it dominates at mass market levels as a game console. I wonder. Let's look at some more hardware numbers to put this in some additional format war perspective. Toshiba's Jodi Sally was recently quoted in a Video Business article as saying that the second-gen HD DVD players released in December have already eclipsed its first-gen players in sales. But Sally also told me at CES 2007 in early January that Toshiba had sold a total of 60,000 HD DVD players to that point. Even if that total doubled that's still 120,000 units total. Even in an apparently down January PS3 sold 244,000 units. And PS3's sales figure to climb as time goes by and more and more hot games come out. Even if the other consoles stay ahead, that doesn't necessarily indicate that PS3 will go away or become a non-factor in the format war.
And in spite of its lagging in the game console war, the PS3 has already had a big impact on the format war in software sales. Although the first HD DVD players and discs debuted last April, and HD DVD has enjoyed a freakishly high "attach rate" of purchased HD DVD titles per player, it's widely acknowledged that Blu-ray has already outsold HD DVD in total discs sold from inception even though the PS3 didn't appear until mid-November (Sony claims a 700% increase in BD software sales since PS3's release).
While some pundits poo-poo Blu-ray's widely reported 2:1 software sales advantage in January as being the result of more movies being released, that actually acknowledges one of BD's biggest advantages. As long as eight studios support BD compared to the three that support HD DVD you'd expect there to be more releases and higher disc sales for the Sony format. While Universal has announced that it will release over 100 HD DVD titles in 2007 in an effort to bridge this studio support gap, and shown an impressive list of upcoming titles, I could find only nine upcoming Universal HD DVD titles officially announced and available for pre-order at this time.
Every time a new round of stats are released I'm bombarded with communiques from proponents on both sides, spinning the numbers into positive light for each respective side. I do the besst job I can in analyzing the data at hand in spite of the fact that I'm not a statistician by trade or inclination. I have no vested interest in either format, or even a rooting interest. My sole position is that I wish for one of the formats to survive as at least a solid niche while the masses gravitate to lower quality standard def by virtue of downloads.