Xbox 360: 199,000
Compared to February's numbers, how did the consoles do?
PS2: Down about 6% from Feb.
Wii: Down about 23% from Feb.
Xbox 360: Down about 13% from Feb.
PS 3: Up about 2% from Feb.
So now lets look at the trend for the first quarter of 2007 courtesy of my most not-l33t Excel skills:
The one that is to me significant is the rock - steady sales of the PS 2. It's ancient, yet it still keeps cranking out the sales. In theory, it should be dropping rather rapidly at this point, now that all the major replacements are in production, yet month to month, the drop is less than 10%. I imagine at some point, it will increase, or the PS 3 sales will increase to where Sony will just kill it. But it's a dirt-cheap, solid console, and the sales reflect that.
Speaking of the PS3, it was the only console to increase sales for March, not a bad accomplishment when you're the most expensive, and don't have a Halo 3. If this upward sales trend continues, or increases, that would be a nice justification of Sony's strategy. If Sony cuts the price enough on the PS3, that upward trend could continue.
Both the Wii and the Xbox 360 continue their steady sales decline, although the Xbox's decline was 10% less than the Wii's. The Wii started from a far higher point, so it has farther to fall, but if that 20+% decrease in sales doesn't start flattening out and soon, the Wii could be in a spot of trouble. Nintendo may be able to cut the price further, but by how much? It's not expensive now. The 360 is relying on Halo 3 to jack its sales, but I have my doubts. Most of the hardcore Halo fans have probably picked up their Xboxes already. That can be said for the hardcore fans of any of the three platforms. Gamers are not known for patience.
However, keep in mind that in all three cases, a lot of what you're seeing is post-xmas drop. It's the relative placements that are important more than the steep decline. The next quarter or two will be more interesting, at least in my opinion.
However, there's another number that I find interesting, and it's this one:
U.S. Installed Base to date:
Wii 2.1 million
Xbox 360 5.3 million
PS3 1.2 million
With a year lead, the Xbox 360 penetration is not much more than 2x the Wii's, which has yet to be out for 6 months in this country. So depending on where the Xbox and Wii sales curves go, and if the PS3 upward motion isn't a blip, Microsoft's year lead could end up not meaning much in the end.
And the fact that the Wii is still outselling everyone says much for the lack of importance of tech specs to the general public.