It looks like 20GB PS3s have gotten temporary price reductions from some Japanese retailers; Kotaku has pointed out a post on the Akiba blogs showing some retail chains in the country reducing the price of the 20GB model by 10,000 Yen, around $80. We know PS3 sales have hit somewhat of a lull recently, so stores may be aggressively reducing price to reduce stock levels. Continued price reductions can not be sustained without support from Sony; if sales continue to languish, Sony might have to reduce the price of the 20GB system even further.
Read More | Kotaku
American Technology Research’s recent stock check of the retail channel is showing PS3 availability but no Wii availability, according to a Reuters report. Analyst Paul-Jon McNealy found 28 of 52 stores had Playstation 3 consoles for sale; none of the 52 stores had any Wii consoles at all. Apparently most stores had single-digit availability, with one store having more than 60 machines in stock. Without further data, it is hard to judge what the stock situations actually mean. Nintendo could be trickling in Wii consoles as they try and sate demand for the game system worldwide. Sony claims that the recent pockets of availability are due to their continued efforts to fill their shipping channel. Future sales numbers will be the only way to determine whether Sony’s claims are correct or if demand is really softening.
Read More | Reuters
Sony Computer Entertainment Japan today announced that PS3 shipments in Japan have reached 1 million consoles, according to a Reuters report. Sony’s initial targets were to have 2 million consoles shipped by the end of the year; with today’s announcement, it looks like while Sony made its shipment targets in the US, the company missed its goals in Japan by two weeks. The announcement comes after Japanese analyst Nomura Securities indicated that Sony might miss its worldwide shipping targets by as much as 25% due to lackluster sales. Actual PS3 demand is somewhat hard to gauge, and gamers will probably have to wait for January NPD sales numbers to know the truth. Certainly the initial demand surge has slowed and finding a console has become much easier. Gamestop is trying to drive sales through a $100 PS2 trade-in offer, but still offers expensive bundles online for pre-order only.
Read More | Reuters
Nintendo of America celebrated the success of the Wii and the DS in North America, now Nintendo of Europe is doing the same in their territory. Sales monitoring company Chart Track has released their sales numbers for the month of December, and in the UK Nintendo sold nearly 200,000 Wii consoles and 500,000 DS handhelds.
In Europe, Nintendo moved more than 700,000 Wii consoles and an amazing 1.7 million DS handhelds. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess nearly matched the attach rate in the US, selling 500,000 copies to 70% of Wii purchasers during December. With huge sales in Europe, Nintendo has basically stormed across the globe this holiday season.
Read More | Nintendo Europe
Japanese publisher Enterbrain has released the software and hardware sales totals for 2006. According to a report from Gamasutra, the publisher is claiming that Japanese video game hardware grew year over year 160%, while software sales grew 125%. The best selling hardware for the year was, of course, the Nintendo DS, moving over 7.5 million handhelds. Software sales charts were also dominated by the DS, which represented 8 of the top 10 titles of the year. Leading the list was Pokemon Diamond and Pearl. The top non-DS title was Square’s Final Fantasy XII for the PS2. Wii Sports made the top 100 in the 21st position, but no title for the Xbox 360 or the Playstation 3 were represented on the list. Nintendo managed to completely dominate Japan this year, and so far there are no signs of this changing any time soon.
Read More | Gamasutra
December’s NPD final numbers have been released, and the video game industry as a whole did remarkably well, selling over $3.7 billion during the final month of the year. According to a GameDaily report, this puts industry growth year-over-year at 27.8%. In hardware, the biggest seller overall was the Nintendo DS, moving over 1.6 million handhelds. This was followed by Sony’s “last-generation” console, the PS2, which sold an amazing 1.4 million consoles sold.
For the current generation of consoles, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 lead the pack at 1.1 million sold through December, followed by Nintendo’s Wii with 604,200 sold and Sony at 490,700. Supply constraints clearly impacted both Nintendo and Sony for their next generation offerings; Nintendo’s worldwide launch stretched console supply impossibly thin, and production issues kept Sony from pushing as many consoles to market as they would have liked. Microsoft has to be happy with their totals, maintaining their lead in the face of new competition, and the continued success of the PS2 helps take the sting out of Sony’s meager PS3 launch.
On the software side, Microsoft’s Gears of War continued to sell well and moved more than 815 thousand units, and clearly helped drive sales of the Xbox 360. Guitar Hero II was a huge seller for the Playstation 2, and the combined sales of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess for the Wii and Gamecube moved over one million sold; Zelda for the Wii continued to have a huge attach rate with Wii console buyers, selling 519,200 units against more than 600,000 consoles.
Overall, each of the three console manufacturers has something to brag about for the month of December, and while the relative sales are interesting now, this is just the beginning of the next console war; most analysts are predicting that the holiday season for 2007 will be when consumers will see how the competition really shakes up.
Read More | GameDaily
At the opening of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Sony announced that 1 million Playstation 3 consoles were shipped to North America by the end of 2006. Despite shipping 197,000 consoles at launch, half of their promised supply, it appears that Sony has caught up with their production goals for the system and have ensured a stead supply of hardware to the North American market. This appears to have resulted in pockets of availability across the country as demand has somewhat cooled in some markets. It will be interesting to see how Playstation 3 sales figures change as supply increases to the market; the Xbox 360, the Wii, and the older Playstation 2 all sold well this holiday season. As supply increases, the true demand for each console will be revealed.
Read More | Yahoo News
At the keynote speech for the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show, Microsoft is expected to announce that the company has reached the 10 million unit milestone for the Xbox 360. According to Dean Takahashi at Mercury News, Microsoft will also announce support for IPTV on the console as well, giving the Xbox 360 the ability to act as an on demand client for Internet-based subscription video services. This may also be an indicator that Microsoft will be releasing a larger hard drive. While not specifically discussed in the article, it would seem that in order to support on demand and digital video recording functionality more hard drive space would be required to make this a viable option.
Update: It looks like the article has been pulled. An article summary can still be found at Google News here.
Update 2: Link fixed.
Read More | Mercury News
It looks like enforced bundles of the Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii, along with strong holiday sales have boosted GameStops financials, as the company raised guidance for their fourth quarter and full year results. GameStop reports that total sales for the holiday season reached $1.73 billion. The top five video game releases for the holiday season were:
- Gears of War
- Final Fantasy XII
- Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
- Guitar Hero II
- WWE Smackdown vs RAW 2007
Interestingly, no Playstation 3 title made the list, but two Playstation 2 titles did, along with one Xbox 360 release, one combination Wii/Gamecube release, and one multi-platform title in Smackdown. Console shortages might have limited the revenue that the company received from next generation releases, but this would seem to be one more data point indicating that the Playstation 2 will still be a sales monster into the coming year.
Read More | Reuters
Media Create’s hardware sales numbers for the week ending December 10th have been released, and the Xbox 360 received a considerable bump due to the release of Blue Dragon for the console, moving 35,343 units during the week. This number is the highest the console has seen since launch, and the numbers are respectable but not spectacular. The top selling console this week was the DS Lite, selling 309,630 units. The Wii followed behind with 85,439, and the Playstation 3 came in third with 50,171. One assumes that the Wii and PS3 numbers are heavily constrained by supply. Coming up after the Xbox 360 are the Playstation 2 at 30,460 consoles and the PSP at 28,930 units.
The DS Lite just continues to absolutely dominate console sales in Japan. Microsoft has to be somewhat happy with the bump in sales in Japan. Considering that the Blue Dragon bundle is an insanely great deal on the hardware and software included, the company may be paying a heavy price for this improvement in sales. If Microsoft can ride the wave to further success the cost might be worth it for the company, but if this is a temporary blip, one has to wonder if anything can turn around the console in Japan.
Read More | Media Create