Print 111 comment(s) - last by Clauzii.. on May 26 at 11:41 AM

Microsoft resets finish line to 100 million after winning the 10 million unit dash

According to the latest NPD console sales numbers, Microsoft holds the lead in terms of total current-generation console sales in the U.S. with 10 million Xbox 360 sold. Microsoft touted this number as being particularly significant as it believes the first to this milestone wins the generation overall.

“This year will be the largest in the history of the video game industry, with Xbox 360 leading the charge in the U.S. and abroad,” said Don Mattrick, senior vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business in the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft. “History has shown us that the first company to reach 10 million in console sales wins the generation battle. We are uniquely positioned to set a new benchmark for the industry.”

More than 19 million Xbox 360 consoles have sold worldwide – a number already eclipsed by the Nintendo Wii on the global scale with 25 million total units sold. The Wii with 8.8 million in the U.S. is also rapidly gaining on Xbox 360 and is selling at a quicker pace, despite having launched a year after Microsoft’s console. The PlayStation 3 has sold 4.1 million in the U.S., with a total of more than 12 million worldwide.

One area that the Xbox 360 is the undisputed leader in is the online space, where there are currently more than 12 million Xbox Live subscribers.

“Perhaps more important is the Xbox 360 worldwide online base – 12 million Xbox Live gamers is the largest community in the connected console games sector, which represents the greatest growth opportunity in the console market and where Microsoft has been the leader for two generations,” commented Billy Pidgeon, research manager at IDC.

With the 10 million mark under its belt, Microsoft appears to now be resetting the finish line at 100 million. Microsoft Games Studios corporate VP Shane Kim said in a Wired|Game|Life interview that the console war will finally be decided “When somebody's well on their way to reaching 100 million units.”

Microsoft may have a problem reaching the 100 million mark ahead of its competitors if the Japanese market isn’t buying the Xbox 360, where the console has yet to sell 1 million units. “Well, we've always known that we weren't going to win in Japan, right?,” Kim replied. “And I think we can build a very good business, an exciting business with a pretty big installed base with success in places like North America and Europe. Even though you may not think it's big numbers, we're actually strong in Latin America as well. Canada's been a big market for us as well. So there are ways to get the scale.”

“Now, if you don't get 10 million units in Japan, can you get to 100 million units overall? I'd love to get 90 million units and have that problem. That's what we're really trying to focus on,” Kim added. “I think it's way too early to declare a winner.”

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RE: Yeah right
By TerranMagistrate on 5/22/2008 2:15:58 PM , Rating: 5
And not to mention:

“This year will be the largest in the history of the video game industry, with Xbox 360 leading the charge in the U.S. and abroad,

...which is simply untrue. The PS3 and especially the Wii are leading the Xbox 360 in all territories outside the U.S.

RE: Yeah right
By 16nm on 5/22/08, Rating: 0
RE: Yeah right
By thebrown13 on 5/22/08, Rating: 0
RE: Yeah right
By daftrok on 5/22/2008 6:56:44 PM , Rating: 2
....I'm sorry what? Didn't the Wii come out a year after the 360? Just cuz its not HD doesn't mean its past gen.

RE: Yeah right
By OblivionMage on 5/22/2008 8:08:32 PM , Rating: 3
I don't agree with him/her, Wii is seventh generation, but the comment probably was referring to the Wii's hardware being very close in resemblance to the Gamecubes, and being lesser in comparison to the original Xbox.

RE: Yeah right
By Alexstarfire on 5/22/2008 8:51:00 PM , Rating: 4
Yea, well we don't need to get in that argument AGAIN. Let's face it, the Wii is competing with the 360 and PS3 whether you want to believe it or not. Either way, I'm not sure if any console is going to hit 100 million before the next-gen comes out. I mean, I don't believe the PS2 has hit 100 million yet and it's been selling well for years.

RE: Yeah right
By Alexstarfire on 5/22/2008 9:04:10 PM , Rating: 2
oops, guess I can't read. PS2 broke 100 million well over a year ago.

RE: Yeah right
By rudy on 5/22/2008 11:02:01 PM , Rating: 4
none of this matters all 3 companies are already profitable in a short time. There will be no loser the gaming market is just that huge now. The real question is when will more companies realize that there is probably still more room and jump into the market. It is amazing to think that in past console wars at least 1 always got beat down to the point you almost never heard about it but after years these 3 are still selling like crazy and becoming something you can find on almost every block. And I imagine they will all do great through out their life since none are stuck in a money losing position.

RE: Yeah right
By Mitch101 on 5/23/2008 12:43:53 AM , Rating: 4
I agree cant we be happy there are 3 game console companies. There are hardly 3 sound card producers, video card companies, processor companies, etc any more.

I kind of feel each one of the consoles serves a certain demographic instead of being an end all be all specific winner. To each thier own and Game On.

RE: Yeah right
By StevoLincolnite on 5/23/2008 1:19:07 AM , Rating: 3
There are 3 CPU Companies in the x86 arena, Intel, AMD and Via.
There are also 4 Graphics card company's for the Desktop, they are Matrox, nVidia, ATI/AMD and S3, with Intel soon to jump on board the Discreet Graphics card market.

Sound Card Producers are:
Creative, C-Media, Via and Realtek.

I kind of feel each one of the consoles serves a certain demographic instead of being an end all be all specific winner. To each thier own and Game On.

I agree, I have all 3 consoles, but because of my mature age, I find myself playing on the Xbox 360 rather than the Wii more often than not, unless I have friends over.
So far, the games I have on the 360 are GTA IV, Naruto: Rise of the Ninja, Assassins Creed, Gears of War, Halo 3, Turok, Perfect Dark Zero, CoD4 and a few others, where as the Wii I have party games like Mario Kart, Wii Sports, and the PS3 is just a great HTPC, but I will be picking up games like Final Fantasy for it in the future.

The thing is, the Wii is selling rather quickly, the PS3 is gaining momentum, and the Xbox 360 has a larger game attachment rate than the other consoles.

Personally it's a win/win situation for the consumers, as we get more choice, and thats always a good thing, and because of the fierce competition between the company's they are constantly adding firmware updates to enable new features, something that never happened in the previous generations.

RE: Yeah right
By TheOneStorm on 5/23/2008 8:18:40 AM , Rating: 2
Don't forget Razer sound cards... :)

RE: Yeah right
By Rouke on 5/23/2008 10:00:02 AM , Rating: 3
I don't agree with you concerning Hardware producing:

AMD & Intel are indeed CPU companies. But Via can't be taken seriously anymore. Take IBM instead (all consoles have one) Supercomputers as well.

And in the Graphics Arena contemplating power and market-ratio: Intel is the biggest allready: office on-chip units.
Matrox & S3 chips can't be taken seriously there either.

concerning your story on the console race I think your partilly right..

RE: Yeah right
By LemonJoose on 5/23/08, Rating: -1
RE: Yeah right
By Alexstarfire on 5/24/2008 8:55:03 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, somebody hates Nintendo.

RE: Yeah right
By Clauzii on 5/26/2008 11:41:47 AM , Rating: 2
... and SONY.

RE: Yeah right
By PianoMan on 5/24/2008 1:06:02 PM , Rating: 2
You're right in that the three game systems are not in the same niche. The 360 and PS3 were made for gamers (like me). The Wii was made for EVERYONE else in the family.

Last time I checked, I was outnumbered.

The Wii is in a GREAT market position - it's got an unmatched growth base that it's already capitalizing on. Hopefully Nintento can keep up the quality of games for it.

Disclosure: owns a 360 and Wii.

RE: Yeah right
By orphen193 on 5/25/2008 2:39:55 PM , Rating: 2
I dont want to crash your world man but the gamecube's hardware was the best of the last gen..i think thats why Nintendo knows that selling consoles is not about how good your games look, also I am a hardcore PC gamer and I don't have a 360 nor a ps3 but I do have a wii and I do a lot of side gaming on that like brawl and Dragon ballz and a few others and I dont know what it takes for a console to be a "hardcore gamers" system but I see the wii as I see the 360 and ps3.. and the answer will shock you... and thats a gaming console.

RE: Yeah right
By Alexstarfire on 5/26/2008 9:51:35 AM , Rating: 2
That may be your opinion, but that's not the facts. The PS2 whooped everyone else's ass, hands down.

RE: Yeah right
By Sandok on 5/23/2008 4:07:47 AM , Rating: 2
The USA is one of the largest markets in the world, so it doesn't matter what happens outside as much.

Anyways, as a European, I will say that we suck given the way Sony has crippled the PS3 here, overpriced it and yet, we still buy it...

The world isn't fair ;)

RE: Yeah right
By TheOneStorm on 5/23/2008 8:21:58 AM , Rating: 2
Largest market? The US is only the "largest market" for the X360. The Wii has sold 25 mil worldwide, and only 8.8 mil there? There's a large Japanese market somewhere in there.

I wouldn't be as quick to say we're the largest market. The US is just the largest market for [the only] US manufacturer.

RE: Yeah right
By Alexstarfire on 5/24/2008 8:57:03 AM , Rating: 2
Well, it is the SINGLE largest market. I mean, you might talk about the EU, but that's not a country. China and India would be if they weren't so poor and/or stopped pirating.

RE: Yeah right
By joemoedee on 5/23/2008 10:16:29 AM , Rating: 1
..which is simply untrue. The PS3 and especially the Wii are leading the Xbox 360 in all territories outside the U.S.

It's proof that you can twist just about any number to make it work to your advantage.

It's a marathon race. Currently, the Wii is leading. 360 is second, PS3 is gaining on them.

MS's strong places are North America and the United Kingdom.

The 360 has sold well in NA, however, the sales rate is not much better than what the original Xbox accomplished.

The questions that MS needs to focus on, to "win"...

How many PS2 or GC owners have converted to 360 owners? -- Xbox sold 24 million, give or take. PS2 looking like it will do 120 million, maybe more. Obviously some owned both, but even if EVERY PS2 owner also owned an Xbox, that's still roughly 100 million that they did not sell to, give or take.

How many did not own a 6th gen console that subsequently purchased the 360? -- I'm certain the Wii is going to own this, but they do need to attract the not "typical gamer" to reach such a lofty sales goal.

How many 360 owners were/are owners of the original Xbox? -- We know there's a fair share of MS "fanboys" out there. MS needs to keep them happy as they will be their staunchest supporters.

... For Sony to win?

Keep their current installed base eating the Sony dogfood. That is enough to "win".


Obviously keep on their current pace and they'll "win". To do so, they'll have to continue to bring out the mass market games to cover the diverse userbase, but also do enough to keep the more "hardcore" gamers entertained. (Zelda, Metroid, Mario, and actual good 3rd party games) As the other two systems come down in price, I do believe you will see a slowing in Wii system sales. At that point, it will be all on the software to maintain the pace.

I do think the market can successfully support all three consoles, but feel it's going to be Wii/PS3 battling for number 1, with the 360 in third in total system sales when it's all said and done. Also a third place finish should not be considered a failure, as long as it doesn't go all Dreamcast on us. :)

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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