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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 Smartless on 5/22/2008 3:20:56 PM , Rating: 1
You know both of you make sense and I'm leaning more towards the Wii being the winner but I'm starting to wonder if there's some truth to the gimmick factor. I mean unless Nintendo continues to release creative new products that use accessories up the yin-yang they may have a problem. I always hear people awaiting the release of A game where as the Wii has to release Wiifit with a balance board and Mario Kart with a steering wheel. I think Nintendo is missing the hard-core gamer market. Most of my friends who own a Wii don't play it every night and are back to playing Madden. But that's just my 2 cents.


RE: Yeah right
By Solandri on 5/22/2008 3:50:17 PM , Rating: 3
A few points:

Game sales matter less to the Wii since unlike the other two Nintendo is probably making money off each console sale.

I agree the Wii's lagging game sales probably has to do with the market. Nintendo sought to expand beyond the hardcore gamer market, and that's what they got. What remains to be seen is if it takes longer to saturate that market than the hardcore market.

Hours spent playing per night is a pointless metric from a sales standpoint. It is partly relevant for online gaming, but even there the preference is usually for casual gamers who pay just as much but only login a few hours a month instead of 10 hours a day.

Remember that the Xbox360 and PS3 have their own gimmick factor too - they have substantially more powerful graphics and higher resolution than the Wii.

Sales figures as of March/April 2008 are:
Wii - 24.45 million in 16.5 months (1.48m per month)
Xbox360 - 19 million in 28 months (0.68m per month)
PS3 - 13 million in 17 months (0.76m per month)

I couldn't find month-to-month sales figures so we can't see trends. But it's important to remember the Xbox 360 has been for sale a year longer than the other two. In a race to 100 million, there's a good possibility the Xbox 360 could finish last (if it finishes at all). Also unknown is how many of those PS3 sales are to people who wanted a Blu-ray player which could also play some games.


RE: Yeah right
By slacker57 on 5/22/2008 3:56:05 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
I think Nintendo is missing the hard-core gamer market. Most of my friends who own a Wii don't play it every night and are back to playing Madden.


I'm pretty sure that the fact your friends' default game is Madden automatically disqualifies them from being hardcore.


RE: Yeah right
By Smartless on 5/22/2008 4:19:12 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah got me there. Though I had to group them since the 3 guys that play Gears of War are now buying PS3s because their Xboxs crapped out on them. lol


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