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Paris Hilton holds an Xbox 360 goody bag  (Source: MSN Entertainment)
Xbox 360 price drop spurs hardware sales prior to Halo 3 launch

NPD Group released last week its video game sales data for the month of August. To no one’s surprise, the month once again belonged to Nintendo. The Wii and the DS continued to be top sellers, with Nintendo’s home console holding top spot at 403,600 units and the portable selling 383,000 units. 

The big change for August was Microsoft’s surge that put the Xbox 360 past the PS2 and PSP. During the month, the Xbox 360 sold 276,000 units – a considerable jump from July’s 170,000.

Sales of the Xbox 360 were clearly boosted by a price cut of the console enacted by Microsoft on August 8. Retail prices were cut by as much as $50, making the Premium console $349, the Elite at $449 and the Core at $279.

Gamers looking to buy into the Xbox 360’s impressive fall line-up may have found the price drop reason enough to pick up Microsoft’s machine. Madden NFL 08 for Xbox 360, which released mid-August, became the top selling game for the month with 896,600 units, beating the second best-selling PS2 version by over 250,000. 

The anticipated release of Halo 3 is another driver of Xbox 360 sales. Microsoft’s marketing machine is firing in all cylinders, devoting millions of dollars into cross-promotions to reach non-traditional gaming channels. As a first, 7-11 convenience stores are taking pre-orders for Halo 3 and will be selling the game at 12:01 A.M. on September 25. While at 7-11, gamers may also purchase Game Fuel, a limited-time Mountain Dew drink branded with Master Chief.

Sony’s hardware made up the latter half of NPD Groups sales list. The PlayStation 2 remained Sony’s top seller with 202,000 sold. The PSP, even only a month shy of release of the slimmer, lighter hardware managed to move 151,200 units. The PlayStation 3 maintained a second month of six-digit sales, with 130,600 sold.



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RE: Reality check
By anonymo on 9/19/2007 8:59:41 AM , Rating: 2
Time for your reality check.

Sure the PS2 and PS3 combined outsold the 360 but how relevant is that?

The PS2 outsold the PS3 and considering what you get with the PS3 that is just sad. Even worse the Wii outsold both the PS2 and the PS3 combined. Considering the PS2 is nearly 8 years old and has many iterations it is no wonder it has sold so many copies. It deserves the recognition (to a degree) but to use that in an argument to put down the 360 for overtaking it in current monthly sales is just a weak attempt at a reality check.


RE: Reality check
By ruibing on 9/19/2007 11:34:02 AM , Rating: 1
A better reality check is that those who bought a PS3 didn't buy a PS2 because a PS3 can do everything a PS2 can. You combine them when you are talking about PS2s. Since I bought my PS3, I've only got Warhawk and some PSN games, but I've bought over two dozen PS2 games, costing over $300 dollars.

What is really sad is the fact that the 360 is relieved that they've outsold a product about a decade old.

And really, Halo 3 is the driving force for August and September sales for the 360. The next batch of exclusive games for the PS3 will hit October and November. The matchup between the two consoles for the holiday season will be interesting:

Halo 3
Mass Effect
Lost Odessey
Fable 2
GTR4
Eternal Sonata (for this holiday season at least)

vs

Haze
Heavenly Sword
Warhawk
Ratchet & Clan
GT5 Prologue
Uncharted
UT3 (for this holiday at least)


RE: Reality check
By FITCamaro on 9/19/2007 11:42:08 AM , Rating: 3
Except Heavenly Sword and Warhawk are already out and both have gotten rather lackluster ratings. Neither lived up to the hype.

And you forgot BioShock on the 360.


RE: Reality check
By ruibing on 9/19/2007 1:40:19 PM , Rating: 2
Bioshock is available on PC, so its not an exclusive for the 360.


RE: Reality check
By SigmaHyperion on 9/19/2007 12:05:43 PM , Rating: 2
Those are some decent games that the PS3 has coming out, but none are the type of game that has millions of people salivating for it to come out with the exception of GT5: Prologue and to a much lesser extent the new Ratchet and Clank. Unless Haze or Uncharted can pull something out of their sleeve at the last minute I don't see them helping much in selling a lot of consoles.

And, for all the hardware that the GT series has sold over the years, I don't think what amounts to a demo downloaded off PGN, is going to move many consoles. The vast majority of consumers, even amongst those that like the GT series, aren't going to know about it if they don't see it in the store when they're there. They're not going to know anything about some demo that's available for them to download.

Not picking on just the PS3 -- from your list I also don't think Lost Odyssey and definitely Eternal Sonata are going to move a lot of hardware either. The new Ace Combat(which MS 'stole' from Sony) will likely outsell both.

Who knows, maybe the relative obscurity of some of the titles the PS3 is coming out with this holiday season will actually help them. Lord knows that the titles that Sony marketed the hell out of have been somewhat dissapointing. Or, in the case of Lair, a complete train wreck.


RE: Reality check
By ruibing on 9/19/2007 1:52:24 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, you're right, I did forget Ace Combat. I have one of the earlier ones on PS2 and it was pretty good. My two main favorites from the 360 are actually Lost Odyssey and Eternal Sonata (I'm a RPG fan).

The main problem for the new games is that most are new IPs. I think Haze and Uncharted can become a very popular franchise, especially Uncharted. I've read that GT5 Prologue will be available on PSN and retailers. It will function as the full game.

I'm not saying the PS3 titles are better or worse, I just wanted to point out that they are on level with the new 360 titles now. With a better marketing campaign (and maybe a price drop), the PS3 should continue to perform better and better.


RE: Reality check
By just4U on 9/19/2007 11:51:25 PM , Rating: 2
What is really sad is the fact that the 360 is relieved that they've outsold a product about a decade old.

The PS2 is the standard that everyone goes by.. did it not win that generations console war? has it not been so popular that it's still selling well 8 years later? I'd be glad to considering how many consoles the PS2 still sells. Altho I agree with another poster. If I were inclined to play PS2 games... I'd probably pick up a PS3 instead for future proof considerations.

As to this whole console war talk and such I look at it this way. Microsoft has to be mildly pleased that their doing fairly well in this area. Maybe not quite where they want to be but it's moving along. Nintendo must be just tickled pink right now. I know I would be in their shoes. They've got a nice product that appeals to many.(Cheers to them, I've always liked Nintendo) Then there is Sony. Like other's I think they will pick up steam with their latest gen console as time goes by. I don't think they can reasonably expect the same level of success as they had with the PS2 as the rules have changed somewhat since then. But, I am sure it will do fine over the long haul.


"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home

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