GameDaily is reporting that the NPD group has released a gaming console sales report for January 2007. This NPD data covers sales figures in the North American region. The report indicates that the Nintendo Wii continued to sell strong in January, outpacing the Sony PS3 and the Microsoft Xbox 360.
Game consoles January 2007 sales figures
Nintendo Wii — 436,000
Microsoft Xbox 360 — 294,000
Sony PS3 — 244,000
Total Game console sales figures (all time)
Microsoft Xbox 360 — 4,800,000
Nintendo Wii — 1,516,000
Sony PS3 — 933,000
These figures are actually very impressive for a January time-frame, as this part of the year is generally regarded as a slower sales period. Game console sales are definitely up much higher than last year. But the jump in sales activity really comes at no surprise either, as the latter part of 2006 ushered in two new highly anticipated gaming console systems, the Wii and the PS3. Looking at these figures, we can see that the Nintendo Wii takes the “rookie of the year” award, scooping up the number 1 spot for January of 2007. The Sony PS3 is lagging behind both the Wii and the Xbox 360 in January sales and cumulative sales figures. This lower than expected sales performance could be due to the higher system price, shortage of blockbuster games for the platform or other competitor factors, such as the surprise success of the Wii and its’ immensely popular Wiimote.
PS3 aches and pains
With continued competition from the Nintendo Wii and the Xbox 360, could Sony be starting to feel the pains of the PS3? Sony takes a loss on every PS3 sold and is expected to cut the console pricing again later this year, possibly taking an even larger loss on each unit. This type of strategy is used in hopes that the profit on sales of software (games) will make up for the losses on the base console. The problem is, if Sony does not recruit enough users on to the PS3 gaming wagon, they could be hurting in the long run due to a lower than expected installed user base. A small user base would lead to a lower volume of software (game) sales, minimizing the potential for Sony to turn a profit. For now, many people regard the PS3 as just an “inexpensive Blu-ray player” due to the lack of exciting games available on the platform. At $499 minimum, they must be using the word “inexpensive” very loosely. But there is definitely hope on the horizon for the PS3. Sony needs to pump out some ground-breaking games in order to sell more consoles and start catching up to the Xbox 360 and the Wii. As always, I will be paying close attention as the console wars continue along side the Blu-ray / HD DVD wars.