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[Ars] Why Microsoft’s Xbox 360 sales milestone isn’t so impressive

post #1 of 16
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Quote:
Today, Microsoft has sent word to the gaming press that the Xbox 360 has become the first console in the current generation to sell 10 million units in the US. Microsoft also points out its 19 million units sold worldwide but, while the company thinks there is much to be proud of in these numbers, these milestones aren't quite as conclusive as Redmond would have us believe.
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"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, a SVP in the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft. "History has shown us that the first company to reach ten million in console sales wins the generation battle. We are uniquely positioned to set a new benchmark for the industry."

Let's take a closer look at what these numbers mean, and if Microsoft can begin to claim a win in the console sales wars.

For starters, the Xbox 360 was released on November 22, 2005. The PlayStation 3 was launched on November 17, 2006. The Nintendo Wii was released on November 19, 2006. While this is conveniently left out of Microsoft's calculations, this gives the Xbox 360 a full year's head start towards hitting these milestones. Even launching a year after the 360, the Nintendo Wii is closing fast on the same milestone Microsoft is trumpeting. The Wii has sold 8.8 million units in the US as of the end of March, and the system's momentum has yet to let up. The Wii should hit the 10 million sold mark very soon, and will have done it much faster than Microsoft. So while Microsoft's claim that being first will help them win may sound good to corporate ears, the truth is that the Wii is on track to outsell the Xbox 360 rather handily.

Saying that the Xbox 360 is "leading the charge in the U.S. and abroad" is also something of a stretch. The Xbox 360 has reportedly sold 19 million units worldwide, while the Nintendo Wii has sold 24.45 million units worldwide. "Xbox 360 has the largest global install base of any current-generation high definition gaming console, Wii excluded," the company clarified when asked about this discrepancy by Shacknews.

It must be nice to be able to simply remove the market leader from your calculations when you herald your position in the worldwide market, but making artificial distinctions like "high-definition consoles" vs. the Nintendo Wii is hard to defend. The Nintendo Wii has captured the imagination of the gaming industry this generation, like it or not, and the games and systems are sold right next to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in most electronics stores. When someone buys a Wii, they have less money to spend on the other "high-definition" systems; you can't draw a line around such a popular system and claim it doesn't matter in the market.

The timing and wording of this announcement is rather suspect, as it's hard to believe that Microsoft assumed the press would take these statements at face value. The Xbox 360 is certainly doing well in sales in the US market, but leaving the Wii out of the company's calculations smacks of arrogance; sales of the Wii are simply past the point where they can be safely ignored.
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The Kandalf
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The Kandalf
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post #2 of 16
Why is Microsoft being arrogant such a surprise to this guy?
Unholy Union
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post #3 of 16
seems to me that the majority of us know what true console gaming really is...
post #4 of 16
The system has bee out alot longer than any of the others... No wonder it isnt selling as many rofl PEOPLE ALREADY HAVE OR HAD IT!
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by THEoBZ View Post
The system has bee out alot longer than any of the others... No wonder it isnt selling as many rofl PEOPLE ALREADY HAVE OR HAD IT!
How is this true when Playstation 2 is outselling both PS3 and Xbox 360 on this year's (2008) chart? Isn't it out much longer than xbox 360 and everyone have have it?
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post #6 of 16
PS2's are quite a bit cheaper so I can see why their sales are high, same with the Wii

or maybe their PS2's have died and they're replacing them
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post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by psun786 View Post
How is this true when Playstation 2 is outselling both PS3 and Xbox 360 on this year's (2008) chart? Isn't it out much longer than xbox 360 and everyone have have it?
Yeah the ps2 sales totally blow that idea out lol.

I didn't know the DS sales were that good though . I guess I should have known, my sister has bought a ps2 and a DS, if even she buying them everyone else must be .

I however completely disagree on the point that the Wii should be included with the (basically x360 vs PS3) figures. It is in a completely different market, I don't think anyone has bought a Wii instead of a x360 or PS3. The money spent on the Wii is not money that people would have spent on the x360 or ps3 if the Wii didn't exist.

Another interesting tidbit here: Since the ps3 costs about 2x more then the Wii, it's actually close to the Wii in $ sales . If you include games sales, the Wii is actually the WORST selling next gen console!. I'm surprised nobody has really brought this up before.
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post #8 of 16
It's amazing how much the wii and DS have sold. I mean, can you believe so many people would buy a little touchscreen game? Not to say its bad, I love it...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy9000 View Post
Yeah the ps2 sales totally blow that idea out lol.

I didn't know the DS sales were that good though . I guess I should have known, my sister has bought a ps2 and a DS, if even she buying them everyone else must be .

I however completely disagree on the point that the Wii should be included with the (basically x360 vs PS3) figures. It is in a completely different market, I don't think anyone has bought a Wii instead of a x360 or PS3. The money spent on the Wii is not money that people would have spent on the x360 or ps3 if the Wii didn't exist.

Another interesting tidbit here: Since the ps3 costs about 2x more then the Wii, it's actually close to the Wii in $ sales . If you include games sales, the Wii is actually the WORST selling next gen console!. I'm surprised nobody has really brought this up before.
I did. And it seems people are content with wii play and a small white box protruding from the bottom of the TV set.
Edited by RickJS - 5/15/08 at 11:40am
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post #9 of 16
Quote:
It must be nice to be able to simply remove the market leader from your calculations
Wii isn't the market leader, when you factor in the price of the console, the 360's 19 million consoles are worth more than the Wii's 24 million.

Quote:
For starters, the Xbox 360 was released on November 22, 2005. The PlayStation 3 was launched on November 17, 2006. The Nintendo Wii was released on November 19, 2006. While this is conveniently left out of Microsoft's calculations, this gives the Xbox 360 a full year's head start towards hitting these milestones.
They also left out how the market is becoming saturated, how the sales are slowing down because there aren't as many people left who don't have a 360. Personally I know more people who have 360s than who don't.



The PS2 is still outselling current gen consoles because it can be found new for under $100 and still has games like Guitar Hero 3 and God of War.



Yes it isn't that impressive, and not entirely true, but then again neither is Reggie boasts that the Wii doing leagues better than its competition, despite the fact that the majority of their install base only owns a few games and plays it for less than an hour a week.
    
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post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by nathris View Post
Wii isn't the market leader, when you factor in the price of the console, the 360's 19 million consoles are worth more than the Wii's 24 million.
Does Price even mean anything? its all about the profit... and with the 20%
failure rate, aswell as the extension of the warrenty... well... looks like the
Wii is making a higher profit per system, than the 360's are.
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