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PS2 Outselling Xbox 360 in US |

It looks like, over the course of the Xbox 360’s lifetime so far in the USA, that the PS2 has been outselling it almost every month. It’s been a good race, but the PS2’s been outselling the 360 by a substantial margin. On average, the Xbox 360 has been selling about 246,000 units per month since its release. The PS2 has been averaging 473,000 units. If this were The Apprentice, the Xbox 360 would get fired, no matter how good its prospects are.

Does this have anything to do with the PS3 versus 360 battle to come? Personally, I don’t think so. The PS3 will cost $500 or $600, versus the PS2’s $130. Also, the PS2 has a huge library of games while the PS3 will be starting from ground zero. So really, I don’t think that we can take these stats and project them onto the PS3 versus 360 war. So this is not The Apprentice, and the Xbox 360 isn’t fighting the PS2, it’ll be fighting the PS3. So these stats don’t apply.

But what then do these stats say? Two things really. One, the PS2 still has good life in it, and Sony is unlikely to give up on that market anytime soon. Buying a PS2 today is a good investment. Two, for all the bad press Sony has been getting recently, and all the bad-mouthing coming from Microsoft, it still looks like the next-gen console war is wide open. Sales of the Xbox 360 have been good. But it’s still being trounced by a previous-gen system. By the time the PS3 launches, it’ll look like the Microsoft will have 3 million 360’s in play. (Is that right?) Sony and Nintendo each plan to have 2 million of their respective consoles available at launch. So a head start of 3 million (or even 4 million) Xbox 360’s is certainly not a great deterrent to the PS3’s success. That’s not saying that Sony can’t screw up in other ways – they can. One high-ranking European Sony man recently said as much. (I forget who – does anyone have a reference?) So the 360’s marketshare won’t sink the PS3. We’ll have to wait to see how well Sony can paddle, because it’s all up to them.

PlayStation 2 outselling Xbox 360 in US

  • Do you remember when they released two versions of the first Xmen movie? The first one was rushed out, and the second had all the extra features and was packaged as Xmen 1.5.

    That’s pretty much how I view the Xbox, except it’s the 360 that got rushed out. It’s really not that much of an improvement over the original Xbox, so most people haven’t felt the need to rush out an buy it.

  • PJ

    Overall, your post was balanced. I actually expected worse (no offense – this is a PS3 site).

    The one thing I have to say is this:
    Corporations like MS (large and accountable to shareholders) do not make wild claims it cannot resonably expect to back up (not in this age of shareholder lawsuits). Why do I say that? Just so I can correct your numbers a little.

    The CFO of MS has told analysts and shareholders to expect approx 5.5 million units sold by the end of the fiscal year (June 30th). MS has also given guidance that 10 million units will be sold by the end of 2006. Just for emphasis, remember this is not some MS fanboy claiming those numbers, this is MS giving guidance to shareholders. That rates the info many levels above speculation or guesswork.

    So why, besides price, has the PS2 outsold the 360 since November? Supply of 360’s, or lack thereof. How will MS reach this 10 million number by the end of 2006? Supply. With 3 factories cranking these out now, expect more and more 360’s to show up on store shelves.

  • PJ

    Let me revise my comment in one way. Gates actually said “the Xbox 360 system will have a 10 million-unit head start by the time the competition enters the market…” That indicates even quicker sales than what i said in my pervious post. Link to MS addressing shareholders and analysts on this issue can be found here.

  • Averaging 246,000 a month, how does one get to 5.5 million by June 30th?

  • Actually, that question is quite serious. Is the 246,000 average not counting initial launch sales? Are they having a blitz this month? There just may be some info I’m unaware of.

  • Matt

    I think the 246.000 360s is for the USA only. They are also shipping units to other countries. They are ahead of the 5.5 million units by the end of June (I have no idea where I read it but I know that I did).

    I believe the world total will now be 11-13 million by the end of 2006. Each month that goes by they get faster at making them. Sony by this point is cranking out the PS2. Many people are buying them because they are really cheap. This part of the cycle is normally people who don’t game enough to justify spending a furtune on the hobby. Plus the people who are replacing old style units with the slim version.

  • Blue Spotted Frog

    See http://www.videogamecharts for numbers on consoles sold worldwide to date.
    See these Microsoft articles for there projections for the XBox 360 this year :

    Link 1
    Link 2

    If you add up the numbers from Videogamecharts.COM it looks like MS in on target to hit their goals. Production of XBox 360 has greatly accelerated since the shortage ended in March and they opened an additional manufacturing plant.

    Sony plany to ship 2 million PS3’s at launch but I really question wheteher they can achieve that goal. Console shortages have becom almost standard these days given the N64, PS2, and XBox 360 launches. I suspect Sony will come nowhere near 2 million units and they will blame the shortage on The Cell, the Blu-Ray drive, and the fact that they are doing a simultaneously launching in the US, Europe, and Japan.

    The high PS2 sales lately seem to be driven the recent price cut ( now $129 USD ) and the release of Kingdom Hearts 2 ( March 2006 in the U.S. ).

  • Shipping the target number of consoles and having a console shortage are two different things. I think that both will happen.

  • Jay

    i work at circuit city in the warehouse. we haven’t sold but a couple 360s within the past few weeks. No one is buying them anymore. We have such a huge stockpile of them (around 20 premium packs) and they keep shipping more to us, but the supply, it seems, is starting to outweigh demand. Ever since E3, sales of those thigns have dropped substantially. Customers even return at least 2 a week, claiming they are defective, but don’t want to trade it in for a new one. What does this kinda translate to? People are probably more excited about the PS3 than originally anticipated. Unfortunately, all the bad press about the PS3 is causing many to believe that most people aren’t going to buy the PS3, but if people keep returning their product without replacing them, it sounds to me they want to save their money on something a bit more expensive.

  • phipscube

    I remember Microsoft originally boasting that they would have 5.5 Million out worldwide by March this year. It stands at 3.5 million as of 31st March. Their revised 5.5 million by June 30th could well be met now that supply is full on. I can see 10 million been quite feasable too but a little tricky. Here in Denmark the Xbox 360 is quite popular but no way as popular as the PS2 is still. It dominates.

    Comparing Xbox 360 to PS2 is a little unfair though, I don’t even expect PS3 to outsell PS2 for some time. By this time NEXT year we can get a fair comparison on PS3 Vs Xbox 360 Vs Wii. Thats when I think demand for PS2 will start to slope off. It was a similar occurance when PS2 came out, PS1 still sold strong for another year or so after launch of PS2.

    Just about everyone I know own a PS2 (Including my mother! she loves singstar), some own an Xbox or Xbox 360 as well (more for a secondary machine) I don’t know a single person who owns Game Cube. ALL these people want PS3 at some point even if not at launch. Most reactions to the Price was “thats ok for what you get, seems fair and I want one” or “I think its expensive, but still want one at some point, I’ll wait till the price drops”. None of the comments you see on the net came out like “Sony are dead Nontendo PWNZZ LOLZZZ”.

    The people I know that bought Xbox 360 only bought it because it was new (Me included) we are the ones that will buy PS3 at launch too. But whats MOST important is how the console does after its first 5 million (Hardcore) level. Because from then on its casual gamer types, i.e. the rest of the world population that don’t even know what E3 is. These are the people that are at this moment still buying PS2 and will eventually buy PS3 unless Microsoft do something really special.

    Microsoft need to make more games that appeal to the casual gamer. Look at Sony’s Buzz and Singstar for example. My girlfriend actually “plays” on PS2 only for Singstar and Buzz. She isnt bothered that its a PS2, it could be anything. She is NOT a gamer yet the PS2 appeals to her in much the same way Nintendo hope Wii will appeal to your grandma. She even calls the PS2 “The Gamestation thing” when she wants me to set it up for her and her mates to mess around singing and quizzing. These people are not gamers yet they are interested in PS2. If I gave her the joypad and told her to play GTA San Andreas because its “Really good” she’d put it down after 5 minutes and say its stupid.

    I’m interested in Playstation and have been since day one because I like the games available, especially the rare oddities that only seem to ever crop up on PS. I even like the daft “Games” like Singstar, Buzz and eyetoy because they are FUN with lots of people together. You can’t get that much variety on Xbox or Xbox 360 (Yet). I think microsoft know this and will probably copy Sony with alot of things. I’m not sure if alot of these (Sony London) developed casual games are available in USA yet, but here in Europe they are selling like madness, and PS2’s with them even now. Sony have found a real gem for the masses. Games like Buzz dont even need a joypad to run, My Grandad could even work it without being told and he loves it too.

    All this fuss and negativity on the net over PS3 is nothing in the real world. It was just the same back with the PS2, I even thought it was out for the count and bought a DC early on (The PS2 suffered from a games drought in its first year). I still have the DC and love it, but I got a PS2 as well when I saw how cool it was.

    Sorry for the long winded post 🙂

  • I liked long-winded posts!

  • Blue Spotted Frog

    “Microsoft need to make more games that appeal to the casual gamer” – Phipscube. That’s exactly what XBox Live Arcade is designed for – to bring in the casual gamers. Casual gamers currently belong to the PC platform since that’s were all casual gamers haveb been before XBL Arcade. But will casual gamers want to spend $500-600 USD on a console? Or even $300-400 USD for XBox 360? Nintendo says they planning to use their Virtual Console service for causual games in addition to their back catalog of retro games. Being that Wii will likely cost $200-250 USD, I would think that casual gamers interested in buying a console would opt for Wii more than XBox 360 or PS3. Games like Singstar and Buzz may be quite appealing to causual gamers on the very affordable PS2 ( $129 USD ) these days, but will they be motivated to spend $500-600 on PS3 to play Singstar and Buzz? A $500-600 PS3 will likely attract only the hardecore gamers , Sony fanboys, and HDTV videophiles. It just doesn’t seem like a good price to attract the mainstream or the non-gamers.

  • Jay

    Just take this into consideration, though, people complained about the price of the PS1 and PS2 when they both came out, at $300. For PS1, that’s $300 in 1995 money. PS3 selling for $500 (for the lower end model, which, IMO, isn’t as much a problem for gamers as the 360 Core was) is still a bit of a steal.

    Sure, with the $500 model, you don’t have HDMI, SD, Memory stick, or wireless internet, but, apart from HDMI, you can still get perepherals that fill in those missing items. And as far as HDMI goes, not all HDMI-enabled TVs support 1080p. Mine, for instance, goes up to 1080i, which component cables are still capable of reaching (hell, they can also support 1080p, but not all TV manufacturers would support it because cable length and quality are huge issues with data transfer like that).

  • phipscube

    Blue Spotted Frog,

    Live Arcade is a casual gamers delight, but you only notice this after you buy the Xbox 360. I heared about Geometry wars online and how cool it was, this was one of the resons why I bought the Xbox 360 (The other main reason was Media Center Extender, but that turned out to be hell). There are alot of folks out there that don’t know a thing about live arcade. They need more casual RETAIL games, or advertising for Live arcade at least. Stuff on the shelf that attracts casuals and non gamer types who pass by.

    The same is gonna be for PNP and Virtual Console unless advertised more… But to be honest you really still need a full retail package to make you feel like the console purcase was justified. I only really play Geometry wars on the Xbox 360, nothing else appeals. So i’m sat feeling a bit miffed as I have this uber powerful machine running an Amiga style game and all the retail stuff looks boring. What I like about these PS2 casual games is that you get all these mad peripherals.. microphones, cameras, buzzers and the like! it looks fun even on that boring old shelf and you feel like you’ve bought something worthy even if the GFX are a bit naff.

    If I go into a store now and look at Xbox 360 I see consoles, peripherals (A very confusing array that looks really off putting to the general public, i’ve seen many a confused glare), games… and a kiosk (Most of these STILL have NFS:MW running on them from last years release date). I see no advertisements for Live Arcade and how cool it is, or for that matter ANYTHING about the online experience… I think Nintendo especially will get the advertising right, I hope Sony follow suit but MS aren’t pushing their little gem at all. MS are concentrating on the hardcore gamer, which in a way makes sense how you put it as early adopters are generally this.. who would pay all that for something like singstar? well why not try? and offer some things other than hard GFX to show its got versatility.

    Maybe only hardcore gamers buy machines when first released because typically the companies releasing them only cater for the hardcore people… Change the trend, Nintendo look like they will, Sony and Microsoft need to try to as well. Of course, Sony in particular have alot of other problems convincing people of such a hig price, but if they offer something for everyone from day one, whats the harm in that? Blu-Ray is actually attracting TOTAL no gamers! A guy I know at work found out about PS3 having Blu-Ray and has decided he’ll purchase one soely on that! He was originally going to fork out over $1000. He’s waiting now for PS3… and he’s probably never going to play a game on it… or will he? lets see.. I know someone else who is a Linux geek, he is going to buy 3!! He wants to mess around with the coding side of things….

    Anyway where was I… ah yes..

    I even like these silly “games” because they are fun even though I prefer to have a good gaming session on a “Proper” game its nice to have the variety (And a good deal of fun for parties). I agree that Wii will attract alot of people in a similar way, good for Nintendo. But Sony are doing it NOW with PS2 and have been for a while. This needs to continue with the PS3. Why not have Buzz and Singstar and even the dancing stage franchise alongside The other Top “Typical” games like GTA for PS3 ASAP?? I told my girlfriend that Singstar on the PS3 will have downloadable songs and online competing and will be available at launch…. she nearly had another child alongside my baby son! (That would be TOO soon after). If you’ve heared the phrase WAF then you understand when I say the WAF went into overdrive (Wife Approval Factor). She insisted we get a PS3 as soon as it was released!!

    Its great because, yeah… I’ll use it for all the geeky high tech stuff and play hardcore GFX intense games but my GF will be able to play Singstar and downlaod the tracks she wants specifically for it and even compete with her mates online. I told her all the other stuff PS3 does.. she wasnt as bothered, but still wanted one.

    Well done on announcing Singstar Sony, you know that in REAL life “The Wife” ™ rules and her decision is final… If it wasnt for Singstar being released at launch then she would never approve of me spending all that money on another gadget (I still would of course, but probably have to cuddle it instead of her in bed for a few weeks until the dust settled).. I think the same is going to happen in alot of other households… killer app!! PS3 for all the family! Whoa! that was cheezy.. hee hee 🙂