Friday, April 13, 2007

Console Post of the Week: It's Still $599

Sony first this week.

This just in: it's still $599.

This also just in: nobody wants one at $599.

In Japan, 14,520 units sold this week.

Here's some context for that number: in the first five years of its existence, guess how often the PS2 sold less than 14,520 units in a week?


Twice! In 260 weeks.

In Japan, it's a flameout in progress.

How about Europe? Well, in the UK, Chart Tracker's proprietary numbers were leaked again this week. Last week, 17,000 units were sold.

Again, both of those numbers are in an environment of zero supply constraints. And they're horrible.

U.S. NPD numbers for March aren't going to be available until next Thursday, but I expect Sony to have another dismal month. Here's an easy rule for sales in the United States: if you're selling less than 50,000 consoles a week, it's ass.

What do I expect? If it's a four-week tracking period (I believe it is), then anywhere from 120,000-140,000 units.

How many units of the Wii will be sold? Well, how many did they make?

Here are a couple of additional data points provided by you guys. First, from Christian Geschkat in Germany:
Media Control, a company that is the equivalent to the NPD in the US, has issued a press release stating that console game sales reached a volume of 100 million euros in Q1 07. The most interesting tidbit in the press release however is, that roughly 69,000 PS3 games have been sold since the launch of the console on the 23rd of March in Germany. So either a lot of people do not use the PS3 as a game system or Sony Germany has not even closely matched the British sales numbers for the first month.

That's not 69,000 consoles in the first eight days. That's 69,000 games.

Next, from Saska Lindfors:
I have been following your writing on the PS3 launch and I agree they overpriced it. However, looking from where I live, things are pretty good for you there.

In Finland, the price on PS3 is a steady 680Euros which is about 900USD ( I checked a big retailer from Sweden ( and they asked some 50USD more (It was a pack with some games, but I think the price is still the same).

There's of course some uncertainty to exchange rates, but our buying parity is not that much higher - if any. I'm surprised if they sell any PS3's.

Sony: welcome to the Suckdome.

On to Nintendo. They sold everything they made this week. They're selling at 3X the rate of Sony in both the U.S. and Japan.

Oh, and Paper Mario is very, very cool.

Microsoft was accused of channel stuffing this week.

Well, not "accused," really. More like nailed.

Here's the analysis (thanks to all of you who sent in the link), and it's solid. There's no question that Microsoft has been stuffing the channel, particularly in the October-December timeframe last year.

That's both scummy and stupid. Channel stuffing can't be continued indefinitely--at some point, the channel just can't absorb any more, and then you have to ship less to compensate.

Actually, that's not correct. Channel stuffing is only scummy if you don't tell anyone you're doing it.

Here's what to watch with Microsoft this year, though: how does the monthy AAA game goose sales? There's a theoretically outstanding game coming each month (in some months, several), but will those games increase the 360's momentum? That's more important than them being morons and jamming inventory into the channel.

Here's something else to watch: if Microsoft has been stuffing the channel, then what the hell has Sony been doing? iTrackr shows the PS3 with 94% availability in 8,500 retail stores in the U.S. The 360 is at 77% availability nationally.

What iTrackr doesn't do is identify how many units are available at each retail, only that the item is in-stock. I think it's fair to say, though, that it's highly likely that Sony has even more inventory in stores right now than Microsoft.

Site Meter