Friday, June 15, 2007

Console Post of the Week:

May NPD Numbers:
Wii: 338,000
PS2: 188,000
360: 154,000
PS3: 81,000

Nothing in those numbers is surprisingly, really, at least not anymore.

Here are year-to-date totals for next-gen:
Wii: 1,728,000
360: 994,000
PS3: 664,000

I see all kinds of stories today that the 360's sales have dropped for five straight months. True, yet not true, because some months (January, March) were five-week periods, not four. To get a true picture, let's look at average weekly sales for each month:

The 360 has actually been bumping around 40k/week units for three months now. That's still not good enough, and they need to drop the price of the Premium unit to $299, but they're also not sinking.

Okay, let's see a show of hands: who thought next-gen consoles sales in the U.S. would look like this?

I see those numbers every month now and I still can't believe it.

It appears that we can tentatively identify the sales floor for the PS3 at $599: 20,000 units a week. The floor for the 360 appears to be about 40,000 a week.

Japanese sales this week are no surprise, either:
Wii: 64,529
PS3: 8,776
360: 2,533

There's also a potential mini-drama playing out in Japan. On June 14, Trusty Bell: Chopin no Yume (which will be called Eternal Sonata when it's released in the U.S. this fall) was released in Japan for the 360.

This game had enough buzz in Japan that's not inconceivable that, for one week, at least, it could push 360 sales over the PS3's.

The gap is only 6,000 units. In percentage terms, it's huge. In absolute terms, it's almost nothing.

That would be incredibly humilating for Sony, as if their weekly numbers in Japan aren't humilating enough already.

What about Europe, though? I mean, there's this:
SCEE President David Reeves has revealed that sales of Sony’s PlayStation 3 console last week rose above the 1 million mark in PAL territories.

Reeves told MCV that the sales barrier had been broken in a little under ten weeks, making the PS3 a faster seller than its predecessors.

Wow, that's pretty impressive. Well, except they sold 600,000 units in the first two days (see here). So if Sony's latest figures are accurate, that means they've sold 400,000 units in the nine weeks following the launch.

If those sales were steady, that would be almost 45,000 units a week, but they're not. Here's why: if sales were steady, Sony would be quoting monthly sales instead of cumulative sales. Sony's telling us what's actually going on by what they're not telling us.

If Sony doesn't cut the price of the PS3 by the end of June, then my projection was wrong. And it may well be--but the PS3 is a $599 boat anchor right now. They have to cut the price by at least $100 and they have to do it as soon as possible.

Somewhat surprisingly, so does Microsoft. They don't have nearly the kind of momentum they need to get the installed base they're projecting for this generation. I'm expecting a major price cut from them as well, and by major I mean $100.

Here's the interesting part: if they're both going to announce price cuts, and they both know the other is going to announce a price cut, who's going first? If I'm Microsoft, I want the initiative, because then it would look like Sony was reacting to a competitor's action. It would make Sony look even weaker.

And here's one thing to consider with the Wii: if Nintendo is moving 350,000 units a month in the U.S. with very few good games to play, how many units are they going to move when the game library improves?

Holy crap.

I'm going to discuss software sales as well next week. I intend to do it every week, but by the time I finish discussing hardware, the post is so long that I've had enough.

You, too, I'm sure.

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