Nintendo Wii Runs Close Second to Xbox 360 For November; Sony PS3 Lags Behind

NPD’s console sales estimates are out for November … given the staggered launch dates, the figures aren’t completely comparable but they are interesting. For the full month, Xbox 360 sold 511,000 units. From its Nov. 19 launch through month’s end, Ninetendo sold 476,000 units of the Wii in the U.S. — more than twice the 197,000 PS3 unites sold by Sony. Two major reasons for the disparity between the new consoles: price and availability. The PS3 retails for $600, making it a larger investment than the $250 Wii or the $400 Xbox 360. At the same time. Nintendo is shipping more Wiis that Sony is PS3s; heck, it’s already sold more Wiis in the U.S. than Sony planned to ship for launch. (Via Reuters.)
The inclusion of Blu-ray DVD is a key contributor to both factors for Sony. The high-def format, included so Sony can push the format, is credited for pumping the price while slowing production. Yankee Group analyst Michael Goodman tells Reuters: “Blu-ray is adding $150 to $200 to the product. They’ve created something that is not for today’s market. It’s not a market driver, it’s only driving the price higher.” The Blu-ray Disc Association — truly, there is an association for everything — has high hopes that the PS3 will follow PS2’s dominance and will help establish the Blu-ray format. But the PS2 came out after standard DVDs were accepted and wasn’t part of a format war from the get-go.
Microsoft took a very different tack with Xbox 360, opting to focus on core gamers at first then adding HD-DVD as an option just as the PS3 was launching.