Sony’s blue Christmas: Wii sells one million consoles in United States last week

While the Wii continues to blow away the competition, Sony can hardly manage to give away the PS3. The news is worse than that: software sales for PS3 are not good either.  In the latest sales figures, PS3 had no games in the top 10 only one game in the top 20: Call of Duty.  One of the games that was supposed to sell the console is no where to be found in the top 50: Little Big Planet.  Sony does have one glimmer of hope:  the PSP is selling moderately well.  PS3 does a bit better in the Japanese market.  In Japan, Microsoft suffers the same fate as PS3 does in the Americas.  XBOX 360 is a distant fourth at times, behind even the PS2.  Worse for Microsoft, it’s software sales are just as abysmal in Japan as PS3 is most everywhere else. 

Microsoft does substantially better outside of Japan.  Frequently, software for the console outsells most of the Wii titles, but both do, however, make up the majority of the top 50, no matter what region you look at, except Japan. 

Worldwide, Nintendo is the best selling software publisher, followed by Electronic Arts, UBISoft, Activision and THQ.  Sony holds a slight lead over Microsoft.

The real kicker in all of this are the number of titles for the DS and the Wii that have been out for a year or longer that still chart and chart very high.  Nintendogs, for example, still cracks the top 30, often landing in the top 20 (number 15 for the week of Dec. 12.)  Mario Kart DS is another that consistently does very, very well.  Wii Play has been in the top 10 since it’s release.  Both of the Brain Age games are also perennial favorites.  Wii Play can be explained away (and most ‘experts’ love to do this) because of the pack in controller.  The thinking is that people are really buying the controller and getting a crappy ten dollar game for free.  Maybe.  I happen to like most of the games in the package and they get played quite a bit.

Japan loves hand held gaming.  Sales of the DS have blown away everything but the PS2 and, so it appears, it may be well on it’s way of doing that.  PSP sales are up in Japan as well and software for both consoles do very well, with DS often making up the majority of the top 10 sales charts. 

Year over year sales numbers are interesting.  In the United States, the Wii showed a 354% increase in sales, no doubt due to better availability while the DS is down by four percent.  360 sales are up 18%, likely due to price cuts and better quality control.  PSP, PS3 and PS2 are down.  PSP is off 19%, PS3 down 13% and PS2 a whopping 63%.  Again, this is the same time period as 2007 and in the U.S.  Japanese sales figures are likely to be different. They are not yet available, but I imagine Wii is up, XBOX was up, not sure it matters, while PS2, PS3 are likely down with PSP gaining some.  Again, just a guess on those.

Overall, though, the video game business is up for 2008. November saw record sales for games.  I bet December will be as good, maybe better.  Even so, companies remain cautious and a few, like Atari, are not doing well.  This current company named Atari, like all of it’s predecessors, has just bled money.  I don’t know what it is about the name.  For whatever reason, any company calling itself Atari seems to run into trouble, either through mismanagement (like it’s first incarnation-you don’t make more copies of ET than you have consoles to play it) or bad games-like the latest.  Very sad for a company that was there at the beginning of the industry.

Now, I’m off to play my seven year old XBOX and shoot some bad guys.

Sources:  VGChartz, GamePro, Edge Online, Forbes, MCV, Joystiq

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