Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wii edges up to Xbox 360 in total market share

Wii edges up to Xbox 360 in total market share
Holiday season a pivotal phase
Friday, November 23, 2007

In the battle for supremacy in the video-game world, Nintendo Co.'s Wii has now matched the Xbox 360 in total market share, despite the Microsoft Corp. console's one-year head start.

But the Xbox 360 is still maintaining a sizable lead over the console that might be considered its more direct competitor, Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 3.

That's the statistical backdrop as the competition enters a pivotal phase -- Friday's start of the holiday shopping season. A large portion of video-game console sales are traditionally made in November and December.

This holiday season will provide clues to how the market will shake out in the long run, now that the Xbox 360 and PS3 are in better supply, and prices have come down somewhat.

"You'll be able to see who's gaining traction and losing traction," said Michael Pachter, analyst at Wedbush Morgan Securities. However, Pachter predicted that the 2008 holidays will be even more competitive if the Wii is in better supply and if prices of all three consoles drop further.

The Wii, which sells for $250 and features a motion-sensitive controller, sold 13.2 million units worldwide as of September, Nintendo said. Microsoft reported that the Xbox 360 -- in models priced from $280 to $450 -- had sold 13.4 million units at the time. Then, in October, U.S. sales of the Wii exceeded Xbox 360 sales, according to the NPD Group. Combined with the Nintendo console's strength in the Japanese market, that effectively would bring the two into a dead heat in cumulative sales.

The PlayStation 3, which sells for $400 and $500, has sold 5.6 million units worldwide, a company spokesman said. Sony's PlayStation 2 dominated the previous console generation.
P-I reporter Todd Bishop can be reached at 206-448-8221 or Read his Microsoft blog at

No comments: