February – Gaming Sales

According to sales released by NPD Group, it was another solid month for the Nintendo Wii. Almost all consoles available in North America for the month of February were bought: More than 335k units. Among other premium next-gen gaming consoles, Sony sold only 127k PS3 consoles. Microsoft sold 228k units. The leading game console among portables and larger platforms for the month was the Nintendo DS which had sell-through of approximately 485k units.

The NPD Numbers for hardware and software:

North American hardware sales — February ‘07

  1. Nintendo DS – 485K
  2. Nintendo Wii – 335K
  3. Sony PS2 – 295K
  4. Microsoft Xbox 360 – 228K
  5. Sony PSP – 176K
  6. Nintendo GBA – 136K
  7. Sony PS3 – 127K
  8. Nintendo GameCube – 24K

North American software sales — Feburary ‘07

  1. Crackdown (Xbox 360) – Microsoft – 427K
  2. Wii Play w/ remote (Wii) – Nintendo – 371K
  3. Diddy Kong Racing (DS) – Nintendo – 262K
  4. Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii) – Nintendo – 130K
  5. Guitar Hero 2 w/ guitar (PS2) – Activision – 130K
  6. Gears of War (Xbox 360) – Microsoft – 119K
  7. Major League Baseball 2K7 (Xbox 360) – Take-Two – 113K
  8. Lost Planet: Extreme Condition (Xbox 360) – Capcom – 111K
  9. WarioWare: Smooth Moves (Wii) – Nintendo – 109K
  10. NBA Street Homecourt (Xbox 360) – Electronic Arts – 102K

This just in….on the Wii?

Earlier today, the wire services reported Nintendo had partnered with the Associated Press to provide an online news service through the Wii gaming platform.  Network connected Wii consoles will be able to access a free news channel through an Opera Web Browser.  As part of a 2 year multimedia distribution contract, the free news channel (there are no plans for it to be ad-supported at this time) will provide content from AP in multiple languages including French, English, Spanish and German. Additional Japanese language news will be provided by Goo, a Japanese news company.

The planned interface for the news is a graphic map.  Users will be able to navigate around the map to find regional news, and can zoom in and out to expand focus, all using the Wii’s innovative motion sensing controller.

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Is Sony Casting a Loss-Leader with the PS3?

The standardization debate over format for higher capacity, high def dvd’s is still boiling and the battle lines still being drawn.  Depending on whom you ask, and what data you measure, either of the competing formats is winning.

BluRay, with about 50gb storage, is backed by, among others, Panasonic, Mitsubishi, Phillips, Pioneer, LG, Dell, HP and championed by Sony.  It has generally non-exclusive support from its affiliated movie studios like MGM, Disney, Buena vista etc.  HD DVD, with about 30gb storage capacity per disc, is backed primarily by Toshiba, Nec and Sanyo on the technology side but it has Paramount, Universal and Warner brothers (including New Line) planning to offer content.

Ultimately, consumers will determine the victor – and it will almost certainly be price and available of content, not technology that influences their decision.  

With that noted, is the holiday season’s  introduction of Sony’s newest flagship gaming platform with included Blue-ray player, the PS3, more about the gaming for the player, or the gamesmanship in industry? 

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