Microsoft’s console behemoth has outsold both the Nintendo Wii and Sony Playstation 3 for the 20th consecutive month as of last month. It’ll come as no surprise to anyone that the console is still faring well, but the fact that it has maintained its stance above the other systems consistently for this long hits us like a brick wall.
Get ready, stat fans! In the US, the Xbox 360 has sold 193,000 units in August covering a whopping 48 per cent share of home console sales, Microsoft’s NPD data reveals.
That’s not to say Nintendo and Sony are in trouble though, still gaining a little success. Analyst Anita Frazier from NPD states the following regarding the prior month’s sales:
“Of the platforms that were on the market last August, none realized a year-over-year sales increase. However, compared to July 2012, the 3DS and the PS3 both experienced unit sales increases in August.
“The 3DS XL launched on 8/19 and represented 44 per cent of total 3DS unit sales, which is noteworthy given the fact that only seven days of 3DS sales are captured in this report.
“The current hardware systems are showing their age, so it goes without saying that it would be great to have new systems breathe life into traditional retail industry sales,” she added. “I am anxious to learn more about the Wii U launch later this month. And with any luck we will hear news about other systems on the horizon.”
I’d wager that this is all largely thanks to Microsoft being the first to launch their system out of the three companies, back in 2005. With a year before the release of the Wii and two years before that of the PS3, the 360 was able to establish a userbase before its competing systems. Because of the prominent focus of online gaming and connecting this generation, gaining fans early has surely allowed to expand the amount of players dramatically.
It affected myself years ago, when I was deciding whether to buy an Xbox or PS3. At the time the systems seemed equal with great games and advantages on both sides. Though I remained indecisive for a long period, it was the fact that my friends owned 360s that eventually pushed Microsoft’s system down on the scales.
While I’ll applaud Microsoft for their aggressive marketing strategies to push their console to the top, ironically I think this is bad news for gamers. In recent years, Microsoft has done little to push new exclusive titles, aside from yet more iterations of Halo and Gears. If this success continues (and it almost definitely will), then so will this attitude of relying on Call of Duty to bring in its customers. CoD isn’t even an exclusive franchise, but Microsoft knows full well that such an online-focused game with an already existing massive community will only tempt more people over the PS3 version.
We can expect many more boring, cringe-inducing, Kinect-focused E3 conferences to come. On the bright side, hopefully this means that Sony and Nintendo will keep trying harder to topple the mighty Xbox empire by providing us great games, making usthe true winners here. It will certainly be interesting to see what happens when Wii U comes to town.