Preliminary Holiday Console Sales
The holiday numbers aren't yet available for most retail stores, but it appears the NPD and CNBC have released some preliminary numbers for the three next-gen consoles. Obviously, given the shortages of both the PS3 and Wii in the U.S., it's no real surprise to see the Xbox 360 come out on top for the season, but perhaps surprisingly, it was quite close.
According to a recent CNBC video report (citing the NPD), Microsoft sold about 2 million Xbox 360s between November 2006 and Christmas Day to lead the pack. The Nintendo Wii was second with 1.8 million units, and the Sony PlayStation 3, with its drastically downsized launch, was a respectable third with about 750,000 machines sold. Bear in mind that this time period featured two weeks in November where the 360 was still the only console on the market, and the last six weeks of the year where the Wii and PS3 were extraordinarily difficult to come by.
Speaking of the downsized PS3 launch, the numbers specific to November are as follows- 511,000 Xbox 360s, 476,000 Wiis, and 197,000 PS3s. The goal for each manufacturer was to sell three times that many in December, but none managed to achieve that feat. Microsoft was the closest, though, with Sony in second and then Nintendo. Given the shipment numbers of the latter two, and the accessibility of the 360, the holiday sales seem just about right.
However, these are not yet "official," as the Big 3 still needs to come forth with their reports.
1/2/2007 Ben Dutka