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PS3 and Xbox 360 gap soon to be just 4 million

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“Sales, sales, console sales.” It’s a hit song in Latvia. The chorus goes “Wii, Wii, Wii all the way home.” Anyway, in the battle for second place, the situation is hotting up. With Microsoft announcing 40 million worldwide Xbox 360 sales the question now is how far behind is the PlayStation 3. If we look at the figures, the answer is ‘not very’.

Although US hardware sales usually have the Xbox 360 in the lead, or neck-and-neck with the PS3, the worldwide situation is very different. Ever since the launch of the PS3 Slim and its adjoining $100 price cut, sales have taken Sony by surprise. So much so, that the company has cited hardware shortages. A little foolish, but the problems may have something to do with the latest PS3 redesign.

Microsoft has now announced 40.2 million Xbox 360’s shipped worldwide, so we thought we’d compare and contrast this with sales of the PlayStation 3. The following figures (from Microsoft and Sony fiscal results) take us from the Xbox 360’s 2005 launch, right up to the latest figures:

Xbox 360 – 5.0 million units

360 – 6.6m
PS3 – 4.2m

360 – 8.7m
PS3 – 10.0m

360 – 11.1m
PS3 – 9.6m

360 – 8.8m
PS3 – 9.7m

These sales bring total sales to 40.2 million Xbox 360’s and 33.5 million PS3’s. That’s a difference of 6.7 million units. However, there’s something we’re not telling you. Sony has yet to announce it’s last quarter’s results, meaning that the Xbox 360’s numbers are made up of three fiscal quarters, compared to only two for the PS3. And as you can see the PS3 already leads by almost one-million units. So lets take a closer look:

Microsoft’s Fiscal Year 2009-10

——- Q1 — Q2 — Q3 — Q4 — FY — LTD

360:  2.1 — 5.2 — 1.5 — ? — 8.8 —- 40.2

PS3:  3.2 — 6.5 — ? —- ? —- 9.7 —- 33.5

Wii:  3.5 — 11.3 — ? — ? — 14.8 —- 67.4

Sony and Nintendo have yet to report their Q3 results (Q3 in Microsoft’s fiscal year). For Sony to meet its projections, the PS3 must have sold 2.2 million units in this quarter and, though shipments may have been tight, we expect Sony to meet this goal. The platform holder may even have bumped numbers up to 2.5 million (or more) — a sales result that would bring the difference between the Xbox 360 and PS3 to only 4.2 million units. That’s quite a success for a company that was solidly in third place and struggling to make ground.

Of course, it’s a congratulations to Microsoft for shipping 40 million units. We look forward to Sony’s latest figures which will solidify the gap between the two current generation consoles.

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