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

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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.

Readers Comments (18)

  1. not to mention, part of the xbox360 sales are repeat customers who bought an additional xbox after their xbox RROD’d . Even I am guilty of this. I technically bought 2 xbox360’s. I’m willing to bet the gap in reality, is much less than 4 mil.

  2. Gratz to MS on their 40 million shipped. Sony is not far behind and they’re sales are increasing. Failure rates , xbl banning, and console modding does help out xbox 360’s sales, just like how the Wii skyrocket to first place ( also the cheapest console).

  3. These numbers are murky. Unlike Sony and Nintendo, Microsoft reports SHIPPED figures, not SOLD figures. Add to that the 54.2% (probably way above that now) failure rate and shipped replacements for consoles that just couldn’t be fixed, and then add to that the bannings that saw 1 million users buy a new 360…. quickly you discover that Microsoft have not been doing very well.

    Part of the problem is that they have barely expanded upon the initial XBox customers with their install base. Most 360 users had an old xbox…. that just isn’t enough.

  4. User to User i guess we are on the same number, i know a few people that bought a second 360 after it RROD, Im from Venezuela and waranty doesnt work in here…so even in my country people buy two consoles, in the US must be an everyday situation…

  5. Patrick Steen April 23, 2010 @ 13:10

    ppSucks: Microsoft reports shipped from factories and Sony reports sold to retailers. Neither report sold to consumers.

  6. Actually last i heard, MS actually doesn’t go by shipping but by units sold. That change was supposedly around the time the 360 came out, or at least that was my understanding. I think all 3 go by that now.. I do question just how many of those numbers are replacements as indicated… its amazing how narrow the gap really could be… back 8 months ago, everyone swore that there is no way ps3 could ever come close… unless MS just has a Stellar year with the Natal, the ps3 should just about be past them world wide by this time next year…

  7. Moocows111111 April 23, 2010 @ 14:49

    “not to mention, part of the xbox360 sales are repeat customers who bought an additional xbox after their xbox RROD’d ”

    I agreed, my friend bought 4 360’s because he kept getting RROD but refused to send them to microsoft. besides its not really about sales, its about having fun with your console of choice XD

  8. MS report shipped, whereas Sony and Ninty report sold.

  9. When my xbox 360 rrod I got back a refurbished one with disc tray problems. After that I gave it to my bro and he mod and fix it with his own money. I went and purchased a ps3 and I’ve been enjoying it since. Now I got a Wii recently and I never touched the xbox, only for Mass Effect 2.

  10. Actually, they all report shipped numbers. You have to look at trackers, like NPD or VGChartz, for a sold to consumer number. Though, these are just estimates. I do believe that the actual gap between active users is little to nothing, because of failures/repurchases and system bannings from Live. Recent sales numbers for software supports that. I expect it to take a little over a year for PS3 to completely destroy the shipped gap, though. Well, unless Move is huge, then it may take less.

  11. i live in the united states and playstaion is getting its ass kicked over here.

  12. Guess what,Xbox is getting it’s ass kicked in Japan and the rest of the world…You FAIL obvious troll is obvious.

  13. So essentially Sony have sold slightly more consoles in the same amount of time by what this article says. With Xbox being out a year extra. It’s true that a lot of extra sales of the Xbox are people having to rebuy consoles due to the RROD.

  14. KingOfOldSkool April 24, 2010 @ 07:09

    @judono1980 – Are you still living in 2006? Because the last 6-8 months have been very strong for the PS3 even here in the US.

  15. At this point I don’t care who sales more anymore all I care about is that these consoles are supported for a long time and will offer me value and entertainment for years to come without rushing to the next generation of consoles too soon past this gen.

    It’s obvious Nintendo Wii is unstoppable and has already taken the 1st place spot this gen now it’s a battle for 2nd place between PS3 and Xbox 360.

    In the long run I believe PS3 will be around the longest much longer then Wii and Xbox 360 so PS3 is bound to beat Xbox 360 and begin closing on the Wii in the future.

    Glad to see all console manufacturers are doing well and the gaming industry is moving forward.

    It’s the best time in the world to be a gamer.
    (Though it’s an expensive hobby trying to keep up by buying the latest games.)

  16. I hope the gap will close, if just to make 360 fanboys shut up about sales.

  17. the ps3 cost 600 back in 2006, yet it sold 4.2 M
    it cinda makes the 360s 5 M lanch (with a 400 price tag) look pathetic

  18. well the 360 has 1 year up on the ps3 and it has the RROD sales so i think that the ps3 may already have more consols

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