PS3 & Xbox 360 gap drops to just 4.5 million

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Hardware sales flutter the hearts of some console fanboys, but we find the statistics interesting nonetheless. Sony today announced its financial 2009 year results, and though the Networked Products & Services division (which includes the Games business) lost $893 million U.S. dollars, its been a boon for PS3 sales. Improved hardware sales have closed that fabled gap between Microsoft’s Xbox 360.

We had predicted a hardware sales gap between the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 to have dropped to around 4 million units. It turns out that we weren’t far off, with the PS3 selling 2.2 million in its last quarter to bring full year sales to 13 million and lifetime sales to 35.7 million units. Compared to Microsoft’s announced 40.2 million Xbox 360 units and that’s a gap of just 4.5 million.

The PS3 was able to catch up by 3 million units in Sony’s fiscal-2009 year (runs from May 1st 2009 to April 30th 2010), as the Xbox 360 sold 10 million units, compared to the PS3’s 13 million. The breakdown of the PS3’s fiscal year are as follows:

Fiscal 2009 Hardware sales:

Q1 – 1.1 million
Q2 – 3.2 million
Q3 – 6.5 million
Q4 – 2.2 million
Total – 13 million

The full lifetime sales run down for the PS3 by Sony’s fiscal years are as follows:

2006 – 3.5 million
2007 – 9.1 million
2008 – 10.1 million
2009 – 13.0 million
Total – 35.7 million

It’s also interesting to note that the PS3 is outselling its grandaddy the PlayStation 1, which in its fourth year (1997) had reached 32.8 million unit sales. The PS3 is still ways behind the PlayStation 2, which had sold 51.2 million by 2002.

Interestingly Sony predicts 15 million unit sales for the PS3’s 2010 fiscal year, which may predict another price-cut, or instead line up with a full year of $299 PS3 Slim sales – which only had six-months on sale during the console’s 2009 fiscal year. As for the PSP and PS2 in fiscal-2009, the former sold just 9.9 million units and the latter sold a higher than expected 7.3 million.

Readers Comments (24)

  1. Damn, gap’s really closing.

  2. I think that MS numbers don’t mean anything really. Look at it this way.

    MS have banned over 1 million consoles from going online. The people that owned these consoles traded them in and bought new 360 consoles. MS consoles have had a really bad failure figure with RROD and now the E74 error. Look at how many consoles suffered with RROD BEFORE the 3 year warranty was passed. Then look at how many people RE-BOUGHT a console because of their 360 console getting RROD.

    Even with the warranty people still bought a new consoles because of RROD. People even go on to say that once MS repaired their 360 console it wasn’t long before it went wrong again. so they traded that console in to the shops, so they could buy a new 360 console.

    This shows that even though MS has the bigger SHIPPED figures PS3 is in more peoples homes than 360. So really Sony has won this war now. PS3 has more consoles in the home than Microsoft, due to the bad design and bans taking place on the 360.

    And now the PS Move is coming out, that alone will draw in the Wii owners and now they could play not just casual games, but the Hardcore games they wanted. Things will only get bigger and better for PS3.

  3. I agree. i give it till christmas…. then we’ll see the 360 fall to 3rd place

  4. Sony’s on fire. I think that lead is going to drop further when GT5 comes out. That game is a monster.

  5. with this news i expect a price drop from microsoft sooner than later. talk about a comeback. few years ago i was ALMOST regretting my ps3 purchase.

  6. I love LBDz’s reply. Kind of funny how the f***ing fanboys come out of their closets to toot Sony’s horn any chance they get. Odd how he mentions the Move but not NATAL. I guess when your head is so far up the corporate ass it’s hard to see anything else.

    Play games, not systems. The PS3 rocks, the XBOX360 rocks and the Wii rocks. It’s to bad fanboys just suck c***s.

  7. Patrick Steen May 13, 2010 @ 07:05

    Pete, we appreciate your contribution, but please keep your bad language to a minimum. Thanks.

  8. @Pete
    He’s just saying look at some of the trick Microsoft is doing to keep that lead over ps3. Two days before one of the biggest games of the year drops, you decide to ban 1 million consoles online feature. Think about they didn’t kill the gamertags, they just banned the consoles. This means they knew they were modded 360 but they chose to wait when a big game is released to do it. Don’t get me wrong though, strategically, it’s a great move. Also they have the highest failure rate out of all three consoles. It’s confirmed that Sony has overtaken Microsoft in Europe, which is what mattered really. Sony has Japan and Microsoft has America. Sony now holds both Japan and Europe over Microsoft ,who only has America. Now it’s just a matter of time ,because the lead can only get smaller from here.

  9. Hats off to Microsoft, it was good run to get out there first … Albeit with a shoddy design that sounds like a vacuum cleaner and dies with the RROD. But hey you have Aaron Fatberg as a marketing guy !!! hehe

  10. @ Death2494

    Thanks for seeing it my way. ;o)

    Also to Pete, if you see past the Fanboi BS you’ll see everything i said is true.? I own all consoles, but the facts remain. If 360 didn’t suffer with RROD or E 74 Error they would not have sold the amount of consoles shown today. Or if MS didn’t ban consoles from playing online, they would not have sold more consoles due to it would they. Now really this shows that PS3 has the bigger in home base compared to 360. >?

    Also despite a lower installed base, software sales on the PS3 have outstripped that of the Xbox 360 in the fiscal-2009 year. The PlayStation 3 enjoyed 115.6 million software sales in the Sony’s 2009-fiscal year (runs from May 1st 2009 to April 30th 2010), this performance was better than that of the Xbox 360, which achieved 103.1 million software sales. This may look like Fanboi talk, but it’s fact, NOT fanboi BS.?

  11. “MS have banned over 1 million consoles from going online. The people that owned these consoles traded them in and bought new 360 consoles.”

    lol wut??

  12. Little Big Planet 2 and GT5 is going to sky rocket their sales. Then games like The Last Gaurdian and Final Fantasy Versus XIII are going to come around and boost it even more, just using those games as examples, but very good examples in my opinion.

  13. @11 M$ banned around 1 million xbox 360s when holiday 2009 and people needed to get new consoles to modd my bro’s 360 was banned also and he just use that to play burnt games while he bought another one to play legit copy online.That’s why there’re rumours abot the Xbox slim because M$ is nervous and afraid of the PS3 slim’s momentum.

  14. The XBOX360 sales for MW2 surpass 10.5 million. On the contrary it sold over 7.5 million on the Playstation3. This is also the number one selling game on each platform.

    This is why it’s so laughable at all the hate and fanboy rejects who post on forums before they do their schoolwork. M$ banned consoles, not games. So even with all the failure rates and banned consoles the fact remains and that is there are lots of people buying the system and the software.

    Also that source of LBDZ’s shows what I’ve been saying all along. Both systems rock. In fact all 3 systems do. So why do we have so many nerds like him saying Sony has won and on and on it goes. That article even shows the attach rate to be higher on the XBOX360. So stop being an ignoramous and enjoy the games.

  15. @Pete I dont see what the sale of Mw2 has to do with having more consoles sold .. all that proves is that the 360 fanbase are more comprised of fragheads .. i could easily quote the sale of Final Fantasy XIII on the ps3 which sold more than the 360 version but that wouldnt prove jack eitherway . The only ones who are the ignoramous are the ones who keep a blind eye to how screwed up the 360 hardware is , im not gonna lie i own 3 consoles and i love the 360 but i still hate the flaws it still has even after 5 years mind you still have not been resolved .. disc scratching , rrod still occurs . And one cannot enjoy a game when a console is dead .

  16. The 4.5 million gap is impressive seeing that PS3 has been on the market a year less than Xbox360 and is showing that $300 is the magic price for a HD console. Sony needs to keep strong exclusive new IPs like Heavy Rain coming if they want to break the gap. I still wonder if the Wii sales will ever be taken down by Sony or MS though. Nintendo’s Wii sales are impressive just because they hardly have any decent third party support, but stay above everyone else from strong innovative first party games. All in all, it’s a great time to be a gamer in this console race no matter which side your on.

  17. grabiel amador May 13, 2010 @ 22:57

    technicully ps3 has outsold 360 because if you think of it 360 sod around 4 to 5 million consoles so its basically already a tie

  18. According to the NPD Group, Modern Warfare 2 sold approximately 4.2 million units for the Xbox 360 and 1.87 million units for the PlayStation 3 in the U.S. during the month of November 2009. preliminary sales figures from Activision, Modern Warfare 2 sold approximately 4.7 million units in both the United States and the UK in the first 24 hours of its release. On March 8 2010, Robert Bowling announced that the game had amassed 25 million unique players. In Japan, Modern Warfare 2 sold 64,000 copies for the Playstation 3 and 42,000 copies for the Xbox 360 in its first week of sales. The game later sold 117,000 copies on the Playstation 3 and 61,000 on the Xbox 360. Anita Frazer of the NPD Group reported in March 2010 that the game had sold slightly under 10 million copies in the U.S. alone.

    This goes on and on. But either way the PS3 ( despite a lower installed base ) outstripped the software sales of the Xbox 360 in the fiscal-2009 year by 12.5 million. Also regarding the April NPD data. Apparently the PS3 “continues to be the only hardware console to see double digit growth both year over year (42.6%) and year to date (37.2%) Having just surpassed nine consecutive months of year over year growth for PS3 hardware and a revenue increase of 32% for PS3 software since last April.

    This shows console sold figures ( or shipped in MS case ) means nothing when you look at hardware growth, which the PS3 is doing better in.

  19. oh wow…not bad at all, sony!

    theyll surely catch up in due time….. by 2011 right? or am i still terrible at guessing -_-

  20. At E3 in May 2006, Bill Gates announced that Microsoft would have a head start of 10 million units by the time Sony and Nintendo entered the market. Microsoft later specified that goal and estimated shipments of 10 million units by the end of 2006.

    The Xbox 360 was released on November 22, 2005, in the United States and Canada; December 2, 2005, in Europe.

    The PlayStation 3 was first released on November 11, 2006 in Japan,November 17, 2006 in North America and South America,and March 23, 2007 in Europe.

    So the 360 had a 10 million head start over PS3, yet now theres only 4 million difference in console sales. Which shows that PS3 has out sold the 360 ( in the same time span ).

    360 = 40 million (as of April 23, 2010)
    PS3 = 35.7 million (as of March 31, 2010)

    Now take away the banned 360 consoles ( over 1 million banned and not able to go online ) that people traded in to shops so that they could buy new consoles to be able to play online again. Also take away the 360’s that RROD’ed on people BEFORE MS gave a 3 year warranty, which was also over 1 million in it’s 1st year of release. Plus take in consideration people that had the RROD after the 3 year warranty run out that had to re-buy a 360 console. Or the people that had a faulty Disc Drive that wasn’t given an extended warranty making them re-buy another console.Or better still the people that had their console repaired by MS due to RROD, and knowing that it will RROD again so they started trading them consoles in for a newer one.

    I still say that more people own a PS3 in their home right now than the 360.

  21. Patrick Steen May 15, 2010 @ 14:59

    Dr. Moogle – If Sony reaches their 15 million target and the X360 stays static, the PS3 will outsell by 2011 yes. I have doubts that the 360 will remain static however.

  22. @LBDz

    And subtract the milions of PS3 consoles that were purchased only to watch Blu-ray movies with.

    Probably dead even, both consoles, at this point.

  23. @ xbotman

    But people still have the consoles to watch Blu-Ray movies or to play games ? So why subtract millions.? If you look at failure rates 360 was at one time over 50%, while PS3 was only 10%.

    So if you really want to subtract numbers, take 50% off the 360 shipped figures, which leaves = 20 million, now take 10% off the PS3 sold figures which would then leaves over = 32 million.

    Even if you had half of the 50% failure rates of the 360 repaired you will still only have 30 million in total.

    But we all know figures don’t mean quality and fact is that PS3 has the better quality out the two consoles.

    I myself have bought Two 360’s in 4 years, but had to send them off 7 times in total to be repaired. RROD = 5 times E-74 Error = 1 time, Disc Drive Failure = 1 time. ( One console didn’t get repaired as the Disc Drive Failure wasn’t covered under the 3 year ex-warranty, I have Two PS3’s 1st edition and a 250 PS3 Slim model. Not once have i had any problems with them.

  24. @LBDz

    OK so you really love your PS3 and thats fair enough.

    Let me start by saying that i have all 3.

    Wii= fun from time to time
    PS3 =Blu Ray and Must have games GOW,DUC 1/2
    360 = Every day

    Now a fan boy is someone who will refuse to buy/support the rival company. i am not a fan boy!

    Sony fan boy’s have been saying in forums all over the web for 4 years now “its only a matter of time” Time? Time? Lol. Who the hell has time.
    Let me ask you this my freind. if this is a socalled war (which is stupid) then who set the duration. If it was over last year of today even. WHo would have won? my point is How long does sony fan boys want???

    Ok look at it this way. if you said to a Sony CEO 6 years ago that MS will be relesing a console to compete with you and they would be ahead of you in hardware and software sales for this new super console for over 5 years, would thay have not seen this as a failure?? hmmm.

    Sony has always been trailing behind the 360 and it been 4/5 years. Now how did that happen?

    I love Games. I dont care who from. my 360 gives me the best experince and I love xbox live. How long did it take before the ps3 riped off the acheivements system and they still havent got the cross game comm right. I mean come on. And Oh you talk about the RROD. yeah ive had it . I dont even care. whats bad is that I was so pissed only becase i had to resort to playing my ps3 untill it got back from repair.

    Please please try the 360 i promise you’ll like it over the ps3.

    I hate when ever i play a ps3 game i have to do updates which take forever. on the 360 you hardly ever have to do this. and when you do it take seconds.

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