Sunday, March 16, 2008

It seems like Wii is unbeatable. Shortly after the NPD Group released its data about the gaming sales in US during February, Media Create revealed that Nintendo Wii is the champion in Japan too.

According to Media Create, in the week ending March 9, Nintendo sold 57,068 Wiis in Japan, which is almost double compared to 21,008 PS3s sold by Sony. As for Microsoft, its Xbox 360 continues to struggle and it has sold only 2891.

So far, Microsoft has failed to impress the Japanese gamers, who bought only 257,800 Xbox 360 consoles during 2007, according to the data released by Enterbrain. In comparison, Nintendo Wii sold 3.6 million units, while Sony managed to sell 1.2 million PS3s.

Though, it is very possible that during the next week Xbox 360’s sales will be higher, because on March 6, Microsoft started to sell its Xbox 360 Arcade in Japan for only 27,800 yen ($260) instead 34,800 yen.

Xbox Arcade was launched in the US last year in October and it is sold for $279.99. The package includes five family-friendly games, a wireless controller, a high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) connection to enable high-definition output if desired and 256 MB of memory useful for storing games and entertainment content. Unlike the Core version, the Arcade doesn’t have a hard drive.

On the handheld market, Nintendo DS was outsold by Sony’s PSP. Sony sold 53,924 PSPs, while Nintendo DS ranked second with 48,658 units.

As for the United States, PS3 had a good February month, despite being outsold by Nintendo Wii almost 2 to 1. While Wii sold 432,000 units, Sony managed to sell 281,000 PS3s and Microsoft was lagging far behind with only 255,000 units.

According to the analysts, PS3 sales were boosted by the recent victory of BluRay, and it remains to be seen is Sony will manage to keep the rhythm.

Though, earlier this month iSuppli analyst Pamela Tufegdzic predicted that 2008 will be the turning year for Sony’s PlayStation 3. "2008 will be a turning year for the PS3," said Tufegdzic for Reuters. "Sony is offering a better forthcoming software pipeline with blockbuster titles like "Gran Turismo 5", which will boost PS3 sales this year."

Also, Sony announced June 12 as the official release date of its exclusive game, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots. It is believed that the new title will boost the sales of PS3, in the same manner as Halo 3 did for Xbox 360 during last year.

On the Xbox 360’s front, Microsoft is expecting the release of Grand Theft Auto IV, Rockstar’s upcoming title, to boost the sales of its gaming console. Although, the game is not an Xbox 360 exclusive, GTA’s makers have promised some exclusive content to be available later this year.

So, after all it seems like the battle of the gaming consoles is still open.