Nintendo Knocks Out PS3 at Retail Launch

Posted by jgaudiosi :: Industry Trends

Fight_2According to videogame analyst PJ McNealy, Nintendo shipped more than double the amount of Wiis to retail on November 19 than Sony. While there were an estimated 425,000 to 475,000 Wiis in stores, Sony had only 125,000 to 175,000 PlayStation 3s, and that number included the 15,000 PS3s pegged for retail kiosks. Sony had promised 400,000 PS3s at launch, but undelivered. As a result, McNealy doesn't expect the company to reach its 1 million PS3s in the U.S. or 2 million worldwide by the end of this year.

Anyone who remembers the PlayStation 2 launch will be feeling deja vu. Sony was plagued with problems in 2000 and the numbers it reported shipped versus the actual hardware that made it to retail were far different. This year's launch problems, which delayed the Japanese launch by several months, have put the hardware giant deep in a hole in terms of supplying retail. While Nintendo is already replenishing Wiis for Thanksgiving, Sony is reportedly not providing new PS3s yet.

These shortages, which aren't expected to subside until at least Q1 2007, will make all the talk about the $600 price point moot. There are more than 2 million hardcore gamers who are willing to pay anything for PS3 at launch. Demand for the system far outweighed the 2 million original hardware launch numbers. Now that those numbers are no longer a reality, price is not an issue--and it won't be until the hardcore gamers are satiated some time by next summer.

Microsoft has come out with some new numbers. According to the game giant, it's sold 6 million Xbox 360s worldwide through the end of September and it's still on target to have shipped 10 million next gen systems by the end of this year. Xbox 360 and PS2 will be the only systems in plentiful supply this Christmas, although Wiis will be around. Microsoft should capitalize on people looking for a PS3 and not being able to find one. Throughout this year, Microsoft has been losing the battle against PS2, in terms of hardware sales.

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