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NPD presents Xmas sales: PS3 lagging behind

After a bunch of sales figures presented by CNBC earlier this month, which later turned out to be not from any verifiable source, marketing researchers NPD have now released the official figures of Holiday season console sales.

According to the report, which lists December sales in the United States only, Nintendo sold a surprisingly low 604200 units of their new Wii console, against Sony making 490700 customers happy with a brand new PlayStation 3. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 however, exploiting its full year head start, sold about as much on its own as the other two contenders combined with 1.1 million units. Obviously it has to be noted that the Xbox 360 was in plentiful supply while Sony and Nintendo sales were limited by supply, although some reports indicate that the PlayStation 3 was actually available in many stores but simply not being sold.

Overall video game and hardware sales were $3.7 billion in December, up 28 percent. Overall sales rose 19 percent in 2006 to $12.5 billion, NPD said.

Game sales, not including titles for personal computers, were up 5.4 percent to $1.7 billion and hardware jumped 59.2 percent to $1.6 billion, fueled by sales of consoles like the high-end PS3 and Xbox 360, which retail for $600 and $400, respectively, in the United States.

MONEY!

With the games market expected to continue this stellar growth for years to come, expect the battles to heat up accordingly over the coming year. The true test will probably be the 2007 Christmas season, when all 3 next-gen consoles are expected to be in plentiful supply: if this generation will have a real winner it should be clear by this time next year. A detail worth noting is that Sony’s current worldwide market leader PlayStation 2 sold about 1.4 million units this December, only barely more than the Xbox 360 at a fraction of the price. This seems to indicate that the market is just about ready to head into the new generation at mass, and the early adopter phase is more or less over.

Cheers to Pottsville for the pointer!

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