Console Wars: It's Not Over Yet
The console war continues after three Christmases for Xbox and 2 for Wii and PS3. While Microsoft feigned a a claim of victory as first to 10 million units worldwide, their press conference is starting to look more and more like George Bush in front of a Mission Accomplished poster.
Microsoft has a lot to be proud of, if we focus on the US. In the month of December, Xbox sold 1.26 million units to PS3's 798,000 in the US. They don't like to talk about Wii which sold 1.35 million. For the year, Xbox almost doubled PS3's sale with 4.62 to 2.56 million units. Wii beat them both with 6.29 million. You can see more in real time at the bottom of this blog.
Unfortunately, and it may sound un-American, but we have to consider the rest of the world. Xbox never made it out of the gate in Japan and still fails to sell. In Europe, sales have been trailing PS3 since last summer. According to Sony, the PS3 installed base is already larger in France, Spain, Germany and Italy than that of Xbox. Sure, these are not traditionally strong console territories, but based on the sales trends, Sony predicts they will pass Xbox in the UK this summer.
Can there be any reason other than the Sony brand? It certainly isn't the games, or connectivity. This could change. Right now most lead skus are for the Xbox, with Sony surviving on left overs. It is a vestige of a late launch. But if the numbers really change, and the publishers pay attention, we will start to see more Sony lead skus, and better games for PS3. Sound to simplistic? Sit in a greenlight meeting. Publishers are reactive. If Sony spreads enough propaganda, perception will become reality.
In any event, this one is not going to be over quickly.