Friday, June 17, 2011

Xbox 360 Selling Like Hotcakes! Nintendo 3DS...Not So Much

According to data released Monday, June 13 by NPD, it seems as though for the month of May, the Xbox 360 has remained the top-selling console, and while the Xbox has flourished, the highly anticipated Nintendo 3DS’s sales are being described as “light.”

In relation to the year-to-date revenues of video game hardware, content and accessory sales, Xbox has grabbed 34 percent so far. The Xbox 360 and the PS3 combined sales are also doing well. They are currently up 28 percent for the month and 21 percent up from last year.

"The PS3, PSP, and the Xbox 360 all experienced unit sales increases over May 2010," NPD analyst Anita Frazier said in a statement. "The top-selling platform for the month was the Xbox 360, which has realized nearly a year and a half of month-over-month unit sales increases."

A little bit earlier this month, Microsoft announced that they have sold more than 55 million Xbox 360 consoles since November 2005, and they claim that “sales are accelerating.”

On the other side of things, as mentioned above, Nintendo’s 3DS is simply generating “light” sales; however, it is expected that those sales will shoot upward. On Sunday, June 19 “Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D” will be released, and Frazier seems positive that the release of the game “should help to significantly boost sales of hardware during the remainder of 2011."

Nintendo also showed off some more games at E3 that could boost the 3DS’s numbers in the next few months. Some of these games include: "Mario Kart," "Starfox 3D," "Super Mario," "Kid Icarus Uprising" and "Luigi's Mansion 2."

The Nintendo 3DS first made its debut in the U.S. in March of this year. It was originally sold for $249.99. By April 15, less than a month after the release of the device, Nintendo said that they had sold just under 400,000 units, but the president of Nintendo Satoru Iwata said, “Nintendo 3DS has not been selling as expected since the second week [of availability], and this is not just in the Japanese market but also in the United States and Europe…therefore, we recognize that we are in a situation where we need to step up our efforts to further promote the spread of Nintendo 3Ds."

Frazier said that the declines in the sales of console hardware are due to the Wii but that the platform "remains the best-selling of this generation at nearly 36 million installed in the U.S." Nintendo is expecting some more success in the form of its new Wii U, which was announced at E3. The next-generation console is scheduled to be released sometime next year.

"At the current rate of growth and decline (on a year-to-date basis) for each of the respective console systems, a year from now the Wii will still enjoy the lead in install base in the U.S., although both the Xbox 360 and PS3 will close the gap," Frazier said. "Of course, new details on hardware introduction could certainly change the picture."

It will be interesting to see how the numbers fluctuate once the Wii U is released. Microsoft is currently in the lead with the Xbox 360, but will Nintendo make up some lost ground with their next-generation console? We’ll just have to wait and see.

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