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Wii Will Beat PS2 in Sales, PS3 Like GameCube?

January 20th, 2009 by Derrick Schommer · 15 Comments

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If the sales continue as they have been for Nintendo and their little white Wii, you’ll be looking at the top-dog for overall console says–best selling console ever. This would push Sony’s PlayStation 2 to the second spot of awesome console victories over the last seven generations of gaming hardware.

gamecubeBefore Sony fans unite to comment storm, remember, the PS2 had a lot of great games and continues to have games coming through for its console. People are still debating the life-span of the Wii product line, regardless to overall sales figures while the PS2 no doubt had a long live and still continues to have a long life, heck 30%+ of gamers still play the darn thing. Sony has been able to utilize the PS2 and its profitability to glide through the initial PS3 sales slump and get the momentum growing for their current generation console.

Yet, some folks are comparing the PlayStation 3 to the GameCube in terms of sales performance.

“During the first 26 month period, the PS3 sold 6.79 million units in the U.S., compared to 6.75 million GameCubes during its first 26 months. While the GameCube finished a distant third last generation, the console was profitable for Nintendo.” (Kotaku)

Before you get out your flame pens, this analogy wasn’t constructed by me, I’m merely the messenger. Again, to defend Sony (read: put on  my flame retardant outfit) Sony’s console is slowly building momentum, depending on who’s statistics you read anyway, and their product will eventually become a profitable sale. The GameCube was profitable as well but boasted “dozens” of great games to play while the PS3 obviously is pushing to become the hardcore gamers console of choice with top tier graphics, blu-ray playback and a free online service. GameCube was really just a cube that played some games, a one-trick-poney as it where.

It still feels odd to say Nintendo is winning and Sony isn’t winning (I avoid the term losing to yet again to kill the flames) and… Microsoft?

Microsoft, in my opinion, is in the best possible situation. They’re not being targetted as the number one console and being critizised for holding such a position and they’re not dragging near the bottom to be poked fun at by the industry and bloggers around the world (mainly, the United States.) They’re stealthing by with good sales compared to the last generation console by “improving its fortunes.” The Xbox 360 “sells 18 percent faster than its predecessor, according to NPD figures, and even turned a profit, something the original Xbox never did” according to VentureBeat.

The PlayStation 3 has many years ahead of it and we’re sure plenty of gamers will eventually buy into the console because the technology within that black box is designed to last many years. Considering only 30% of the United States is rolling with an HD-TV it’s not surprising they’re not jumping at the opportunity to own a PlayStation 3. Why is the news all over the PlayStation 3 and talking trash about it? Sony was the console to beat when the PlayStation 2  reigned the industry, to see the console go from #1 to #3 in a single generation is shocking but not new; we saw Nintendo suffer the same fate when the PlayStation originally launched.

But, is the PS3 like the GameCube? There are too many factors to make that comparison, especially considering the growth in the game industry, the growth of storage and video technology and the general acceptance of video games. Hell, you can buy video games at convenience stores in the United States now, the industry isn’t the same as it was in 2001.

Please discuss…but don’t shoot the messenger. 🙂

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Tags: Editorial · Microsoft · Nintendo · playstation 3 · Sony · Wii · Xbox 360

15 responses so far ↓

  • 1 JUUNo Gravatar // Jan 20, 2009 at 10:44 am

    I think that while the PS3 had a slow start, it can definitely take off. People are focusing too much on sales, rather than Sony’s ten year plan for the console. Sony’s not just going to drop the PS3. As of right now, they’re focused on making a profit, not outselling anyone. They will start to get more competitive this year once they approach break even and so forth.

  • 2 Derrick SchommerNo Gravatar // Jan 20, 2009 at 10:49 am

    Price-wise competitive, yes. I think the slow sales is all about the price point. And, if you’re already taking a big hit on cost to get the word out and have been for two years, cutting it more now isn’t really going to help anyone.

    Sony, like Microsoft, has one big advantage over other would-be console sellers: they have many avenues for income. Nintendo could never afford to take a two-year console loss on a product line but Sony has its hands in so many markets this is just the price of doing business for them.

    Really, if they were to drop the PS3 it wouldn’t be their games division making that decision, it would be the board getting sick of seeing negative losses on their balance sheets. And, that should only happen if the company itself was in a bad situation or the board didn’t have the vision for the game industry anymore.

    Right now, I don’t see that happening. If Sony gets itself into trouble with its other streams of revenue than perhaps that would change. But, I don’t know about you, I still buy Sony equipment outside of gaming.

  • 3 SomeoneNo Gravatar // Jan 20, 2009 at 11:50 am

    Numbers can be interpreted to say anything.

    So let me say this, because me too I love to say something irrelevant. Globally, the X360 is much more like the gamecube then the ps3, and here the chart to back this up :


    Now move along, nothing to see here.

  • 4 PR GamerNo Gravatar // Jan 20, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    I think that Sony in the end will beat Microsoft at least, with Nintendo no so far ahead. Once Sony gets to break even, they will get more agressive and competitive and the PS3 will have a sales boost that will define this era.

  • 5 orakgaNo Gravatar // Jan 20, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    Mr. Schommer:

    I like this version much better than the one I read on this other site last night. Your flamesuit is quite robust, sir.

    I think part of the problem with this generation is the excess of pundits. There are much too many people speculating and spinning numbers that it is rather hard to see what is truly going on.

    But the bottomline is, that the Wii and the 360 are peaking at the moment, while the PS3 is just starting to gain steam (but for how long is really up to how soon Sony decides to permit a pricecut).

    IMO, the PS3 launched a year too early. It only created a distraction in the market, and developers simply weren’t ready to take advantage of the hardware. I realize that would have had problems of its own (letting MS and Nin run wild without Sony’s check for an additional year), but they may have at least been able to avoid all the scrutiny, and a poor introduction.

    But at the end of the day, the hardware has so much untapped potential, and it is much to early to call this a loss for them.

  • 6 Derrick SchommerNo Gravatar // Jan 20, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Yeah, I won’t call it a loss until Sony decides to produce their next console, if this one hasn’t lived up to its potential than we can make a call. They’ve lost money for two years, if they make profit for six, it’s a win.

  • 7 JordanNo Gravatar // Jan 20, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    PS3 the next Gamecube? For that to happen wouldn’t it have to be affordable to the general public and turn a profit for the manufacturer?

    BURN! I so went there!

  • 8 aveeNo Gravatar // Jan 20, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    the first year and a half of the PS3 was about blu-ray and nothing more. Consider the losses on the PS3 as the advertising budget for blu ray which will bring revenue for Sony for many many years

  • 9 ChrisWankerNo Gravatar // Jan 20, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    Hey Someone,

    Since you’re using VGchartz, check out the week to week sales from launch for the PS3 vs the original Xbox in America! Also, I decided to throw in GC just for fun… But remember, this is just for America. As you know, America does not [somehow] count for the rest of the world…


  • 10 David MacphailNo Gravatar // Jan 21, 2009 at 5:40 am

    For anyone stupid enough to believe the PS3 is performing like the Gamecube, let me make it clear for you:

    FACT – the Gamecube sold roughly 24 million (Not more) units in it’s ENTIRE lifetime.

    FACT – the PS3 has sold 20 million units in it’s first 2 years (Or one quarter of it’s lifetime).

    FACT – in order for the PS3 to be the next Gamecube it would have to sell a maximum of 500,000 units per year WORLDWIDE for the rest of it’s life!

    FACT – you’d have to suffer from mental retardation to believe that’s what’s gonna happen.

    I’m glad i could clear that up.

    Also, for the 360 fanboys here wanting to compare numbers – chew on theese:

    The 360 has sold 28 million in 3 years = 9.33 million per year.

    The PS3 has sold 20 million in 2 years = 10 million per year.

    In 3 years the PS3 will have sold an expected 30 million units – that’s MORE than what the 360 managed. So which console looks like the “Next Gamecube”??? Number’s really don’t lie………………

    Also, don’t even get me started on Japaneese hardware sales……the 360 is the cheapest console on the market and still only holds single – digit market share??? It can’t sell 1 million units in THREE YEARS??? What the heck is wrong with it???

    Next Gamecube? The Gamecube performed MUCH better than the 360…….the 360 should be called the “Next Dreamcast”.

  • 11 JordanNo Gravatar // Jan 21, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    Look at NPD sales since launch. The Wii and PS3 have been on sale for 26 months.

    Of those 26 months the Wii has been the #1 selling machine 23 times and the #2 selling machine 3 times. It has never slipped to 3rd place.

    The Xbox 360 has been the #1 selling machine 3 times (the first two months the Wii came out and the month Halo 3 came out), the #2 selling machine 18 times and the #3 selling machine 5 times.

    The PS3 on the other hand has NEVER been the #1 selling machine, it’s been the #2 selling machine just 5 times and has been the #3 selling machine 21 out of 26 months.

    Month Wii X360 PS3
    November-06 476,000 511,000 197,000
    December-06 604,200 1,100,000 490,700
    January-07 436,000 294,000 244,000
    February-07 335,000 228,000 127,000
    March-07 259,000 199,000 130,000
    April-07 360,000 174,000 82,000
    May-07 338,000 155,000 82,000
    June-07 381,800 198,400 98,500
    July-07 425,000 170,000 159,000
    August-07 403,600 276,700 130,600
    September-07 501,000 527,800 119,400
    October-07 519,000 366,000 121,000
    November-07 981,000 770,000 466,000
    December-07 1,350,000 1,260,000 797,600
    January-08 274,000 230,000 269,000
    February-08 432,000 254,600 280,800
    March-08 721,000 262,000 257,000
    April-08 714,200 188,000 187,100
    May-08 675,100 186,600 208,700
    June-08 666,700 219,800 405,500
    July-08 555,000 205,000 225,000
    August-08 453,000 195,200 185,400
    September-08 667,000 347,200 232,400
    October-08 803,000 371,000 190,000
    November-08 2,040,000 836,000 378,000
    December-08 2,150,000 1,440,000 726,000

  • 12 David MacphailNo Gravatar // Jan 21, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    Look at Japaneese sales figures since the launch of the PS3 – the Xbox 360 has NEVER been the #1 selling game’s console on the market. Even when it was there by itself for an entire year it still often got outsold by the PS2.

    Then look at the WORLDWIDE sales figures, which is more, 10 million per year or 9.33 million per year??? YOU do the math.

  • 13 jonahfalconNo Gravatar // Jan 21, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Who cares about Japanese sales? There’s big difference when the Xbox 360 sales 1.4M while the PS3 sells 700K in the US during December, and the PS3 sells 40K and the 360 sells 10K.

    700K difference > 30K difference

  • 14 JordanNo Gravatar // Jan 22, 2009 at 2:27 am

    @David – You really don’t want to look at worldwide numbers:


    Wii – 7.72M Japan
    Wii – 21.36M America
    Wii – 17.14M Others
    Wii Total – 46.21M

    X360 – 0.90M Japan
    X360 – 16.03M America
    X360 – 10.90M Others
    X360 Total – 27.82M

    PS3 – 2.79M Japan
    PS3 – 7.64M America
    PS3 – 9.41M Others
    PS3 Total – 19.84M

    Sooo…. Wii – #1 in Japan, #1 in the US, #1 in “Others”.

    X360 – #3 in Japan, #2 in the US, #2 in “Others”.

    PS3 – #2 in Japan, #3 in the US, #3 in “Others”.

    Overall – Wii #1.

    X360 #2, 18.39 million out of first place.

    PS3 #3, 7.98 million out of 2nd place, 26.37 million out of first place.

  • 15 David MacphailNo Gravatar // Jan 22, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    Jordan – i think it’s YOU who doesn’t want to look at worldwide numbers:

    Xbox 360 has been out for 3 years and has sold 28 million = 9.33 million per year.

    PS3 has been out for 2 years and has sold 20 million = 10 million per year.

    So which console is selling more??? Figure it out…………….

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