by Anton Shilov
03/17/2008 | 11:18 PM
Sales of video game consoles in the USA in February were up compared to the previous month, according to a report from NPD market tracking firm. The fact is quite surprising as usually sales drop in February. What is even more interesting is that some vendors claim that the demand exceeds supply!
There were 1.319 million non-portable video game systems sold in February, figures recently released by NPD show. Approximately 432 thousand of Nintendo Wii game consoles were acquired last month, which indicates that the latest console from Nintendo is by far the most popular game system in the region. Microsoft could merely increase shipments of its Xbox 360 to 254.5 thousand, whereas Sony managed to sell through 280.8 thousand of PlayStation 3, a huge success for the Japanese electronics conglomerate.
“With several marquee titles still to come in the front half of the year, the industry is poised to achieve another year of record-breaking sales despite difficult economic conditions,” NPD analyst Anita Frazier said in a statement.
The steady demand towards Sony PlayStation 3 could be catalyzed by the end of high-definition video format war and the growth of demand for Blu-ray supporting devices. However, considering the fact that all available game consoles saw their popularity increased, it is highly likely that the demand towards PS3 is growing because of games, not because of high-def video. Nevertheless, Sony continues to advertise PlayStation 3 as a Blu-ray disc player on the first place.
“Consumers are recognizing the tremendous value of PS3 and we believe that Blu-ray becoming the high-def format of choice was the tipping point for many consumers. With monster titles like Gran Turismo 5 Prologue and Grand Theft Auto IV launching in April and Metal Gear Solid 4 in June, we’re demonstrating this is the year for PS3,” said Jack Tretton, president and chief exec of Sony Computer Entertainment America.
Microsoft Corp. blamed insufficient supply of Xbox 360 for its third place in terms of hardware sales in the USA.
“Our manufacturing team guesses five months out. They made their forecast and didn’t have as high a forecast as they should have. We’re doing everything we can, pulling all the levers [to boost output],” said said Microsoft spokesman David Dennis.
Nintendo, which has been selling unprecedented numbers of its Wii game console in the recent 1.5 years, seems to be confident in further success of the platform and claims it has lineup of games suitable for all types of customers.
“Our momentum has not let up since the holidays and we expect it to continue throughout the year. We have the industry’s strongest lineup of games for everyone from core to casual gamers,” said Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of sales and marketing.
Portable game consoles were also in high demand in February with 587.6 thousand Nintendo DS and only 243.1 thousand of Sony PlayStation Portable devices sold through, NPD figures show.