GAMING BLEND

Xbox 360 Wins Round 2, Wii For Round 3...Maybe

By William Usher 2007-01-02 00:00:00 discussion comments
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Sony won’t be winning Round 3 in the next-gen console war because of stock shortages. Even by mid 2007 there’ll still be less PS3's on store shelves than what Nintendo sold of the Wii during the holiday season. So who won Round 2? Microsoft. It's not quite as I predicted. Seemingly, Nintendo was supposed to win Round 2. But Microsoft came out on top again.

According to CNBC, and soon-to-be-released quotes from NPD, the PS3 is dead last in the console war, with only a reported 750,000 SKUs sold. The Wii came in a close second with 1.8 million units sold from its launch and during the holidays. Although, the Xbox 360 wins Round 2, as it has apparently sold 2 million units from November to December. It’s a bit cheating, though, because Microsoft had Round 1 in the bag because of a one year headstart. Round 2 became inevitable for MS to win, when compared to the anti-speedy production times it took to replenish PS3 and Wii SKUs. So Microsoft walks away with their hands held high for a second year running.

Things may change for 2007, as Nintendo will have a full stock of Wii’s ready to ship and sell-out as fast as their Nintendo DS. Assuming, that is, all goes well for the Big ‘N’. Current software line-ups for 2007 doesn’t look all so hot for Nintendo's Wii, once they get done with their first-quarter all-starters. Hopefully the second and third quarter will prove to house some note-worthy games that don’t include first-party titles that may get delayed, such as Metroid Prime or Mario Galaxy.

Sony, on the other hand, will have to rely VERY heavily on software sales to even stay in the race. Even if every system sells out, they’ll be in the same position as Microsoft with the original Xbox: simply, the system costs more to produce than they’ll make back from hardware sales. And as I much as I rant on Sony, I do hope that Blu-Ray lasts long enough for us gamers to see some truly original, and buy-worthy titles. Otherwise I’ll be ticked for having covered as much news as I have on Sony, just to find out that the system goes defunct within the next two years.

So what does this mean for Round 3 in the next-gen console war? Well, for Microsoft to get hit hard it means that Sony will firstly have to actually step back into the ring. After that the PS3 will need one good best-seller that isn’t Resistance: Fall of Man, just so gamers will take the new big black box serious again. As for Nintendo, they’ll just have to keep doing what they’re doing, and that’s selling Wii’s. Eventually, 2007 will be the year the Xbox 360 gets confronted with some real competition...hopefully.




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