I had an argument today where a kid at work was spouting the near-complete repertoire of game console myths. Here is an annotated list of facts:
Microsoft lost at least $4 billion on the original Xbox (not $2 billion as many claim).
Microsoft has rather consistently sold just south of 2 million Xbox 360 units a quarter, every quarter since its release. (I believe they might just barely break 2 million units this quarter.)
- 664,000 Playstation 2
- 511,000 Microsoft Xbox360
- 476,000 Nintendo Wii (scarce)
- 197,000 Sony Playstation 3 (scarce)
Yes, that’s right, the Playstation 2, though six years old, is still the #1 selling console worldwide. Also the Wii has almost caught the Xbox 360 even though it was not available in Japan or Europe and for only 11 days in the United States and Canada!
[Reasons why after the jump.]
I’m not trying to be a dick here. The Xbox 360 is a much better console than I expected, and Microsoft shows they learned a lot from the Xbox release (non-commodity chips, removed hard drive) but…
I’m sick of people saying what a great success the Xbox was. It was a failure by every metric and it failed to springboard its sequel sales.
I’m sick of people saying the Xbox 360 is going to dominate next generation consoles. The only thing “dominating” next gen sales is the Wii, which will, in it’s first (half) quarter of release, probably beat the best Xbox 360 quarter to date (currently 1.8 million units)—after all, it just sold 50,000 units in 12 hours in the UK. Oh yeah, did I mention that the Wii was profitable at launch, not two years after launch?
As for future domination, I guess we’ll have to see the numbers on the Xbox 360 HD DVD player. (Currently the numbers of HD DVD and Blu-Ray are so anemic that the winner is neither.)