September was another strong month for the Xbox 360, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter wrote in a note to investors today.
According to Pachter's estimates, Microsoft sold 360,000 Xbox 360 units in the U.S. last month, easily besting all other hardware competitors. In second place, according to Pachter, was the PlayStation 3 with 260,000 units sold. Nintendo sold 190,000 Wii units in September, Pachter estimated.
On the portable side, Pachter said he believes Nintendo sold 225,000 3DS units and 185,000 DS units in September.
If Pachter is right and Microsoft did sell the most hardware units in September, it would mark yet another successful month for the console maker. Last month, Microsoft reported that with its sales victory in August, it had sold more console units in the U.S. than any other company for 14 of the past 15 months.
However, it's Nintendo's decline that perhaps has become one of the most significant stories to come out of the console space. For years, Nintendo's Wii was atop the market, easily outstripping sales of other devices. But it appears the Wii's market appeal is starting to wane, and at least in the U.S., the Xbox 360 has firmly taken hold.
Nintendo appears to realize that. Rather than wait a few more years to release a new console, like its competitors reportedly are, the company is planning to launch new hardware next year. That console, called the Wii U, will offer improved graphics and HD support. In addition, it will come with a controller that boasts a 6.2-inch touch screen to enhance gameplay.
But until that launch occurs, Nintendo is hoping that its 3DS portable will be able to bolster earnings. The only issue is that device has proven to be a disappointment, selling only 110,000 units in the U.S. in the second quarter. After Nintendo dropped the price of the device to $169.99 from its initial price of $249.99 in August, sales jumped a bit, but they're still off the pace set by its predecessor, the DS, at the same point in that device's lifecycle.
A look at software
In addition to hardware unit sales, Pachter also looked at software sales on each console during the month. He estimated that Xbox 360 software sales hit $306 million last month, easily outstripping the PlayStation 3's $165 million in sales. Nintendo Wii sales were a paltry $85 million during the month, the analyst estimated.
On the portable side, Pachter estimated that September sales hit $15 million on the 3DS and $56 million for the DS.
At first the Wii had an advantage. Even though 95% of it's titles were kiddie games it was the ability to play games by actually having to get up off your couch and move (well, at least you were supposed to get up).
Then as it always comes to be, Sony and Microsoft jump on board and out comes the Move and Kinect. And without the Kinect even needing a controller at all i can see where that could be a really big draw for the motion sensor crowd.
And you can be sure that over time both Sony and Microsoft will most likely be releasing the games that are more geared towards the hard core gamer like FPS and fighting games that the Wii has mostly avoided. And this all in addition to their non-motion sensor line up of games which as we all know have some of the biggest titles of all times.
If you have kids, the Wii is fantastic, but for more grown up gamers such as myself i just do not see much in their title lineup that would even make me consider buying one. I guess it also helps that the Wii is pretty darn reliable as far as it's hardware. I know way to many 360 owners who have had to re-purchase at least one or more console since it's release, and that of course can boost your sales.