Sony PS3 Sales Choke Nintendo Wii Back On Top

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Sales of Sony’s new slim PS3 console have faltered with the Nintendo Wii now back on top according to new global research from NPD.

Launched in September after Sony slashed the cost of the device by $200, the Japanese Company has now resorted to giving away thousands of the units with their Bravia TV’s in an effort to bolster sales.

Just after the slim new Sony console was launched, demand for the Sony offering surged in Australia, with Sony, for a brief period, hitting the lead ahead of Nintendo with their Wii and Microsoft with their Xbox 360.

 And while the PS3 outsold Microsoft’s Xbox 360 in October after the introduction of the lower-priced $499 PS3, Nintendo’s Wii is now back on top with analysts tipping that it will stay there during the all important Xmas sales period.

Nintendo who chose not to discount their offering, but instead value the Nintendo Wii with additional games is also set to launch new games in the run up to Xmas.

According to the latest NPD data, the Nintendo Wii was ahead of the PS3 by 300,000 units. Sales of games fell 18 percent in October from the same period last year.

The only good news for Sony, who had taken up the #3 slot behind the Nintendo Wii and the Xbox 360 for the bulk of the year, is that the Playstation was the only system to realize a year-over-year sales increase, jumping 18 percent from 190k in October 2008 to 321k last month. The Xbox 360 and Wii decreased most, dropping 33 percent and 37 percent respectively.

 

Sony PS3 sales for the year, were 186,000 units lower than Nintendo’s Wii console, with the Xbox 360 lagging another 71,000. Microsoft did contribute the most sales when it came to combined sales of hardware, software and peripherals, but they only just, edged out the PS3’s combined sales at 27% percent to 26%.

U.S. video game sales dropped 19% in October from a year ago, to $1.07 billion, continuing a recent downward trend that will likely lead to slightly lower annual sales figures than 2008, according to a report from market research firm NPD Group. Overall sales this year so far are down 13%, to $11.43 billion, and are likely to reach $20-$21 billion, below 2008’s $21.3 billion total

. “The continued economic turmoil, and in particular the troubling unemployment rate, is undoubtedly impacting industry sales,” said NPS analyst Anita Frazier. “If consumers’ personal outlook continues to erode, they could very well be much more conservative with their holiday shopping this year.”

Hardware sales were down 23% from last October, to $380.7 million; the Nintendo Wii led with 506,900 unit sales, followed by the Sony PlayStation 3 (320,600 units); Microsoft  Xbox 360 (249,700); and PlayStation 2 (117,800).

The Nintendo DS also sold 457,600 units, while Sony sold 174,600 PSP handhelds.

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