Nintendo sold almost a million video game systems in the short month of February according to NPD sales data released yesterday. To put that into perspective, Nintendo systems made up 54% of all hardware sales in February, more than all other manufacturers combined. Their DS handheld was the top selling platform at 485K units, followed by the Wii with 335K units. Sony’s impressive 7-year old PS2 outsold Microsoft’s 1-year old Xbox 360 by 295K to 228K units, and Nintendo’s 6-year old Game Boy Advance outsold Sony’s newly launched PS3 136K to 127K units. Really.
What does it all mean? It means that Nintendo is well on its way to becoming the number one video game manufacturer again for the second time after an 11 year trouncing by Sony. It also means Sony’s PS3 is struggling more than initially perceived, though the company would have you believe revenue is more important than profits or the pursuit of securing a healthy install base for latter profits which is standard in the console business. “The PlayStation brand remained the number-one revenue driver for the month in the industry owning 38.5% of total sales,” Sony said in a statement following the news.
But it’s not just Sony that has to worry says analyst Jeetil Patel in speaking with Game Daily. “Particularly disappointing is Xbox 360 hardware sales of 230K in February, which puts its installed base at 5 million or in-line to the original Xbox which was an unproven console and faced substantial competition from the PS2.” Even still, Patel called an early PS3 price drop “critical,” though highly-unlikely.
Whatever happens in the coming months, the industry is booming. February hardware sales were up a whopping 53% over last year, while software sales were 20% higher.
UPDATE: We erroneously added an extra zero to million. Fixed. Thanks AK.