Sony's PS3 at 13M Worldwide15 May, 2008 By: Chris Tribbey
The next-generation console war took a new turn May 14, with both Microsoft and Sony making noise about sales of their respective consoles.
In a fiscal fourth quarter financial call, Sony announced that 9.24 million PlayStation 3s had been sold worldwide in the fiscal year ended March 31, with another 10 million expected to be sold in this fiscal year. Worldwide, nearly 13 million PS3s have been sold.
“PS3 sales in the first half of the fiscal [year] did not meet our expectations,” said Sam Levenson, SVP of investor relations for Sony. “But after the introduction of the new model and a reduction in the sales price last fall, the expansion of the platform reached the new level in Japan, the U.S. and Europe.”
Not to be outdone, Microsoft issued a press release announcing it had sold more than 10 million Xbox 360s in the United States, the first next-generation gaming system to break that mark here. There have been 19 million 360s sold worldwide.
“This year will be the largest in the history of the video game industry, with Xbox 360 leading the charge in the U.S. and abroad,” said Don Mattrick, SVP of the interactive entertainment business in the entertainment and devices division at Microsoft. “History has shown us that the first company to reach 10 million in console sales wins the generation battle. We are uniquely positioned to set a new benchmark for the industry.”
Both the 360 and PS3 are playing second fiddle to Nintendo, which has sold 25 million Wii systems worldwide.
Also during Sony's fiscal fourth quarter financial call, Levenson said DVD sales were up for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, and Nobuyuki Oneda, EVP and CFO for Sony, said for the next fiscal year, the company plans on selling 7 million standalone Blu-ray Disc players.
“In terms of home video, Sony Pictures has done very well,” said Robert Wiesenthal, EVP and CFO of Sony Corporation of America. “We had about a 23% increase over the prior year in catalog, which was the highest increase in the industry. Overall however, for the year the industry was slightly down. It continues to be driven by new releases and pricing on catalog is still a challenge as you can see every Sunday in your local newspaper at Best Buy and Circuit City.”
He noted that, while Blu-ray is only a small part of sales compared to DVD, for new releases it can be “as high as 13%.”
“New releases are obviously an extremely important part of Blu-ray, but we are now actually starting to see classics, remastered catalog, that seem to be doing very well too,” Wiesenthal said.