By : John Latchem | Posted: 08 Dec 2009
Black Friday sales of Sony’s PlayStation 3 should translate to fourth-quarter growth for the global video game console market, according to iSuppli Corp. Such a development would mark the first time the market has expanded on a year-over-year basis in 2009.
Global video game console shipments are set to rise to 24.6 million units in the fourth quarter of 2009, up 5.2% from 23.4 million during the same period in 2008. This follows declines of 2.1% in the first quarter, 35.7% in the second quarter and 10.9% in the third quarter.
“Sony’s PlayStation 3 sales reached an all-time high during the week of Black Friday as consumers were attracted by its new low pricing and alluring bundle deals,” said Pamela Tufegdzic, consumer electronics analyst for iSuppli.
Sony indicated 440,000 PS3 consoles were sold in the United States during the week of Nov. 29, a record for the product and nearly double from a year earlier. In the past few months, Sony redesigned the PS3 console and dropped the price from $399 to $299. Sony also is selling the PS3 in bundles with a variety of games, as well as in bundles with Sony HDTVs, promoting the console’s Blu-ray capabilities. The versatility of the PS3 has been highlighted in an aggressive marketing campaign during the holiday season, with increased advertising on television, newspapers and the Internet.
In comparison, Nintendo Wii sales, while still outpacing the PS3, were down year-over-year during the Black Friday week, from 800,000 in 2008 to about 550,000 in 2009, according to Nintendo.
The big driver for Wii sales was gaming titles, particularly the new Super Mario Bros. Wii, which is estimated to have sold over half a million units in its second week of release. Other popular titles for Wii include Wii Sports Resort, Wii Fit Plus and Mario Kart Wii. Will also experienced a price drop from $249.99 to $199.99, helping to prolong its popularity.
Microsoft did not report sales data from the Black Friday week, but the company had offered a number of bundle deals to promote interest in its Xbox 360.
Despite the strong fourth quarter, global game console sales shipments will still be down about 6.7% this year, from 55.2 million units in 2008 to 51.6 million in 2009.