Friday, October 27, 2006

Six Million XBox360s Sold, Good or Bad?

Microsoft has said in it's Quarterly Sales Figures Press Release that they have sold six million XBox360 consoles to date. But then there is a lot of debate on forums as to wither this is a good or bad thing, so I did a bit of research and compiled a list of all the home console generations since 1972.

Please note that the list below covers all consoles that I could find sales numbers for. There are many other consoles that have not been included on the list because I could not find sales figures for them. And portable systems have also been excluded because they are a different market and do not compete directly with home consoles.

Console Generation One
Odyssey - Units Sold ??
Winner of generation Magnavox Odyssey.

Console Generation Two
Atari 2600 - Units Sold 25 Million
ColecoVision - Units Sold 6 Million
Winner of generation Atari 2600.

Console Generation Three
Master System - Units Sold 13 Million
Nintendo Entertainment System - Units Sold 60 million
Winner of generation Nintendo Entertainment System.

Console Generation Four
Mega Drive - Units Sold 35 Million
Neo Geo - Units Sold 1 Million
Super Nintendo Entertainment System - Units Sold 49 Million
TurboGrafx-16 - Units Sold 5 Million
Winner of generation Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

Console Generation Five
3DO - Units Sold 6 Million
Jaguar - Units Sold 4.41 Million
N64 - Units Sold 32.93 Million
PlayStation - Units Sold 102.49 Million
Saturn - Units Sold 10 Million
Winner of generation Sony PlayStation.

Console Generation Six
Dreamcast - Units Sold 10.2 Million
GameCube - Units Sold 21.2 Million
PlayStation2 - Units Sold 111.25 Million
XBox - Units Sold 24 Million
Winner of generation Sony PlayStation2.

Console Generation Seven
PlayStation3 - Units Sold so far 0 Million
Wii - Units Sold so far 0 Million
XBox360 - Units Sold so far 6 Million
Winner of generation ??

Microsoft said that they would sell 10 million 360s by now, but have only sold 6 million. This suggests that things are bad, but the average console sales unit of all the generations is between 24 (discounting Sony) and 30 million. And if Microsoft sells six million 360 units per year for the next five years they will have done ok and much better than the XBox did.

I believe that unlike when the PS2 launched early, a lot of people have held back buying a console this generation because of the big question marks surrounding the Wii and PS3. Who both have fairly weak launch lineups (who doesn't). So to answer the question as to wither 6 million is good or bad, well it's average as long as Microsoft doesn't sell more or less than they did this year in future years. But while doing this research I have learned that people don't like buying games consoles. Instead they seem to see it as a necessary evil in order to play the games they want.
Good games = good console sales.

Additional: Microsoft have said that they are still on track to sell 10 million by the end of the year. I think it's possible, but they still have a way to go.