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View Full Version : Sony's PlayStation 2 Outpaces Xbox, GameCube.


Penance
07-06-2002, 03:55 AM
San Francisco, July 5 (Bloomberg) -- Sony Corp.'s sales of PlayStation 2 in North America more than doubled in May, outpacing sales of video-game machines made by rivals Microsoft Corp. and Nintendo Co., an industry report said.

Sony sold more than 520,000 of the machines in the U.S. and Canada, an increase of 315,200 from April, according to a report by NPD Group Inc. obtained by Bloomberg News. Sales of Microsoft's Xbox rose about 151,800 to 230,000. Nintendo sold 112,300 GameCube consoles, a gain of 30,300, according to the report, which is based on a survey of retailers.

All three video-game companies lowered the prices of their consoles in May, with Nintendo and Microsoft seeking to boost sales against PlayStation 2, the top-selling machine. Microsoft, whose sales of Xbox have fallen short of its forecasts, may lose more than $2 billion on the console by next June, said Brendan Barnicle, an analyst at Pacific Crest Securities.

``I don't think they are even going to break even on this one,'' said James Lin, an analyst who follows video-game software makers for Jefferies & Co. ``It's boot camp for Microsoft. They are going to learn as much as they can because the real battle will take place in the next cycle with PlayStation 3 and Xbox 2.''

Console makers aren't expected to begin releasing new machines before 2005.

Video-Game Sales

NPD spokesman Sean P. Dolan declined to comment on the data and the company didn't publicly release its report. The researcher compiles data on video-game sales and sells its reports to game and console makers, including Microsoft. Portions of the report were faxed to Bloomberg News by two video-game companies.

Microsoft spokeswoman Bridgitt Arnold declined to comment on the report.

Sales of video games and equipment totaled $9.4 billion in the U.S. last year, according to NPD, $1 billion more than consumers spent on tickets at movie theaters.

Microsoft lowered the price of the Xbox by $100 to $199, matching a cut the same week on PlayStation 2. Analysts say the Xbox costs more than $300 to produce because it contains a hard- disk drive and a built-in modem. Envisioneering Group, a market researcher and consultant, estimates that PlayStation 2 costs about $185 to build. Nintendo has said the GameCube costs $150 to make.

``The price cut is costing them more money, and I don't know how they will recover that, given that the price cut was only a blip on demand, not a permanent increase,'' Richard Doherty, research director at Envisioneering Group, said of Microsoft.

Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft's shares rose $2.38 to $54.85 today and have fallen 17 percent this year. Tokyo-based Sony's American depositary receipts rose $1.42 to $53.17. Nintendo, based in Kyoto, Japan, fell 190 yen to 16,600.

Price Reductions

Doherty surveyed retailers in the Northeastern U.S. and California. He said Xbox sales increased in the days after the price reduction, then returned to previous levels of about 3,000 to 5,000 consoles a week. Price cuts on Sony's PlayStation 2 and Nintendo's GameCube had a more lasting effect, he said.

Sony spokeswoman Monica Wik said PlayStation 2 sales haven't tapered off since the price cut. At an industry trade show in Los Angeles the week after the U.S. price reduction took effect, Kaz Hirai, the president of Sony's U.S. games unit, said PlayStation sales had risen as much as eightfold at some retailers.

PlayStation 2 went on sale more than a year before Xbox. It offers more than 500 game titles, about 10 times as many as can be played on the GameCube and Xbox combined. Lin of Jefferies & Co. expects sales of GameCube to accelerate this year when Nintendo releases ``Super Mario Sunshine'' and the latest edition of the ``Legend of Zelda'' series. GameCube is the lowest-price machine, retailing for about $150.

``It's not a console war at this point, it's a content war,'' Lin said.

Sales Expectations

Sony said it has shipped more than 30 million PlayStation 2 machines worldwide since they arrived in stores in March 2000 and expects sales to reach 50 million by the end of March. Microsoft in April said it expected to sell 3.5 million to 4 million Xbox machines in fiscal 2002, which ended last month, down from a prior forecast of as much as 6 million. The Xbox went on sale in November.

Nintendo had sold 3.8 million GameCubes by the end of March.

Microsoft plans to invest $2 billion over the next five years to improve Xbox, design a follow-up version and create a subscription-based service that will let users play games against each other on line. The world's biggest software maker is seeking to develop sales from products unrelated to the personal computer.

Microsoft is considering selling an Xbox that combines the ability to record and view television by using the machine's built- in hard-disk drive, said Doherty. That may increase costs by about $50 per Xbox.

``There's engineers looking at literally dozens of possibilities for the next phase of Xbox,'' said James Bernard, a spokesman for Microsoft. Bernard declined to comment on whether television recording is one of the features that may be added.


-Article. (http://search.bloomberg.com/fgcgi.cgi?T=marketsquote99_news.ht&s=APSX3dxTbU29ueSdz)

Thoughts?

Alucard
07-06-2002, 08:08 AM
Not too much to say really. Sony was lucky it got the jump start before Nintendo and Microsoft. So everyones been making games solely for them for ages now. First year for the other two consoles wont be anything amazing. Same as the PS2 was in its first year. Just means I need to own more then one console now to enjoy all the top games. Yes, even that trash console XBox.I must have my Panzer Dragoon Orta game.

Sega, Konami.. I'll follow you anywhere.

folken001
07-06-2002, 10:52 AM
Good Job, SONY. Make the evil MS go away!

Seriously, PS2 is kicking asses around. I am a little disappointed that Nintendo isn't doing as well but I am sure everything will change when it's famous 1st party games come along.

wunko
07-06-2002, 07:19 PM
Good thing I don't got an Xbox. I knew I'd be better off getting a PS2. Whew. :cool:

Rubeus
07-06-2002, 08:21 PM
Sony has to thank their fellows 3rd party developers like Konami, Square and Rockstar, without games like Grand Theft Auto 3, Final Fantasy X and Metal Gear Solid 2, PS2 wouldn't reach the same level of success as todays.

Seska
07-08-2002, 04:32 AM
Sony had a head start? Most consoles have that head start by the time new ones are released.

When PS3 is released, Gamecube will have had a long "head start" as well. I remeber when the PS2 was out, no decent games were made for it and everyone said the DC had the "head start", etc, etc. Its the law of the videogame industry. Older consoles have the head start. It has nothing to do with luck.

Sony, however, has an irritating habit of keeping that advantage even after the technically advanced consoles are released. PSX still sold like hotcakes even though far superior machines like the DC was out.

As the article reads somewhere, its not about console wars but content wars. And by this I dont mean exclusives either. Microsoft got a whole bunch of them, and Sony is still on top of the whole heap.

How will things look years down the line? PRobably Gamecube very close to PS2. And Xbox a mostly forgotten third. I might get it somewhere down the line next year, if only to play those exclusives. But a year down the line it will be the PS2 Ill still be mostly playing as a hell of a lot of RPGs are coming out on it, and those happen to be my kinda games.

FRDrizzt
07-10-2002, 11:25 PM
After half a year it was definately worth it to own a PS2. It didn't take a whole year like many say. There was an AAA title almost every month since April 2001. But I seriously doubt that any other system will come close to the PS2 in it's lifetime. It had a large headstart, and continues to outsell the competition each week. While there will be a few weeks where the competition may outsell it, they are only weeks, and the PS2 will regain its ground shortly afterwards.

Kid0_oIcarus
07-11-2002, 05:08 AM
I'm just glad the 'cube isn't last. I hope it does better, though.

Go little 'cube, GO! :P

PS2God
07-14-2002, 04:33 AM
The PS2 already won. I think we'll see some drastic changes by Nintendo and Microsoft becuase of this.

Kid0_oIcarus
07-15-2002, 04:18 PM
Won? Won what, exactly? Your money?

The only thing that should really matter is who loses.. because most likely they will go bye bye.. unless they can keep on losing money or make just enough to regroup later on..

Other than that.. you don't get a trophy or nothing for owning the console winning the console "race"

Vicviper
07-16-2002, 05:34 PM
Well Come this Holiday season I think things are going to change for Nintendo for the better. Hopefully for MS as well. This is currently a list of games that I will be purchasing this holiday season. BTW I have all 3 current systems.

PS2
Kingdom Hearts
Rygar

Xbox
Panzer Dragoon: ORTA
Toe Jam and Earl III
Tony Hawk 4(on Xbox because of music rip feature)
DOA volleyball(Just because)

GC
Mario Sunshine
Star Fox Adventures
Zelda(if available before 2003)
Metroid
Mario Party 4
1080: White Storm

There's more but this is around $600 in games and that is enough to start with. As you can see most of my frog skins are going to GC. And I would wager that a lot of other people will be in the same boat. We will find out come January when the sales charts for December are out.

Kid0_oIcarus
07-16-2002, 08:46 PM
Yes.. come December we will find out.. the only problem is how will we find out?? Press releases? Japanese console charts!?

eh. It doesn't really matter anyway.