I'm not sure what Sony's plan in this fight is. They slightly missed their goal of 2 million PS3s shipped by the end of 2006, then got scared and changed their prediction of 6 million PS3 shipments by the end of March to just 4.5 million shipments instead. Since then, Nintendo has continued to fall behind the voracious demand for their Wii console, and have achieved a substantial early lead over the PS3.
There's talk that Nintendo already reached 6 million console shipments, but if demand is really that high, then the number of shipments should equal the number of sales, and according to VGCharts they're still a little short of their six million goal. It also lists Sony at barely beyond the 2 million PS3 sales it reached in January.
How about that chart of videogame console sales? Here it is, and it's pretty rough.
There's a couple-week lag between shipment and sale, due to the boat time. There's plenty of anecdotal evidence that the 360 is only at about 8-9M sold right now.
Nintendo seems to have hit this one out of the ballpark. And Sony has managed to do the unthinkable. This is gonna be one for the business schools, next chapter after "new coke".
Sorry, "sold to consumers". All three manufacturers consider a system "sold" when it's bought by the middleman, so MS considers the systems in best buy's warehouses and on the floor to be "sold", which is true from their point of view, but is not the definition of "sold"="in the trunk heading home" that is commonly assumed.
For Nintendo, the lag between "sold to middleman", which is basically when it leaves their warehouse in Seattle on a best buy truck, is very close to "in somebody's trunk heading home". Not so for Sony or Microsoft.
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