As expected, the Big 3 responds to the fresh NPD results for April, where Nintendo's DS handheld took in a whopping one million hardware sales, exceeding all other platforms' sales combined.
Let's hear it first from the winner of this month's leg of the race. Cammie Dunaway speaks for Nintendo of America as the company's VP of sales and marketing: "Nintendo systems and software represented 56 percent of the industry total shares in April, indicating continued strong consumer preference for quality and value."
Breaking down the 1.04 million DS units sold, it turns out that 827,000 of these were DSi; this new number now makes the DS' US life-to-date sales break the 30 million mark. Six of the top ten selling games for April were also Nintendo first party titles.
And then there's Microsoft. For their part, they hammered on the fact that Xbox 360 sales went up 28 on year on year for the first four months of 2009, describing it as "the highest growth of any console games this year. Plus, three of the top ten selling games were from them.
Sales of third party games on Xbox 360, and a key measure of platform health, hit US 98 million in April, more than any other system. Xbox 360 is also home to the most top-rated games of any current-generation console, with 139 titles earning a score of 80 or above on Metacritic, while no other console has even 100 such titles.
Last but not least, there's Sony. In all fairness, the PS numbers weren't all that far off from the other contenders (non-Nintendo = Microsoft). The PS2 fell behind the Xbox 360 by a mere 3,000 units, while the PS3 fell behind by 50,000. The PSP sold 116,000, making it the last in the list.
So what do they have to say about the numbers? They've got great non-gaming features, plus incoming great software releases. Patrick Seybold, SCEA reacts:
We often hear from our customers that they are surprised by everything the PS3 does in addition to what they purchased the device for - including features like DLNA, free access to Wi Fi and Internet browser. In some ways, this serves as a reminder that there's more we can do to relay the breadth and power of the PS3.
We're revving up the new fiscal year with a broad tent of content and services across our platforms with envelope-pushing games like inFamous, MAG, and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves... We've outlined our most aggressive marketing plans to help showcase this tremendous value proposition to all our consumers. We've got a proven history in delivering the best entertainment experience and there is no doubt the PlayStation brand is staged for another big year.
Here comes the opinion bit of this article:
It's actually surprising how the most powerful console turns out to be the most "underrated" one, in my opinion. I am no fangirl of any particular console, but I do believe in the unparalleled power of the PS3. So what's stopping it from taking off and soaring high?
My personal answer to that would be its inaccessibility. If only Sony will listen to the industry - the analysts, opinion-makers, especially the fans - and give them that much coveted price cut, I'm sure they can turn these numbers around.
But alas, Sony is being stubborn, clinging on to their repertoire that their features make the price of the console totally worth it. But what they have to realize is that the issue is not whether the PS3's features give the consumers the value for their money, but whether these "worth it" features can, at a practical level, be afforded by them at an economic time as volatile as now.
Until Sony takes this factor to consideration - and to heart - Sony and its supporters will be at a standstill, and the PS3 numbers will still be under-performing.
Then again, that's just me. What do you guys think?
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