NPD to date for 2008: Wii whitewashes while 360 and PS3 thrash it out

Sunday, 17 August 2008 12:01 GMT By Mike


In the wake of July’s NPD figures, we thought we’d look at just how well the ‘big three’ have fared over the last seven months by tallying all hardware data for 2008.

We all know Nintendo is having a fantastic year, but just how well is Wii doing?

Microsoft and Sony are fighting their own high-def battle, but how big is the margin between the two, and who has the lead?

After the drop.

Back in February, “Big” Jack Tretton announced that this was the year of the PS3, and if it wasn’t for Wii he may well have been right.

The Mario machine has certainly lived up to its E3 promise of making people smile, moving 4,038,000 units so far this year.

Wii’s success isn’t the only reason Nintendo’s smiling like a Cheshire cat this year: DS has sold 3,795,400 machines so far in 2008, making Nintendo’s total hardware tally for the US 7,833,400.

By comparison, Sony’s three-pronged attack of PS3, PS2 (no Jan 2008 sales figures are available, oddly) and PSP, has achieved 4,705,000 unit sales in total.

Xbox 360 sales figures have remained steady since January, but have always rested near the 200,000 mark. Total 360 sales for the year come in at a relatively paltry 1,560,800 units.

This figure puts Microsoft’s console firmly at the bottom of the next-gen pile. In fact, if we take every device into consideration, Microsoft’s great green hope has sold just over 400,000 more than PS2, and that’s without January’s figure for the last-gen Sony machine included.

As we’re fast approaching the Christmas period, and with so many big titles from all three consoles – most markedly from Sony and Microsoft – the most pertinent question in the US market is whether or not the Nintendo train can be derailed in any meaningful way.

Sony is pushing LittleBigPlanet hard, with the company wanting Sackboy to become an “emblematic character” for the brand. There’s also the mouth-watering Resistance 2 and Motorstorm: Pacific Rift to look forward to in the last quarter of this year.

Microsoft is betting heavily this autumn on Epic’s Gears of War 2, a Rare duo of Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise and Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts, and Lionhead’s atmospheric Fable II.

While all the above look fantastic, it remains to be seen if these high profile titles will be preaching to the converted or they’ll have the power to turn onlookers into new customers. Will they encourage the nearly 5 million Wii owners to choose a PS3 or 360 as their second console?

The only ‘AAA’ Wii titles confirmed as hitting US shores before Yuletide are Wii Music, Animal Crossing: City Folk, Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquillity and Star Wars: Clone Wars Lightsaber Duels. While it looks like an anorexic line-up, Wii Music alone is likely to secure success for the machine this Holiday.

But Christmas is months away. Who’s “winning” in America so far this year?

NPD Hardware for 2008

  1. Wii: 4,038,000
  2. NDS: 3,795,400
  3. PS3: 1,833,000
  4. PSP: 1,704,200
  5. 360: 1,560,800
  6. PS2: 1,168,500

By Mike Bowden