Xbox 360 growth under 1% in the US last year, PS3 up 22%

Friday, 15th January 2010 13:34 GMT By Patrick Garratt


Microsoft struggled to find positive growth with 360 hardware sales in America last year, with numbers flat as a pancake compared to 2008.

Following the release of full-year NPD data last night, we can now see that 360 sales rose only 0.74 percent in 2009, up to 4,770,700 units sold from 4,735,560 in 2008.

By comparison, PS3 sales finally gathered pace in 2009, thanks to the introduction of PS3 Slim and a price cut, both announced at gamescom in August. In 2008, Sony sold 3,544,800 units of the machine in the US, rising a substantial 22.28% to 4,334,500 last year.

The 2009 race between Sony and Microsoft in the US ended neck-and-neck, with PS3 being beaten by 360 by only 436,200 consoles over the 12 months.

Sony’s machine made a final surge to actually beat 360 in the key December sales period, despite just losing in the annual total race to the Microsoft console.

Let’s look at some graphs. Why not? Here’s 360 versus PS3 in 2008:


And here’s the same story in 2009:


Analysts are already pointing to price cuts for both consoles in 2010, with Microsoft sure to make a major play with the Natal’s release towards the end of the year.

Sorry for the shabbiness of the graphs. We’ll get mart to make them next time.



  1. Blerk

    Like I said before, Microsoft need to try a lot harder this year. They sort of coasted along last year and with Sony trying much harder and doing much better that’s just not going to cut it any more.

    #1 5 years ago
  2. Patrick Garratt

    I was actually quite surprised when I put that together. They’re very lucky they didn’t go negative.

    #2 5 years ago
  3. Eregol

    No pie charts?

    #3 5 years ago
  4. Patrick Garratt

    Hang on. I’ll make some.

    #4 5 years ago
  5. Detale

    Mmm, pie.

    #5 5 years ago
  6. Patrick Garratt

    Actually, I don’t have time. I’ll do some next time. I sincerely apologise.

    #6 5 years ago
  7. JonFE

    Suits both of them well actually!

    Sony played it smart last year, releasing PS3slim and some decent exclusives, while Microsoft kind of left things on auto-pilot.

    #7 5 years ago
  8. deftangel

    That’s the point though, Microsoft did sit on their hands this year and coast along. It’s been evident since E3 they were content to ride out the rest of the year and get more aggressive in 2010. I think they’ll be pretty happy to have not sustained any critical damage over the last six months.

    #8 5 years ago
  9. Doc Robotnik

    Erm… why is no-one stating the obvious here?

    Microsoft had a year’s head start on the PS3, meaning that like-for-like stats are next to useless. You need to look at the console’s ‘nth’ year on sale, and see how comparative the growth is.

    #9 5 years ago
  10. Eregol

    @9 Very good point.
    Anyone got the year on year stats for each console?

    #10 5 years ago
  11. Tonka

    This year will be farcical with MS and Sony launching motion controll minigame compilations and everyone else doing NSMB rip offs. Then to top it all off Nintendo will release that weird finger sensor with some Zen game.

    Year of the Tiger

    #11 5 years ago
  12. Eregol

    Well, we’ve got Alan Wake (apparently), Gran Turismo 5 (apparently) and God of War 3. So it’s not a total loss.
    Oh, and FFXIII.

    #12 5 years ago
  13. deftangel

    I’m sure it’ll be on GAF somewhere but it won’t be as instructive as you might think because the reality is,until this year the systems have been at different price points.

    Xbox’s US lead last year was about 7m, this year it’s about the same so comparative growth Xbox is well ahead. That doesn’t really speak very much for 2010 though.

    Personally speaking, I expect the two to sell similar amounts until September / November at which point it depends on Natal and how aggressive Microsoft are. If it works as advertised and they ship a Natal bundle at $199 then it’ll change things.

    Otherwise you got two similar looking boxes, with similar looking games at similar looking price points. It’s not rocket science to suggest they might sell about the same.

    #13 5 years ago
  14. Blerk

    It’s kind of amusing to see Sony and Microsoft on the verge of launching casual-friendly motion-controllers just as the third-parties have decided that there’s no money in casual-friendly motion-controller software and are going back to concentrating on normal 360/PS3 stuff. :-D

    #14 5 years ago
  15. Alakratt

    @ Blerk

    I get your point, but who knows? Maybe releasing casual games (or maybe hardcore games) using motion controls on the “hardcore” consoles might be different and prove successful.

    #15 5 years ago
  16. OrphanageExplosion

    So even with its massive growth, the PS3 still sold fewer units overall, or at best as many as 360? I guess on the flipside that is a pretty decent achievement for a more expensive piece of kit.

    #16 5 years ago
  17. Michael O’Connor

    All this proves is what we’ve always known. Consumers care about the games, not the console.

    Bring the games, and they shall come. Sony really pushed out some big hitting titles last year, and Microsoft… well… didn’t. Mind you, Microsoft did admit in 2008 that 2009 would be a difficult year to capture, but they seem to be stepping up their game this year with some big console exclusives.

    Should make for an interesting year. Having them both neck and neck isn’t a bad thing.

    #17 5 years ago
  18. Blerk

    The PS3′s growth appears massive because it underperformed so much the year before. It wasn’t until they’d got the machine and the price right (or ‘better’, at least) that things really kicked off.

    That’s not to say that Microsoft should be pleased with themselves.

    #18 5 years ago
  19. NiceFellow

    Good year for PS3 is US vs previous years but it’s clear the console is still struggling to overcome the incumbent base the 360 has there now.

    360 I thought had an average year that would have looked worse had they not secured (which I’m presuming cost them some money) such good MW2 bundles plus some terrific deals with certain retailers.

    Wii sales show the more casual audience remains huge, so even with developers struggling with it I expect Sony and MS to remain committed to their strategies with regard to that demographic. Sony to recapture it as they had it with PS2 and MS to try and gain some for the first time.

    #19 5 years ago
  20. Eregol

    When’s FFXIII vs out?
    If it’s this year expect a massive PS3 spike in Japan.

    #20 5 years ago
  21. Blerk

    There’s no date for Versus yet. And I’m not sure we’ll see another massive spike – surely all the FF fans would’ve bought a PS3 for vanilla XIII?

    #21 5 years ago
  22. No_PUDding

    I expect Microsoft will do a lot better this year.

    There’s not chnace there will be Halo AND Gears (that would just be stifling their own market). But I am sure there will be more than just Halo.

    And Sony, we just have no clue. Something from Insomniac.

    First part of the year for both companies is sorted.

    #22 5 years ago
  23. Eregol

    You only have to look at the sales spike on the PSP caused by the new Kingdon hearts game to realise Japan could quite easily get another spike when another big rpg is released. Especially if it’s a PS3 exclusive.

    Spikes occured for FFXIII and even Winning Eleven. FFXIII Versus could easily do it again.

    #23 5 years ago
  24. The Hindle

    Ps3 will see a sales leap in the Usa when Gow 3 comes out, the franchise is quite big over there.

    #24 5 years ago
  25. Blerk

    A spike, yeah – but not a massive one, Eregol. I wouldn’t have thought, anyway. Who knows? :-D

    #25 5 years ago
  26. Eregol

    Well, how much was the PSP selling in Japan before this week?
    Then all of a sudden *BOOM* 145,000 units fly out.

    Even if the Go did sell shit.

    #26 5 years ago
  27. Blerk

    105,801 the week before. :-)

    #27 5 years ago
  28. Patrick Garratt

    Talking of spikes, see that big PS3 bump in the middle of 2008? That’s Metal Gear, that is.

    #28 5 years ago
  29. The Hindle

    Id imagine Sony will be getting Hideo kojima to make them a new game then

    #29 5 years ago
  30. Michael O’Connor

    “Id imagine Sony will be getting Hideo kojima to make them a new game then”

    Like… say… Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker?

    #30 5 years ago
  31. The Hindle

    I meant Ps3 lol

    #31 5 years ago
  32. Michael O’Connor

    Looking at this charts, I never realised just how much the holidays do in fact have an impact on how many consoles are bought. The sales for the holidays easily eclipse the *entire* sales of each console over every month in the rest of the year *combined*.

    #32 5 years ago
  33. mington

    @28 Thats it exactly, people haven’t been buyiing ps3 as theres been no games worth buying one for

    i’ve only recently got one, and only because gow3 is coming up, and i’ve already managed to play through all the games worth playing on the system

    uncharted 2
    metal gear solid 4
    valkyria chronicles (half way through)
    kill zone 2 (played half hated it)
    (are there any others i don’t know about)

    expect a spike with god3 innit

    expect this all to change when more exclusive games worth there salt start appearing on the system

    ffXIII vs

    #33 5 years ago
  34. Goliath

    Well I’ll go ahead and state the obvious; the PS3 had no where to go but up. The numbers are all relative. With almost no major exclusive releases in 2009, Microsoft managed to equal last year’s output. If you look at the raw numbers, even with its vaunted lineup and price cut, Sony didn’t have a better year than Microsoft, they had a better year than they did the year before and that isn’t really an accomplishment since the console performed way below expectations the previous year.

    #34 5 years ago
  35. OlderGamer


    I think the market is too regionalized and segmented to look at it that way.

    The xb360 in JP never sold and never will.

    In Euro the PS3 will likly outsell the 360 by a narrow margin.

    In the US the PS3 will be last, and the xb360 will hang onto its lead hardwarewise and will maintain a healthy lead softwarewise too.

    It doesn’t disccount any region or lessen the fact that the numbers may very well be dead even when it is all said and done.

    Another thing that I believe often gets over looked in these type of chats is the fact that this hardware generation isn’t going to last forever. MS and Nintendo will most likliy be sporting new hardware and showing it off in one or two years, and selling in two to three years from now. I do not see trends reversing anytime soon. Even if PS3 continues to pick up, do you expect the xbox360 sales to suddenly stop? Is Nintendo going to stop making Wiis anytime soon? Nope and nope.

    People that like to say the xbox had a one year head start, what does that mean? Not much really. The gap is 6million units. Thats a healthy gap. I expect it to close. But it doesn’t mean anything. And it won’t happen overnite. It just means that each system sold about evenly. How is even sales a win for Sony? Its just silly.

    Would you like to talk software?

    Look I am glad both systems are doing well. I own em both. But neither one will win this gen. They are fighting over second, thrid if ya count the DS sales. All I am saying is don’t make too much of stuff like this. Don’t get carried away. In the end it really doesn’t change anything. Being first, second, or last doesn’t change the way the games are played. It doesn’t magicly make them more or less fun. It is what it is. An attention grabing headline.

    #35 5 years ago
  36. DeSpiritusBellum

    Goliath said it. Sooner or later you’re gonna hit the ceiling. The fact that the Xbox maintains its sales in spite of having been out for more than three years speaks of a pretty sound platform to me.

    I never had much faith in the more lavish consoles personally, it didn’t pay off for Sony, and the ugliest, most unassuming console has been dominating the market from day one, so the fact that the updated Xbox Elite isn’t raising the bar, at least not yet, isn’t surprising to me in the least.

    It’s gonna be interesting to see if people are gonna like the new Xbox Wii (Sorry, “Natal”) and how far Microsoft are going to go in upgrading the box by then.

    Sony are trying to get back in the game in a big way, and that’s gonna be very interesting, but having broken pretty much every paradigm of common business sense for the better part of a decade, I’d say it’s about time they stopped the madness and started moving some consoles.

    #36 5 years ago
  37. reask

    I reckon OG pretty much nailed it.

    #37 5 years ago
  38. sg1974

    “Thats it exactly, people haven’t been buyiing ps3 as theres been no games worth buying one for”

    How do people still get away with this childish rubbish? I dont own a Ps3 (never owned any console – PC FTW) but even I see that statement as utter nonsense.


    The PS3 will end up miles ahead of 360 in europe, not a narrow margin. It is already about level after launching what 18 months later? You reckon a launch lead is irlevant but thats just ridiculous: the 360 had between a year and year and a half of sales unchallenged, that headstart is not relevent? And anyway PS3 is now selling much, much better every month in PAL and will probably finish as far ahead in EU as it will be behind 360 in US. Only in UK is the 360 holding on in EU.

    #38 5 years ago
  39. Michael O’Connor

    In the end, does it really matter though?

    Lets just enjoy the awesome games.

    #39 5 years ago
  40. zoopdeloop

    Microsoft need to concentrate on games and not being too cocky all the time…
    Sony was like that and they went downhill, now they’re settling down.
    If Microsoft continues on this path of aggresion without actually concentrating on games they will follow the same “fate”

    #40 5 years ago

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