Global PS3 sales rise to 33.5 million, gap narrows on 360

Thursday, 4th February 2010 08:36 GMT By Patrick Garratt


Sony’s 6.5 million PS3 unit sales in the Christmas quarter have taken the machine to a global total of 33.5 million consoles sold, now merely 5.5 million units behind Microsoft’s last announced global 360 figure of 39 million.

Sony maintained its target for 13 million machines sold in the current fiscal year today, with the total for the nine months ending December 31 standing at 10.8 million units.

Assuming Sony hits its goal, it will have achieved a third straight annual unit sale increase. It moved 3.5 million PS3s in FY06, rising to 9.1 in FY07 and then to 10.1 in FY08.

Sony said this morning that it sold 6.5 million PS3s in the three months ending December 31, a rise of almost 45 percent over the previous year.

The gap between PS3 and 360 on a global level is now closing. Microsoft said at CES last month that 39 million 360s have been sold globally.

The figure was an update on passing the 30 million milestone announced at the end of May 2009.

SCEA’s Peter Dille said only yesterday that the company is “very confident” its console will pass Microsoft’s this generation.

Recent figures support Dille’s chest-puffing. Year-end NPD numbers showed US 360 growth basically flattened in 2009, while PS3 moved forward over 20 percent on the back of a hardware revision and price cut.

Microsoft said in July last year it had sold 11.2 million consoles in its FY09 – ending June 30 – compared to 8.7 million in the previous 12 months.



  1. Newbie101

    Wow, that’s pretty close. So it really is only a matter of time I guess….

    #1 5 years ago
  2. alimokrane

    I have actually a question about this:

    Do MS, Nintendo, Sony release shipped numbers ? Sold to Retailers numbers or Sold to Customers numbers ? Making the difference between these THREE is kye here!

    #2 5 years ago
  3. Patrick Garratt

    The Sony figures are “Worldwide Hardware Unit Sales”. The 360 figure is just “sold worldwide”, although I don’t know what Ballmer’s specific wording was at CES. I suspect would have been just “sold”, though.

    #3 5 years ago
  4. Mike

    Imo, hardware sales only really matter in terms of games. i.e. if a console is selling badly, then less games are going to be optimised for it.

    However, considering “most” of the games that people in the West like are made in the West for a Western audience, the only figures that really matter are European and US. So, what I’m saying is, is take Japan out of the equation for both consoles and what are you left with? If it’s just as close, then that’s a real sign of how well Sony is doing, imo.

    PlayStation was always going to outsell 360 hand over fist in the East. A total no-brainer.

    #4 5 years ago
  5. lochnesssnowman


    All three manufacturers report ‘sold to retail’ numbers in their financial reports now. It’s worth waiting on Microsoft’s Q2 financials to make a direct comparison. Sony switched over from factory totals a couple of years back.

    #5 5 years ago
  6. Patrick Garratt

    @5 – Ta.

    #6 5 years ago
  7. PolyGoneWithTheWind

    If you put any product into retail (including games consoles) – you are always very well aware of sell-in but sell-through (from retailer to customer) is always pretty cloudy. Retailers sometimes will deliberately deflate or inflate their sell-through figures to obtain better price-breaks from manufacturers/suppliers. There is no cast iron way for any manufactururer to know with 100% certainty what they have actually sold through and what has been sold to a retailer and is currently sitting in their warehouse for category management purposes.

    Unlike the PS3 who use the “slim” refresh as a way of “clearing channel”, the Xbox can remain pretty static and who knows for sure if they are in people’s homes’s, broken in a dustbin or in a retailers warehouse.

    #7 5 years ago
  8. PolyGoneWithTheWind

    What I’m saying is that these figures are always slightly vague because they have absolutely no way for sure of counting sell-through sales. Sorry for blathering on!

    #8 5 years ago
  9. Psychotext

    It’s a fair point Poly, but it tends to even out over time.

    #9 5 years ago
  10. Bulk Slash

    As long as 360 sales don’t suddenly drop, I can’t see Sony catching up for at least 3 more years based on current rates, and by that time I would imaging we’ll all be too busy listening to arguments over Xbox720 sales vs PS4.

    I think if Microsoft are smart they will reconsider not releasing a slim 360, as hardware refreshes always reignite interest in the platform and generate more publicity than simple price cuts. Maybe the rumours of an updated 360 with Natal built in will prove to be true?

    #10 5 years ago
  11. PolyGoneWithTheWind

    exactly psychotext – there is no point in obsessing over it as it makes naff all difference in the long run.

    MS will probably hold back on all hardware refrehses this generation – if they are smart (which they no doubt are) – they will make announcements as PS3 hits early-decay stage to tease out 720 news/future of consoles etc… Try to spoil PS3′s open-market opportunity in early 2011.

    #11 5 years ago
  12. Psychotext

    “Maybe the rumours of an updated 360 with Natal built in will prove to be true?”

    There’s only one way there’s going to be a 360 with Natal built in… and that’s if it’s bundled. Unless you think it’s a good idea to have to put your console in a place where the hardmounted camera can see the room? :D

    #12 5 years ago
  13. sg1974

    I dont believe that the Slim refresh made a difference to people willingness to buy a PS3. It was the price cut that got more people buying a PS3. and MS have had some of those too.

    #13 5 years ago
  14. JonFE

    Assuming these figures are accurate and that the x360 had a reportedly head-start of 6 million units when the PS3 launched, it has taken Sony 3 years to narrow the gap by merely 500.000 units; well, excuse me, but that’s not something to write home about…

    #14 5 years ago
  15. sg1974

    But Sony launched a super-expensive console up against a console already in 6+ million homes and in popular conciouscness. They then spent two years barely trying to advertise it. 360 launched against an ancient PS2 and had a free HD ride for 12-18 months. I’d say Sony have done well. and, seeing what has happened as the PS3 gets closer to 360 in price I think that also shows that those who talk of 360 being way ahead and never to be caught need to stop writing home so much too.

    And remember, its only US which is keeping 360 ahead. in PAL (18 head start I think for MS) their neck and neck and in Japan, well….you know.

    #15 5 years ago
  16. JonFE

    Even if the PS3 manages to outsell the x360 by 1 million units *per year* from now on, it will take it 5 more years to catch up.

    Do you honestly see yourself caring about either of these consoles in 5 years time?

    #16 5 years ago
  17. PolyGoneWithTheWind

    PS3 will overtake Xbox 360 a lot sooner than 5 years time, I am going to be brave and say by Xmas 2010 unless Natal proves to be the hit with 28-40 yr old mass audience that they hope it to be.

    But, MS will be happy as they will still be the most profitable, not down to Live revenues, but because they will have a lower install base but have a greater tie-ratio. More games will be sold as volume on Xbox 360 than PS3. All those 5%’s are relatively “pure” profit.

    #17 5 years ago
  18. Psychotext

    There’s no way it could outsell it by xmas 2010. The 360 would need to pretty much stop selling.

    (You know, I’ve heard the same thing said in 2008 and 2009 so it’s only right that people would say the same this year!)

    #18 5 years ago
  19. Newbie101

    At present, the PS3 is outselling the 360 by 50%, worldwide, every month. And that’s without GT5!

    #19 5 years ago
  20. The Hindle

    By all counts Sony should not be in this generation still what with how they messed it up at the start. Its impressive they are starting to catch. It will be good when GOw 3 comes out as its bound to sell a few consoles.

    #20 5 years ago
  21. Psychotext

    Frankly, anyone that counted out the PS3 on its early performance was an idiot. It was always going to outsell the 360 over the long haul, not least because you don’t go from 150m consoles sold to next to nothing, no matter how much you screw up. Especially when you’re willing to lose $4.5bn to ensure your machine keeps selling.

    Sony’s only real problem now is that they moved the date of the slim up by too much. It should have come later in the cycle to sure up long term sales, but it’s not like they had a great deal of choice. They badly needed the relaunch.

    #21 5 years ago
  22. Len

    Really Newbie101…?

    I thought it was 60%, at least that’s what it says on this bit of paper I found on the floor just now!?!?!!?

    #22 5 years ago
  23. Gheritt White

    What caused the massive leap in Sony sales? A price cut, stellar Xmas line-up and – above all – a re-designed, slimline hardware SKU that was the focus of a marketing re-launch campaign.

    What do you think MS are planning *right now*? Reduced price point? Check. Stellar Q4 line-up? Check. Expect the X360 slim announced at E3 ’10, biatches.

    That said, I’m pretty sure that the PS3 will have overtaken the X360 by end of FY ’11 simply due to the fact it carries a BluRay player and has Gran Turismo 5.

    #23 5 years ago
  24. Gekidami

    I’d say that the price drop (from being considered “over priced” to “worth what you’re getting”) drove sales alot more then the actual release of the Slim. I’d doubt MS releasing such a thing would do much for them because the 360 is already seen as being affordable.

    #24 5 years ago
  25. The Hindle

    Another point i find impressive is they have managed this without thier biggest franchises i.e GT and GOW. They have just been continually releasing new ips Resistance, Uncharted, LBP etc. All credit to them i suppose.

    #25 5 years ago
  26. Quiiick

    @ Psychotext

    “Sony’s only real problem now is that they moved the date of the slim up by too much. It should have come later in the cycle to sure up long term sales, but it’s not like they had a great deal of choice.”

    My guess is that Sony will do a second relaunch of the PS3 in 2-3 years. An even slimmer/smaller version of the current model, maybe with an external power-supply. And they will sell it at $149!

    #26 5 years ago
  27. Psychotext

    No doubt at all, Sony are all about the constant revisions. However, the only real chance they’ll get for another “re-launch” will be with their motion controller (which looks unlikely because they’re not really making a big thing about the support they’re putting behind it).

    @TH: GoW might be one of Sony’s biggest franchises, but it’s not even in the top 25 selling PS2 games.

    #27 5 years ago
  28. The Hindle

    The Ps2s userbase was that big when the first GOW came out it resulted in the game being ignored by the mainstream, still sold 3.5m though. With GOW 3 the userbase isnt that big so it at least should sell some consoles

    #28 5 years ago
  29. Psychotext

    Where did you find that 3.5m number?

    #29 5 years ago
  30. ShakaCarnage

    WHat you all have to remember with hardware predictions, is that you’re basing all your guesses on current growth/decline figures.

    MS will do a price cut this year, that Sony won’t be able to match unless they make a loss on each console. Also, People are basing Sony’s catch-up rate on flat 360 sales for the new few years.

    If you believe MS will remain flat and not react, you’re sorely mistaken.

    #30 5 years ago
  31. The Hindle

    Was in a gametrailers video about GOW 3 i watched a while go, a pop up of information reveleaed it had sold 3.5m copies. Gow 2 has sold 2.5m

    #31 5 years ago
  32. NoxNoctisUmbra

    Now all the people with Only Xbox 360 that complain PS3 sucks because it has no game, they can open their eyes now, and buy one soon. And enjoy both consoles.

    #32 5 years ago
  33. PolyGoneWithTheWind

    Let’s be honest… unless you’re a shareholder… who really cares an iota? When I was a young ‘un I remember having the same arguments about Commodore and Spectrum…

    God I miss the wonderful screeching sound of a tape loading – if ANY new game had that noise on an install or disc swap, I’d buy it… regardless of how good the game was.

    Can’t we all just buy a MegaDrive again and learn to live and let live again?

    #33 5 years ago
  34. Gekidami

    I’d rather buy a SNES again…

    #34 5 years ago
  35. PolyGoneWithTheWind

    @34 big laugh out loud…

    #35 5 years ago
  36. Bulk Slash

    I’ve still got my SNES hooked up… with one of these.

    Is Gran Turismo really that big a franchise? I seem to recall reading that Europe is the only region where realistic racing sims sell in decent numbers, which was why Forza 3 released here first.

    #36 5 years ago
  37. RGW1982

    It Just A Matter Of Time Before All These 360 Fan Boys Sell Out & Buy A PS3.. Just Like The Other 360 Fan Boys Who Bought It At The Price Drop.

    A PS3 Will Soon Be In All Your Homes.

    #37 5 years ago

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