PS3 leading 2011 EU console sales, 360 maintains US hold

By Stephany Nunneley, Friday, 28 October 2011 15:19 GMT

Nintendo detailed hardware units sales for the European and US markets in its first-half investor briefing this week, noting that PS3 has been the best-selling console in Europe for most of 2011. In the US, 360 is still king.

According to a graph from Nintendo’s presentation, PS3 has been ahead in sales for the entire year in Europe. For week 40 of 2011, PS3 sales hit close to 3 million, while Wii and Xbox 360 reached almost 2 million each.

The data was complied for Nintendo by independent market research companies, and the data gleaned noted a “sizable drop” in Wii’s sales transition from the beginning of the year, compared to the year before.

The firm noted it was able to “stimulate the market” when it introduced the price revision for Wii in May, but recently fell behind other platforms once more.

Cumulative numbers from the beginning of the year showed PS3 sales exceeding those of 2010, while Wii showed a year-on-year drop. While Xbox 360 continues to sell well in the US, the transition is nearly the same as last year in Europe. The firm acknowledged an increase in Wii’s sales at the end of last calendar year as “a little unusual.”

For the US, using monthly data issued by NPD for January through September of 2010 and 2011, Nintendo showed the weekly averages for console hardware sales in the region, noting that Xbox 360 leads the chart for 2011.

While sales of Wii were weaker overall in 2011 than the year prior, figures from September are almost at the same level year-over-year.

Wii generated massive sales in the holiday seasons last year and the year before, but “no signs of such phenomenon could be found at this time of those years,” said president Satoru Iwata.

Since the start of the main retail period occurs “later every year in the US because of the economic trend and changes in consumer behavior,” Nintendo believes the extent to which it can “maximize the sales of Thanksgiving and the Christmas season” will determine its business this year more than before.

“The sales of Wii grew especially in November and December last year,” noted Iwata. “We assume that our dependence on the year-end sales will be heavier this year than the previous years, so we are currently preparing well so that we can increase our sales in that season.”

A report from Nintendo of America said that US Wii sales for the first three weeks of October exceeded those for the same period in 2010, and “consumers are reacting favorably to the value promotions offered by the retailers.”

You can view the graphs below, showing the various hardware spikes and dips.

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