The PS3 Could Have More Lifetime Sales Than the Xbox 360 Within the Next Year

According to Sony, the PS3 has sold 41.6 million units since its release in November 2006. According to Microsoft’s financial reports (they don’t have it neatly laid out the way Sony does), the Xbox 360 has sold 44.6 million units since its release in November 2005.

That’s a very small difference, and in this calendar year, the PS3 has dominated the 360, selling 8.1 million consoles compared to 5.8 million 360s sold — the PS3 won in every individual quarter this year as well — and that’s even with the new 360 S hitting the market this summer. Logically, though, the difference between Microsoft introducing the new 360 and Sony bringing out the new PS3 last year is that the slim PS3 came with a price drop while the 360 S did not.

From the beginning of Microsoft’s last fiscal year — which began in July 2009 and is when the PS3 slim was released — to now, the PS3 has sold 17.8 million units to the 360′s 13.1 million units. And then we must consider that the PS3 managed to sell more units this past quarter (3.5 million) than it did the quarter the PS3 Slim was released (3.2 million), which is not an insignificant fact.

If the PS3 keeps up the pace, it will have higher lifetime sales than the Xbox 360 by the end of calendar year 2011. One wild card, of course, is Kinect, which will be unleashed upon the world next Thursday. But the Move may be enough to counter Kinect; Sony credits the increase in sales this past quarter over the same quarter last year to the release of the Move 15 days before the end of the quarter. The other wild card is the PS3′s blu-ray player. Every day, folks upgrade to HDTVs, and we’ve long known that the blu-ray capability of the PS3 is a big reason why people buy that console.

If the PS3 does catch up to the Xbox 360, it will be remarkable because the PS3 was released a year after the 360 and was thought by gamers to be the inferior console for so long because it had few attention-grabbing exclusives and many of the multi-platform titles released on it were considered to be more buggy than their counterparts on the 360.

Of course, the undisputed king of this console generation is still the Wii; it has about a 30 million unit lead on the Xbox 360 right now. Still, it’s very interesting to see the console fanboys having to do battle now on what is just about a level playing field for once.

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