We are playing Wii, and a little PS3

New video game numbers show a pickup in sales of Sony's high-priced console. But it's the Wii everyone really loves.


Farhad Manjoo
July 24, 2007 8:54PM (UTC)

According to sales estimates released by the market research firm NPD Group, Nintendo remains, unsurprisingly, the king of video games. In June, the company sold more latest-generation consoles than anyone else -- 381,800 Wii systems. Nintendo also had the biggest game in America, selling 427,000 copies of "Mario Party 8." Microsoft came in second: The company rang up almost 200,000 XBox 360 systems -- a 28 percent jump from May, though the sales did come in before the company announced a $1 billion plan to fix faulty units.

And then there's Sony. The firm sold just 98,500 PlayStation 3s in June -- slightly more than one PS3 for every four Wiis Nintendo put out. But so anemic were Sony's previous sales that the figure actually marks a 20 percent improvement from May. Jack Tretton, who heads Sony's American games division, noted in a statement to reporters that the NPD numbers show sales that came before Sony's $100 PS3 price cut -- and after the price cut, he said, retail sales of the unit have soared by more than 135 percent. Watch out for much bigger numbers for July, in other words.

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But if Tretton's right, the sales surge is good news for Sony only while supplies last. The company recently sheepishly admitted that it's no longer making the cheap -- and, in some ways, better -- $499 PS3; once that's sold out, we'll be stuck with the $599 model. And for that price, you could buy two Wiis.

[NPD numbers via Reuters.]


Farhad Manjoo

Farhad Manjoo is a Salon staff writer and the author of True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society.

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