Lifetime sales: 67 million Xbox 360s, 64 million PlayStation 3s, 96 million Nintendo Wiis

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Nintendo is pulling back the veil from the Wii U at E3 next week. Sony may very well be revealing a radical new direction for its entire PlayStation business with rumors that it will acquire streaming games service Gaikai. What does Microsoft have lined up for E3? Rumors of the Xbox Lite, a redesigned Xbox 360 modeled after the Apple TV, have swirled for months, but it’s unclear just what Microsoft will unveil as the future of its console business. What Microsoft is demonstrating days before its big press conference is that its past is enough of a model to guarantee a strong future whatever it announces.

Since putting the box on the market in November 2005, Microsoft has sold a total of 67 million Xbox 360s around the world, generating $56 billion in sales at retail. Since November 2010, it has sold 19 million Kinects. Microsoft’s Xbox Live currently has 40 million members, 26 million of which are subscribers to the Xbox Live Gold premium service.

Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s chief marketing officer, shared these statistics in a post at the company’s official blog on Tuesday.

There are two revelations waiting inside the numbers. The first is that all three of the major console holders have discovered ways to buck the popular belief that video game technology needs to be updated regularly to remain viable in the market. Nintendo disproved the rule in the ‘90s by keeping the black and white Game Boy on the market for nearly ten years. Sony proved it last decade by keeping the PlayStation 2 on retail charts for ten full years. Microsoft has made the Xbox 360 the first high-definition consumer video game console to survive for 7 years as a commercially viable machine. It’s done so by introducing new services like Netflix streaming and new devices like Kinect at a steady pace. Kudos to Microsoft’s business leaders.

Second, these details prove that while getting a head start in the console race is useful, it doesn’t necessarily ensure a huge lead over the competition in terms of install base. Microsoft has sold 67 million Xbox 360s since 2005, but Sony has sold around 64 million PlayStation 3s worldwide since 2006 and Nintendo has sold approximately 96 million Nintendo Wiis in the same time frame. A 1-year head start gave Microsoft a small lead over Sony and gained it important mindshare in the U.S. but Sony narrowed that gap efficiently. (That said it has only been making a profit on its consoles for a fraction of the time Microsoft has.)

Showing 10 comments

  1. cassib 2 years Ago  
    Well of course, the 360 in my eyes is better than the PS 3.
  2. Ian Bell 2 years Ago  

    So if you figure out the percentage of Xbox's that died and added in the number of replacement systems, does that mean Microsoft is double dipping their numbers? :)

    1. Obviously none of the replacement consoles counted toward sales under the 3 year warranty. If you suggest something so ridiculous that the 360 has only sold half that many units and the rest were replacements, then the 360 must have the most extraordinarily high attach rate of all time, because 360 games still outsell their PS3 counterparts 90% of the time, and if the 360 has only sold half as many units as the PS3, then that is pretty damn pathetic for Sony.
      1. well idiots like me who just went out and bought another one when MS said, "sorry you have a 3 month warranty" it wasnt until everyone raised hell that they made the warranty 3 years. Tard. I think its far more impressive that Sony has sold as many PS3s as they have, considering its always been stupid expensive.
        1. It's actually not impressive at all. Considering Playstation had a 2 generation head start, Sony really fumbled the ball this generation. Even coming out a year later, they should've wiped the floor w Xbox but they failed. At this point, Xbox costs more than PS3 and still out selling it considerably in the US. They over estimated demand for their product and made an over priced console. If you think Sony is happy with the performance of the PS3 this generation you are sorely mistaken. Also, Xbox wipes te floor with PS3 in terms of software sales - Fact
          1. You pointed it out yourself, Sony launched late, but their console sales are almost the same as Microsoft. Impressive no?

        2. I agree with you that it's impressive what Sony has accomplished, as GK15 below pointed out, Sony came out a year later, but they still sold almost as many systems as Microsoft has despite costing more.

          Props to Sony.

  3. Drew Adamson 2 years Ago  
    But how many xbox 360's lasted more then 6 months
    1. Ha! Good question. I wish there was a reliable way to actually determine how many consoles Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo have sold to customers repurchasing the system.

    2. mine