Xbox360 vs. Wii vs. PS3: Demand doesn't lie

After four months of gray market sales, PR blunders, camped-out fans and a media frenzy, it appears that the next generation consoles have finally hit their post-holiday stride. How did this year’s PS3 and Wii launches compare to that of the 360′s release in 2005? The short answer: the 360 and PS3 had similar demand trends around launch"¦if it were only that simple.

The chart below shows the demand for all three consoles dating back to November of 2005.

  • The Wii and 360 had reasonably consistent demand from January to February, indicating that they have settled into post holiday levels.
  • PS3 demand is more troubling, as it fell 30% in the same period, and is now significantly lower than its much older competitor.
  • The Wii is still dominating online retail demand, with nearly double the shoppers of the PS3 and 60% more shoppers than the 360.
  • Compared to the 360′s launch, both the PS3 and Wii Generated more overall demand during the holiday. However, the steep decline in PS3 demand indicates inflated demand due to hype.

The future is still to hazy too predict a winner in the console war, so we’ve invited the 3 systems in for a hearty discussion.

: Since I’m so clearly leading in the minds of consumers, I’ll let you two duke it out.

: Age before beauty…

: Fine. I say, who cares about demand? I outsold* both consoles during the Holidays.

: Sales might be the ultimate goal, but demand is a leading indicator of how well we will sell.

: Precisely, I had the most demand at launch and I’ve outsold* the 360 in our comparative launch periods. I’m looking strong.

: How’s the European launch going again?

: Sales and demand are boring. Why do you think you have a chance of outselling me?

: Well, we shouldn’t even argue about the hardware, everyone knows I’m the best I use my spare processing to cure Alzheimer’s.

: Maybe you should have shaved off some of those processing cycles and spent more time on your online strategy… No one can compete with Xbox Live.

: Everybody loves me because I’m fun and so are my games.

: I have a couple decent games. I have to say though, if looking spastic is "fun" you certainly have it covered.

: My line-up is perfect, it just requires a more sophisticated player… you two wouldn’t understand, and don’t get me started on BluRay…

: You mean another Sony proprietary format that’s going to fail? That’s why I went with HD-DVD and didn’t force people to adopt it.

: Game consoles are made to play games, you’re both going to get trounced by movie downloads in two years anyway.

Even though the Wii is currently leading the pack in demand and sales, at this point it’s still anyone’s game. With enough exclusive games and unique features, maybe next year we’ll be talking about the PS-Wii-60 combination that every gamer owns.

*For this analysis, sales data was derived from VGCharts.org

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