2008 Console Sales – Who really won?

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All three consoles - Wii - PS3 - Xbox 360

In the beginning of 2008 you didn’t have to look far to see a story about how 2008 was going to be the year of the PS3, I always thought that the Wii would cakewalk it again and some people expected a price drop on the 360 would propel it into the lead.

So how did it all go in the end?

Well to get the boring stuff out of the way first, the Nintendo Wii outclassed the 360 and PS3 by miles selling a total of 26 million units worldwide. However it wasn’t the top selling console, that honour fell to the Nintendo DS which sold an amazing 33 million units in 2008. That’s insane.

When it comes to the battle between the 360 and PS3 things get a little more interesting… The year started very much in the PS3’s favour by the PS3 taking the weekly charts for the first 29 weeks running and 32 weeks in total.

However the 360 had that price cut earlier this year and that really changed things around quickly by giving it the second bit of the year and over the Christmas season it outsold the PS3 by nearly 2:1 at certain times.

When all was said and done the 360 had sold 11,156,298 units while the PS3 had moved 10,347,225

So the title goes to the Xbox 360… but there is a valid point running around the Internet. What about all these RROD’s boxes that are being replaced, normally then amount is small enough to not consider but given that we know the 360’s failure rate is over 10% and the PS3 was less than a million behind I have to think that the PS3 is possibly the actual winner.

Unfortunately there are no official worldwide sales figures so we have to rely on VGChartz here and therefore will never know the entire story.

On the software side the top of the pile has a familiar feel to it with Nintendo taking the first and second spot, however this time the Wii is crowned king with 168 million units sold and the DS coming in second with 154 million sold. The PSP recorded a miserable 30 million units moved which pretty much ends any hopes it ever had of competing with the DS.

There have been rumours recently that Sony may scrap the PSP but I for one hope that isn’t true, it’s just time to re-assess and improve it I think.

The Xbox 360 sold 118 million units while the PS3 only managed 80 million and handing Microsoft the victory on the software side with ease.

Looking forward I don’t see much changing, the Wii will easily outsell the PS3 and 360 this year and at the moment I am leaning towards the 360 outselling the PS3… but only just. On the software side I expect no change from what we have seen in 2008.

On the handheld side the DS isn’t even being challenged and the only thing that may happen in 2009 is that Sony pull the plug on the PSP. There is nothing they can do to catch the DS and they realise that.

For the guys and girls who like percentages and tables the market share of 2008 breaks down as follows

Household Consoles

Console Units sold in 2008 Market Share Software Software Market Share
Nintendo Wii  26,069,115 54.80%  168,643,690  45.84%
Xbox 360   11,156,298 23.45%  118,959,622  32.33%
PlayStation 3  10,347,225 21.75%   80,325,382  21.83%

Handhelds

Console Units sold in 2008 Market Share Software Software Market Share
Nintendo DS 33,183,734 72.33%  154,678,022  83.39%
Sony PSP 12,696,814 27.67%  30,805,694  16.61%

All figures are from VGChartz and a big thanks to Ewie for the nice spreadsheet to make sure I didn’t get it wrong again.

Last Updated: January 16, 2009

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