The Beatles: Rock Band outsold Guitar Hero 5 in September in the US, while Sony’s PS3 console beat its rivals’ sales figures for the first time, according to the latest figures from the NPD research firm.
The “Battle of the Bands” was a key focus as the two titles were released at the same time, but both were outsold by the latest release in the Halo franchise - Halo 3: ODST - and Madden NFL 10.
The first data are starting to appear on sales of Sony’s revamped Playstation 3 “Slim” since price cuts went into effect at the start of September. The data are good. The question is whether they are good enough.
In Japan, research company Enterbrain says that Sony sold 150,252 PS3 Slims in the four days between its launch on September 3 and September 6. That is the highest weekly sales number Sony has recorded for the PS3 since its launch in 2006 and also compares well with products past, such as the 170,779 units of Nintendo’s DSi handheld console sold during its first two days in the shops last autumn.
Sony has changed the dimensions of its PlayStation 3 console and the dynamics of the current generation console wars with the introduction of the PS3 “Slim” from September 1 at $299 in the US.
Sony gave me a quick tour of the new console in San Francisco on Wednesday. Take a look at the smaller, lighter, less shiny PS3 in a video after the jump.
The US video game industry, which appeared to be riding out the recession last year, had the horse shot from under it in the first half of 2009.
The June sales figures released by the NPD research firm on Thursday night showed the fourth consecutive month of year-over-year declines. June’s 31 per cent drop was the greatest year-over-year monthly fall since September 2000, when the industry declined 41 per cent.
Nintendo’s flagship summer title, Wii Sports Resort, has got off to a strong start since its launch in Japan last Thursday June 25th.
According to figures from publisher Enterbrain in its Famitsu magazine, Wii Sports Resort sold 353,827 copies in its first four days on sale. That makes it the third most successful launch in the history of the Wii in Japan.
The FT’s Lex column suggests that for Sony, cost cutting alone may not be enough to get the company in the black. Despite the company’s rosy projections, sales of PS3 consoles are likely to remain challenged. And while movies should perform better this year than last, the film unit represents only 10 per cent of revenues.
The Japanese consumer electronics and entertainment group thinks it may break even at the operating level this year. That is a brave call as the company was losing $1bn a month in the last quarter of the year ending in March.
Creating a planet and helping flowers to bloom are a far cry from the usual death and mayhem meted out by hard-core video gamers.
But for those wanting to be creative rather than destructive and mellow rather than filled with adrenaline, the latest additions to the Spore franchise and the new Flower game for the PlayStation 3 can be recommended.