Kotaku has an article on the fact that Sony claims not only to have sold 1 million units in North America but to have outsold the XBox 360 launch. Now that seems incredible from our perspective on the ground floor.
In our opinion, Sony is overstating their results. While our experiences on the ground aren’t exactly scientific results, they do give a fairly good picture of the next gen race. In our experience, the only people buying PS3s are the hard core gamers. You know, the gamers who hang out in Gamestop and EB Games all day. But we hardly know a single casual gamer or non-gamer who’s either got or looking to get the PS3. That’s a bad picture for Sony.
Then there is the supply issue. Sony’s PS3 starting showing up on store shelves on a regular basis BEFORE Christmas. This could be explained by two causes. First, demand could have simply been less than expected. Second, Sony may have ramped up production, increasing supply. Our bet is on the fact that demand has been less than expected. Sony supporters are latching onto the meme that Sony stepped up to the plate and not only produced more units but air lifted them into the states.
But that doesn’t hold up to our experience on the ground. The fact is that no one we talk to wants a PS3. Everyone wants either a Wii or XBox 360.
So, we’ve got to conclude that Sony is being ridiculous when they claim to have outsold the XBox 360 and are instead probably simply reporting some other number like total units shipped, or total units in retail stores. Or, as we expect, they might be including total sales, but not subtracting returns (and trust us, there have been an enormous number of returns).