IDC: Total PS3 sales top Xbox 360

The research firm said Sony passed Microsoft in December, despite the the Xbox launching a year earlier

Sony's PlayStation 3 game console passed Microsoft's Xbox 360 in total sales in December, according to a report from research firm IDC.

The Japanese company has now sold about 77 million PS3 consoles worldwide, versus 76 million Xbox 360 consoles sold by Microsoft. The PS3 has pulled ahead despite being on the market for a shorter time - it went on sale in late 2006, about a year after the Xbox 360.

Both consoles are nearing the end of their lives as flagship products, with speculation growing as to when their predecessors will be released. Nintendo, which began selling the Wii in 2006, launched the next-generation Wii U late last year.

IDC said the next line of consoles, known as "eight-generation" in the industry, will provide a boost for game developers.

"With the advent of eighth-generation consoles, starting with the Wii U, historical norms strongly imply that game disc revenue will stop bleeding in 2013 and rise substantively in 2014," the research company said in a release.

Profits from the consoles themselves will take far longer to materialize. Sony famously went through years of losses before the PS3 became profitable, and both it and Microsoft have suffered through hardware and software issues as their consoles matured.

Sony has long been rumored to have its next-generation console in development, but executives have repeatedly said they are pleased with the performance of the PS3. At the International CES electronics show currently underway in Las Vegas, Sony CEO Kazuho Hirai declined to say anything specific when asked about a possible new console.

IDC said the growing wave of alternatives to traditional game consoles, which includes games on smart TVs and Android-based gaming devices, is unlikely to affect the market anytime soon. At CES, Nvidia announced its Project Shield, a handheld gaming device, and mini-PC maker Xi3 has showed a small game system that works with Steam, the game distribution platform from U.S. software firm Valve.

The estimations by IDC are in line with recent sales figures released by the companies. Microsoft has said that as of September 2012 it sold 70 million units of its gaming device, while Sony has announced it sold 70.2 million. Nintendo sold over 97 million Wii units through the same month.

One factor in Sony's favor is Microsoft's failure to achieve strong sales of its gaming device in Japan. The PS3 has sold 8.7 million consoles in the country, compared to 1.6 million for the Xbox 360, according to Famitsu, a respected local publisher.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Game platformsMicrosoftgamessony

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?