charts are deceptive… the last update from Microsoft touted 17 million Xbox Live members. How many are there now?
Today, Microsoft made a surprising press release. Months after the Playstation network announced that they hit 20 Million, Xbox Live has achieved that they, too, have arrived at the 20 million member milestone. But that’s little more than a footnote in this announcement. The highlight was just how well the console is selling during this “global economic recession.” According to NPD numbers, “Xbox 360 achieved the highest percentage growth in hardware sales of any console so far in 2009, up 28 percent over the previous year.”
30 million consoles sold. 20 million on Xbox Live. Sales that are far above the pace that was set by their best year of sales, back in 2008. On target to trounce their record year, the Xbox group also pointed out, in the press release, that they have generated more retail sales for third party developers than Sony and Nintendo combined. Microsoft must be more than a little pleased.
Chicago Old Navy store: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images, from MSNBC
I consider this a fairly slow news week. All of the hype is centered around the New Xbox Experience. unfortunately, I’m too far away from my 360 to do anything about that – still out of town, and it looks like I will be stuck here for another full week!
Since I want something to write about, and since Black Friday is coming soon, take note that our friends at CheapAssGamer have assembled the ultimate collection of video game sales for the day after Thanksgiving, here in the US. Deals down to $10 games, Consoles with games, all kinds of good deals!
CAG will help you find the things you didn’t know you couldn’t live without, while we are working on multiple projects to enhance the site. All of the problems we had yesterday are all fixed up, but now we are working on a secret side projct, as well as enhancement to WinBreak.com itself.
And as always, don’t forget that you can always nominate yourself or a friend to be featured in Better Know a Gamer. There are 12 million people on Xbox Live, and I want to interview them all!
Trusted source C|NET put up a quick article letting people know that they could pick up a Premium Xbox 360 for as little as $149.99! Trouble is, they are refurbished systems. They may have a few scuffs, and who knows how long they will last? It’s still a pretty penny for a lot of uncertainty, but they do offer a 14-day DOA Protection Guarantee.
The website is a little confusing, as it lists another 360 for $189.99 – that one specifically notes that it includes a hard drive. The “Premium” listed at $149.99 does not specifically mention the hard drive. Perhaps a call to customer service will be in order to anyone planning to buy one, but the site itself is notable for getting liquidation stock, and should have no true intention of scamming you, unlike the yet-to-be-shutdown RefurbishedWiis.com (no hyperlink being provided).
Seems like the perfect option for those looking to void their warranty with some sort of fun case mod anyways… note that these are NOT the HDMI version of the console.
While it was reported yesterday that video game sales in Japan are expected to peak this year, and fall over the next two to three years. Meanwhile, in the states, even the Christian Science Monitor admits that gaming is still tapping into new (see: female) audiences. So much so that the powers that be over at C|Net’s news.com have determined 2008 to be the year of gaming, and companies like Sigma Designs have started partnering with our beloved Microsoft to work on the ability to provide 16 simultaneous streaming video channels to a “set top box” – potentially even the Xbox 360. The pull the gaming industry has on other industries is growing, as the whole video game “fad” becomes more of a cornerstone of American living. Take that, Fox News.
Before everyone starts digging into the numbers, let me be bold enough to say: who cares which console sold more when you have 72% of all Americans playing video games!? This is exactly why I’m not affraid to tell my co-workers about my passion for video games. I’ve grown up as part of a generation with video games at hand, 24/7. Since Christmas 1987 (when my parents bought a Commodore 64) I’ve had video games in my life, and I’ve never gone a day without them being some how in reach (hand helds, watches, cell phones)… it doesn’t necessarily surprise me that 72% of Americans play video games, but it nevertheless excites me!
2008 is looking like it’s going to be another historic year for video games. Reuters (by way of USA Today) and The Associated Press (by way of The New York Times) are reporting that Video games are selling 34% better than the were this time last year. Is it that there are more games, better games, or just flat out more gamers? Ever increasing mainstream popularity among video games is certainly worth consideration, and was the topic of discussion in a recent GamerScore Blogcast episode. Based on those NPD numbers everybody likes to toss around, you can’t deny Microsoft’s Xbox 360 is partly to thank for this huge boost in game sales.
[Update 1]: As a side note, market analyst Jesse Divinch and pals predect that the 360 will regain its long held sales lead over the Playstation 3 in March and April, but they also expect the 2nd place contest to remain close.
(picture of MS staff setting up for CES keynote, from MajorNelson’s flickr)
During the CES Keynote speech delivered by Bill Gates, Mr. Gates had mentioned that video games were “on track” to be the “best year ever in the United States” (not just Xbox 360 contrary to other articles). “Video games” are poised to have a great year – that’s exactly what Bill Gates said to us literally 5 hours ago.
Well, MSNBC (a joint Microsoft – NBC Universal venture) reported, on the same day, that the industry may actually slow in 2008. The article is actually from Reuters, using data from CEA, but it’s an interesting contradiction. So which is it?
Well, Gates’ statement, when in context, suggest that the video game industry as a whole will do well. Not necessarily the console and hardware end of things. While the title of the MSNBC article suggests that “Game industry growth may slow in 2008” they are not contradicting what gates said. The MSNBC article, once broken down, essentially states that console/hardware sales are all expected to drop, while games/software is expected to pick up a great deal.
The article states that industry hardware sales were “$6.6 billion in 2007, but are anticipated to shrink to $6.4 billion in 2008.” Where, software on the other, is expected to see “…’a 26 percent increase in sales over 2007,’ said CEA spokeswoman Jennifer Bemisderfer. Software sales are expected to rise to $11.5 billion in 2008, up from $9.1 billion in 2007.” According to the article, software sales rose 7.6 percent between 2006 and 2007 – so a 26 percent increase is going to be absolutely gigantic.
Expect to see this data referenced throughout the year, and don’t let anyone blur those details and spin this article their way to try and trick you! Keep your guard up!