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PS3 Sales Rocketing, Leaving Nintendo Lost in the Dust?

We knew it was likely to happen, we just didn’t realize how big the effect was going to be: According to some reports, the PS3 make-over and price drop has resulted in sales rocketing 1000%. Is Sony beating its gaming rivals? The data comes from Chart Track, and though the company doesn’t reveal its analysis of actual units sold, it’s confident in that 1000% figure–representing 11 times as many consoles sold last week in the U.K. than in the previous week.

We knew it was likely to happen, we just didn’t realize how big the effect was going to be: According to some reports, the PS3 make-over and price drop has resulted in sales rocketing 1000%. Is Sony beating its gaming rivals?

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The data comes from Chart Track, and though the company doesn’t reveal its analysis of actual units sold, it’s confident in that 1000% figure–representing 11 times as many consoles sold last week in the U.K. than in the previous week.

Great news for Sony, but what about its competition? The main rival in terms of seventh-generation games consoles is the Xbox 360, of course–and a separate report suggests the drop in price of the Xbox to match the PS3 (for the top-end model) pushed its sales up too. But in Microsoft’s case, it was just a 43% sales boost in the U.K. Chart Track are also suggesting the PS3 out-sold the DS, and the Wii too, meaning it took the spot as lead-selling games console in the U.K. Simultaneously, software sales for the PlayStation have risen 17% in terms of units sold.

Meanwhile, there’s a report in the Financial Times that suggests Nintendo’s bosses are really scratching their heads over this one–how does Nintendo respond to the price cuts of its two chief rivals? In terms of raw price, it’s no longer that much cheaper than the competition (and it’s more expensive than the low-end Xbox Arcade), and while it offers the signature motion-control input for games, the other consoles offer much more sophisticated games and more future-proofing. Particularly the PS3 with its HD-movie capable Blu-ray drive. Both the Microsoft and Sony consoles are also adding motion-control systems at some point in the next year, and both systems look to be offering far more complex game interaction than Nintendo’s can.

Will Nintendo ride out the storm, keeping the Wii pegged at $250 as it has since its launch? Will it just rely on the newly-released Wii Motion Plus accessory (which significantly boosts the Wiimote’s accuracy) and the associated Wii Sports Resort game, along with Wii Fit Plus and New Super Mario Bros. to get it through a tricky Winter? The Wii’s still selling well, and historically has outsold both the PS3 and Xbox, and though its importance in the gaming market seems to be diminishing, the dollars that are still rolling in could well be used to fund a next-gen Wii that could compete more equally with the PS3 and Xbox.

However Nintendo plays it, it begins to look like Sony’s really concreted the PS3’s near-future–and with these figures, and the motion control due soon, the PlayStation actually looks like it could begin to take the lead in the console wars in 2010.

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About the author

I'm covering the science/tech/generally-exciting-and-innovative beat for Fast Company. Follow me on Twitter, or Google+ and you'll hear tons of interesting stuff, I promise. I've also got a PhD, and worked in such roles as professional scientist and theater technician...thankfully avoiding jobs like bodyguard and chicken shed-cleaner (bonus points if you get that reference!)

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