Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) says it is beating old rival Nintendo and the new kid on the block, Microsoft, in the US video game console market during the holiday season despite multimillion dollar product launches by the latter two companies.
SCEA, a unit of Japan's Sony Computer Entertainment, said sales of its PlayStation 2 console totalled 1.5 million in the period since Thanksgiving week. That week began on Novembr 19, four days after Microsoft put on sale its new Xbox console and a day after Nintendo launched its Gamecube console in the US market.
Those sales totalled US$700 million and, said SCEA, the company expects total holiday period sales to reach $1 billion.
Last week, Microsoft said sales of the Xbox totalled 1.1 million during its first 3 weeks on sale and Nintendo announced a week earlier that Gamecube sales had hit 600,000 after 2 weeks on sale. SCEA sold its 1.5 million consoles over 4 weeks.
Microsoft and Nintendo have full year shipping targets of 1.4 million and 1.3 million units, respectively, which, if they are met and not raised, would make the PlayStation 2 the overall winner of the holiday shopping season -- an impressive feat for a console that is a year older than its two rivals.
But in the game business, age is not necessarily a bad thing. Its longer history means there are many more PlayStation 2 games available giving consumers a much vaster choice of titles to chose from. SCEA said a survey by NPD Group, which collects point-of-sale data from 23 major retail chains, showed PlayStation titles accounted for more than two thirds of all console software sales.
The additional sales in the last month push total PlayStation 2 sales in the U.S. to 6.5 million.