Japan - In the same week that the Wii has crossed 7 million units sold, the 360 (long since written off in Japan by sales enthusiasts, and correctly, I might add) is once again playing as a potential spoiler against Sony's PS3.
One look at the Weekly Console Sales Chart (line, 2nd chart down) will show the gains 360 has made at PS3's expense. A closer look at market share charts is more revealing; the Weekly Console Market Share (line, 4th chart down) shows a once sub-5% weekly take has climbed above 20% nine of the last eleven weeks.
For a larger perspective, please observe the Total Console Market Share Chart (line, 6th down) and the Year on Year Console YTD Chart (line, last chart in this post) and one will observe that the 360 has really only gained back the ground it lost over the past year and only now hovers where it was in December 2007 (7.51%).
More importantly, one will notice that the 360 has basically sold one-for-one with itself from 2007 with a slight gain. While a 60k gain from the previous year isn't anything to sneeze at for a console that regularly posted 3.5k weeks this very year, it's really peanuts compared to Wii's 550k negative difference and PS3's 135k negative difference, especially considering they outsold the 360 by 500k and 2 million units respectively.
So what are we really seeing? First, we're seeing 360's concurrent RPG releases make an impact on weekly sales at the same time the Wii and the PS3 are seeing year-on-year slowdowns.
Does this mean the 360 will suddenly take control of the weekly charts and take a commanding lead any time soon from the PS3? Doubtful. A close look at YOY charts across the board shows that the 360, outside of big releases in August and September, is only slightly elevated from the previous year's effort.
The true question at hand is what we're seeing from the PS3. The Wii is mirroring its YOY chart at a slight reduction (-10k this week), and the 360 is at a slight increase from 2007 (+8k), but last year at this time the PS3 was selling 40-50 thousand units during this period. That creates a dropoff from 2007 of twenty to thirty thousand units.
Is the PS3 suffering more from the economy than the Wii or the 360? Could it only be price? Does it matter and does any of that justify stagnant sales during a heightened-sales season?*
As always, we'll know just a little more next week.
* they don't celebrate Christmas, goofball.