The Xbox 360's strong performance on Black Friday wasn't enough to help Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) close the sales gap with rival Nintendo in the gaming console market, according to research group NPD.
In fact, Nintendo's red-hot Wii system outsold the Xbox by almost
3-to-1 in November. Wii shipments in the month totaled 2.04 million,
while Xbox shipments came in at 836,000.Sony (NYSE: SNE)'s PlayStation 3 ranked a distant third, with shipments of just 378,000 units, said NPD.
In the portable market, the Nintendo DS ranked first with 1.57
million shipments--easily topping the Sony PSP's 421,000 shipments.
Xbox 360's middling performance may come as a shock to Microsoft.
Last week, Redmond said sales of its Xbox 360 gaming and entertainment
console increased 25% on Black Friday compared with last year's
post-Thanksgiving shopping binge, and outpaced sales of PlayStation 3
Microsoft said console sales were spurred by the recent release of hot-selling games like Gears Of War 2, Fable II, and Lips.
In its most recent quarter, Microsoft reported that Xbox 360
shipments increased 22% year over-year to 2.2 million units. The jump
comes as Microsoft takes steps to reinvigorate the Xbox platform and
position it as more than just a gaming device.
Last month, the software
maker officially launched New Xbox Experience, a service that combines
the company's Xbox 360 gaming console and Xbox Live online network into
a platform for streamingNetflix (NSDQ: NFLX) movies, holding chat sessions, sharing photos, and engaging in other online activities.
For many consumers, the most compelling feature of New Xbox Experience
will be the ability to instantly stream HD movies and TV episodes from
rental house Netflix. Among the 360 titles available are La Vie en Rose, Flawless, and Heroes.
The Xbox 360 is currently the only gaming device capable of providing a direct link to Netflix.
Microsoft in September slashed the price of its Xbox 360 video-game console by almost 30% for some models.
The cuts saw the price of the entry-level Xbox 360 Arcade system fall
from $279 to $199. The basic Xbox 360 model, which features a 60-GB
hard drive, dropped to $299 from $349. The high-end Xbox 360 Elite,
which includes a 120-GB hard drive, now sells for $399 -- down from
source : http://www.informationweek.com