Excitement over motion controllers is having a significant effect on PS3 sales, pushing the console ever closer to an even footing with the Xbox 360.
Microsoft brought the Xbox 360 to market a year earlier than the PS3, and that head start meant that the Xbox 360 has always been a few million consoles ahead of the PlayStation 3. Microsoft is still currently still ahead, but recently released figures show that the gap between the Xbox 360 and PS3 is getting smaller and smaller, and may soon disappear entirely.
Currently the two consoles stand about three million units apart; Sony has sold 41.6 million PlayStation 3s while Microsoft has sold 44.6 million Xbox 360s. The PS3 is selling faster than the 360 right now, however, with 3.5 million units sold in June and September, against Microsoft’s 2.8 million. This is an improvement over last quarter of around 1.2 million units and is thought to be due to higher levels of interest in the PS3 leading up to the release of Sony’s motion controller, Move.
It’s too soon for Sony to start celebrating its victory just yet though, as we’re yet to see what effect Kinect has on Xbox 360 sales. Sony has done some advertising for Move; including a new line of Move-themed Kevin Butler TV spots, but its marketing spend pales in comparison to the hundreds of millions of dollars that Microsoft has spent advertising Kinect. It seems reasonable to assume that Microsoft will see a significant boost in Xbox 360 sales between October and December thanks to Kinect, beyond the normal seasonal increase for the holiday period.
Still, Sony gaining ground on Microsoft means that neither company can afford to rest on its laurels, which is good news for consumers, whichever console they prefer.