Xbox May Have Issues, But Sales Are "Stellar"


The blogs might be rife with complaints about Xboxand its overheating issues. And a lawsuit seeking class-action status against Microsoft because of Halo 3's alleged incompatibility with the system, might be working its way through the courts.

But in the black-and-white and green world of Wall Street, it all comes down to numbers, and the Xbox numbers from the week including Black Friday are pretty stellar. Microsoft tells me the company sold 310,000 Xbox 360 units last week; beating, it says, PlayStation 3 sales by better than two to one. Not a bad week for a company that sold 366,000 units through the entire MONTH of October.

Microsoft's numbers are still 40,000 units shy of Nintendo's for the "Black Friday" week, but this is a pretty compelling data point to show blog complaints about console failures are apparently not taking a toll at the cash register.

Another datapoint: Microsoft says Xbox 360 software sales, the game titles connected to the game, are on track to outsell PS3 and Nintendo Wii software sales, combined. For the month of October, Xbox 360 software represented 54 percent of total software sales, accounting for $162 million. That compares to 30 percent for Wii and 16 percent for PS3, according to NPD Group.

And that in a nutshell shows you the underlying problem Sony's PS3 faces right now. A terrible shortage of exclusive titles compelling enough for consumers to plunk down the Playstation premium and choose that console over the less expensive Xbox which boasts more exclusive titles than any other platform.

Microsoft points that out this morning: of all third party U.S. software revenue in October, Xbox 360 generated more than twice that of PS3 and Wii, accounting for 57 percent or $130 million, compared with the 28 percent of the market Wii enjoyed and the 15 percent controlled by Sony's PS3.

I've spoken to a number of analysts already who tell me the Xbox numbers are eye-brow raising. Strong news. A good report. An indication that Xbox's momentum continues mostly at the expense of Sony, which posted strong sales gains of its own. No matter which way you slice it though, the gaming industry seems to be a rising tide floating all of these competitive boats.

The video here is of myself and colleague Jane Wells, as we were both on the story today. Check out her blog link above if you haven't already.

Questions? Comments?