Microsoft sold 114,000 Xbox 360 consoles in the month of May, beating out sales of both Sony’s (NYSE:SNE) PlayStation 3 and Nintendo’s Wii U. It was expected that the Wii U would beat out the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3, both of which will be replaced soon, but Nintendo’s newest Wii model has not been performing well in the U.S.
The traditional gaming industry has had trouble competing with new cheap or free gaming options available for tablets and smartphones. For the month of May total physical gaming sales reached $383.3 million, compared to $517 million in May of 2012. Hardware and software sales fell as well.
Sony and Microsoft both unveiled their new consoles, the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, earlier this month. Some complained that the Xbox One will require an internet connection, while others complained that Microsoft focused too much on the non-gaming aspects of the console during its presentation.
Microsoft will need to work hard to get the Xbox One to compete with the PlayStation 4. Sony will be offering free-to-play titles and support for independent developers to bring lower-priced games to the console, both moves that will help draw in more casual gamers who are turned off by the high price of blockbuster titles. Microsoft will need to offer cheaper gaming options as well if it’s to remain a competitor against Sony and the cheap mobile games currently flooding the market.
Microsoft claims that the required internet connection needed to use the Xbox One was a forward-looking decision that will allow for an easy way to link games and other forms of entertainment. The company pointed out that it’s not leaving the 360 model behind, and the older Xbox will remain a good console choice for those without internet access.
The Xbox One will be released in November and priced at $499.
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