The great console war continues as Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo continue trying to convince gamers that their system is the best. Overall, total game system sales this generation are doing pretty well, although some companies are faring better than others.
While the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have been selling faster than their predecessors, the Wii U is lagging far behind the Wii at the same point in its life cycle. In fact, the Wii U is doing so poorly that Nintendo seems to be on the verge of scrapping it and moving on. The company has already announced that it’s working on a new system, codenamed NX. We don’t know anything about it, though. We don’t even know if it will be a handheld device, a console, or some mixture of the two. Nintendo says to expect more details in 2016.
Nintendo aside, Sony and Microsoft are both pleased with the sales of their systems. For most of 2014, however, the PS4 sat safely at the top of the charts, outselling both the Wii U and Xbox One by a significant margin.
But thanks to the Xbox One’s $50 price drop in the U.S. toward the end of last year, Microsoft got a significant sales boost in November and December. That was good news for Microsoft’s holiday sales, but it wasn’t enough to push Xbox One’s total sales anywhere near PS4’s.
Microsoft’s gains seem to have been temporary, too, as the PS4 came back swinging hard in the early months of 2015, when it beat the Wii U and Xbox One in both January and February.
When we looked at the numbers for February, we found that Sony sold 871,367 PS4 consoles, Microsoft sold 420,706 Xbox Ones, and Nintendo sold only 182,722 units of Wii U.
The real winner of February, however, turned out to be the Nintendo 3DS. What spurred those sales was that Nintendo released the New Nintendo 3DS XL in the U.S. along with a couple of highly anticipated games.
That brings us up to speed on the console war’s recent history. The analytics site VGChartz has just posted its estimated console sales for March 2015, so let’s dive in and look at the numbers, starting with the Wii U.
Nintendo held steady the first two weeks of March, selling about 36,181 Wii U consoles in week one, and 34,094 consoles in week two. Things picked up during the third week, with about 50,411 consoles being scooped up by gamers. Nintendo closed out the month relatively strong with 41,383 Wii Us sold during fourth week. For those counting at home, Nintendo sold about 162,069 Wii U consoles throughout March. When you compare that to the competition, it’s not very good at all.
Microsoft fared better, selling right around 100,000 Xbox Ones each week of the month. The company moved 102,216 units the first week, 95,617 the second, 105,456 the third, and 96,327 the fourth. The grand total Xbox One sales during March adds up to 399,616. That’s better than the Wii U by a long shot, but significantly less than the PS4 ended up selling.
Once again, Sony dominated the month, selling 243,440 units in the first week alone. The second week sales dipped down to a still-respectable 233,265, before surging up to 310,346 during the third week. The PS4 finished the month by selling 314,139 units during the fourth week, for a grand total of 1,101,190 units during March 2015. That’s a lot of consoles.
Like in February, however, Nintendo’s “little handheld that could” made a remarkable showing, coming in at second in overall console sales. The Nintendo 3DS sold 598,603 units in March, thanks to the New Nintendo 3DS XL edition, plus games like The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, and even Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire, which continued to sell well, months after release.
To recap the sales in March, Sony’s PlayStation 4 came in first place by a long shot. The Nintendo 3DS came in second, followed by Microsoft’s Xbox One, and finally Nintendo’s Wii U in a distant third.
On the software side of things, it was mostly PS4 and PS3 games that topped the global sales charts throughout March, with the exception of Majora’s Mask 3D, which came in at number one during the first week of the month. Other than that, the Japanese release of Yakuza 0 made a very strong debut the second week of the month, followed by Battlefield Hardline the third week and Bloodborne the fourth.
Overall, it looks like we’re back to the status quo, more or less. PlayStation 4 is still killing it, while Xbox One is staying healthy and Nintendo is only really holding on thanks to the success of the 3DS.
Perhaps Microsoft or Nintendo can shake things up come April. If the analyst firm NPD Group’s U.S. sales numbers are right, it looks like Microsoft might have some good news coming up. For global sales, however, we’ll have to wait and see.