IDC: PS3 narrowly beats Xbox 360 in worldwide game console shipments

While the Nintendo Wii is by far the most popular of the current generation of game consoles with over 96 million units shipped worldwide, Microsoft has had the number two game console position for the Xbox 360. On Thursday, Microsoft announced 1.4 million units of the console were sold in December in the US, marking two straight years that that the Xbox 360 has been number one in the US.

But hold your horses! A new report from IDC now claims that the number two position in the current console wars is now in the hands of Sony's Playstation 3. IDC's press release says that they estimate that the PS3 has now shipped 77 million units worldwide, versus 76 million units for the Xbox 360. This happened even though the Xbox 360 launched in 2005, one year prior to the PS3's launch.

The press release doesn't go into detail on why this might have happened (IDC is trying to sell a report, after all) but we can speculate that one big reason was the poor performance of Microsoft's Xbox business as a whole in Japan. As we have reported before, Microsoft has sold very little of the first two Xbox console models in that country where Sony and Nintendo have their headquarters.

IDC's press release goes on to predict the future of the game console business will still continue to be mainly based on disk delivered games for a long time and that alternatives such as "Smart" TVs and set top boxes will not be a big threat to Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo's console businesses in the next couple of years.

Source: IDC | Image via Sony

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