Microsoft on Wednesday said that it will reach its goal of shipping over 10 million Xbox 360 video game consoles to retailers by the end of 2006, giving it a commanding lead in the next generation video game market. But the Xbox 360 has what is, perhaps, an even more important lead over the competition from Sony and Nintendo: There are over 160 game titles available for the Xbox 360, compared to just a handful each for the PlayStation 3 (PS3) and Wii. And some of those titles, like "Gears of War," are already considered absolute classics by video game fans. Neither the PS3 nor the Wii has yet to attract such a title.
"This holiday, we expect to have sold in excess of 10 million units worldwide," a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed. Unlike Sony and Nintendo, Microsoft began selling its next-generation system a year ago, giving it a healthy lead time, despite component shortages that dogged the company through early 2006. Microsoft shipped 6 million Xbox 360 units by June 30, 2006 and expects to ship a total of 13 to 15 million units by June 30, 2007.
Best of all, Xbox 360 sales are actually outpacing those of the original Xbox, which was considered a radical rethinking of the video game market when it appeared in November 2001, offering high-end graphics, integrated Ethernet networking, and a hard drive. According to Microsoft's internal numbers, it sold over 5.7 million Xbox 360s in the three quarters following its launch, compared to 4.7 million original Xboxes in a similar time period four years earlier.