Ok, some stuff from a Microsoft press release. Interesting, but consider the source, of course.
Xbox Solidifies Number Two Position
In spite of recent competitive price cuts, Xbox holds the number two position in the United States and Europe. According to the NPD Group, Xbox maintains the number two position for life-to-date console sales in the United States, with more than a one million unit lead over Nintendo’s GameCube. Based on sell-through data in Europe, Xbox has more than a 600,000 unit lead over GameCube (Chart Track and GfK; through September 2003).
Xbox is on track to meet its sales forecast of 14.5 - 16 million units shipped by June 2004. While recent price cuts have negatively impacted PS2 market share, Xbox has maintained overall consistent share, currently at 24% in the US (NPD) which is in line with analyst expectations. And in the first five weeks of the Xbox holiday retail offer, sales have increased 54 percent on a weekly run rate basis.
It’s interesting that in the following they don’t post any Xbox Live numbers, which makes me wonder if they’ve seen a dropoff in subscribers who failed to renew?
Xbox Live Leads in Online Gaming
The Xbox console experience is highlighted with a hot plate of more than 70 Xbox Live games by year’s end, well exceeding competitive offerings. Exclusive new online titles coming this holiday include Project Gotham Racing 2, Amped 2, Top Spin, Counter-Strike, Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge and Links 2004 (Microsoft Game Studios) Magic the Gathering (Atari); Sega GT Online (Sega); Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy (Lucas Arts); Rainbow Six 3 (UbiSoft Entertainment) and Ninja Gaiden (Tecmo). Moreover, Xbox Live continues to win over gamers and reviewers. At a recent IGN roundtable, 12 out of 15 columnists recommended the Xbox Live service over PlayStation 2 Online.
The first part of the press release was all about numbers. When they get to Xbox Live, all they do is cheerlead.
Gamers are already showing their excitement for Xbox during the most popular time for software sales. October NPD TRSTS numbers reported the U.S. cumulative attach for Xbox increased from 5.9 in September to 6.1 (6.8 with retail pack-in games) in October, giving Xbox the continued distinction of having the highest attach rate on record for any next-generation console after almost two years in the market. This is evidenced by the number of Xbox titles continually appearing on best seller lists.
Good attachment rate, which probably explains why third-parties aren’t as interested in the Gamecube.
Anyway, just some stuff to argue about. :)