Erik Sherman @ industry.bnet.com writes: A number of people criticized my previous piece on Sony's PS3 because I didn't have worldwide unit sales numbers. And that was fair (though some of those commenting clearly needed some warm milk and a rest), because you can't reasonable take U.S. sales to represent what the rest of the world might do. So I did some digging and found some numbers for Sony itself. Given that the company has also forecast overall unit sales through March 31, 2009, I think I've got a reasonable handle on just how many game consoles the company is selling. And I also came across some information that helps triangulate, and bring in to question, the spin Microsoft has recently put on the Xbox 360 unit sales.
The data from Sony gets confusing because the company reports sales by fiscal years for which the last day is actually in the next calendar year. (I checked with Sony on this.) But once you remember that the PS3 didn't come out until November 2006, we're on the track to something coherent (and, remember, the dates in the table below refer to calendar years, not Sony's fiscal years):
Calendar Quarter Units (Millions)
Q4 2006 1.68
Q1 2007 1.93
Q2 2007 0.71
Q3 2007 1.31
Q4 2007 4.90
Q1 2008 2.33
Q2 2008 1.56
Q3 2008 2.43
This takes us through September 2008 for a total of 16.85 million PS3 units sold since the product first came out.