Recent data released by console manufacturers Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft shows that the Xbox 360 has sold more games per console than the PS3 and Wii over the past 23 months.
The data is a simple result of dividing the amount of games sold for each console by the number of consoles sold.
The Xbox 360 has sold an average 6.6 games for each console that it has sold in the past 23 months. Nintendo’s Wii in comparison has sold 5.5, and the PS3 comes in last with 5.3 games sold per console. As can be expected, Microsoft has jumped on these figures and is using them to aggressively market their console using its strong stable of exclusive titles.
While the statistic is interesting, it can also be misleading. Apart from the Xbox’s admittedly strong selection of games, it has been around a bit longer than the PS3. This high “attach rate" is typical of a console that is enjoying a long life span.
Anita Frazier, analyst for the NPD group has pointed out the data can be used in misleading ways “As a system gets further along in its lifecycle and perhaps hardware sales start to diminish, the tie ratio tends to go up because software sales are the bigger draw.”
The higher attach rate that the Xbox 360 enjoys over the Wii can be attributed to the fact that the Wii’s more casual audience aren’t likely to purchase games as often as the more “hardcore” Xbox 360 crowd. Obviously targeting a more serious gamer audience benefits Microsoft in this regard.
Recent console sales indicate that Nintendo’s Wii is sitting in front with 35 million sales. Microsoft has sold 22 million Xbox 360s, and Sony has sold 16.5 million PS3s.
The PS3 is still in its early growth stages, compared to the Xbox 360 which has a stronger installed user base. However, there is also truth to Microsoft’s claim that their console has an extremely strong selection of exclusive titles.
Top selling Xbox 360 titles such as Gears of War and its sequel, as well as Halo 3, Mass Effect and Fable 2 must definitely play a role in pushing up the Xbox 360’s attach rate.