Smart Home

Analyst: November Xbox 360 sales easily beat Wii

Following a trend over the last couple months, Xbox 360 sales could outpace Wii sales, according to analyst Michael Pachter.

The Xbox 360 is selling quite well.

The Xbox 360 easily outpaced the Nintendo Wii in unit sales in November, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said in a note to investors today.

Pachter believes Microsoft sold 1.075 million Xbox 360 units in November, up 31 percent from November 2009. Moreover, he believes that Microsoft will see the only positive year-over-year gains with all other gaming platforms experiencing declines in unit sales on the month.

Pachter said that Nintendo likely sold 975,000 Wii units in November, representing a 23 percent decline year over year. He believes Sony sold 650,000 PlayStation 3 units during the month, down 8 percent compared to 2009. Only Nintendo's DS would best the Xbox 360 in unit sales, based on Pachter's estimates, with unit sales of 1.425 million in November. However, at that pace, DS sales would be down 16 percent year over year, he said.

Pachter also believes that consumers bought $700 million worth of Xbox 360 games, easily besting the PlayStation 3's $395 million in software sales. If those figures hold up, Microsoft and Sony would see 36 percent and 48 percent gains on software sales, respectively. The Wii, on the other hand, would see a 31 percent decline year over year with just $280 million in game sales during the month.

Pachter's figures, which are only estimates and not exact sales data, were released a few days before research firm NPD is set to release the gaming industry's November sales figures. NPD's findings are widely viewed as the definitive source for hardware and software sales in the industry.

If Pachter's estimates hold up, it will be continued good news for Microsoft and even more bad news for Nintendo.

Through October, Microsoft was enjoying 34 percent year-to-date growth on its Xbox 360. If November was indeed another great month for its console, Microsoft could be in for an outstanding end to the year. The company is also expected to sell 5 million units of its motion-gaming peripheral Kinect by the end of 2010.

Nintendo, on the other hand, might be happy to see 2010 go.

The company reported earlier this year that between April and September, it lost $24.6 million on poor Wii and DS sales. It hoped to bolster its sales by offering bundles to consumers on both platforms. It also recently touted sales figures during Black Friday week (November 21 through November 27), saying it sold 600,000 Wii units and 900,000 DS units during that period.

But if Pachter's estimates are right, Nintendo is once again faced with the problem of slumping sales. And it might be forced to go back to the drawing board to find something that works.