PlayStation Move sales hit 4.1 million (with a catch)

Sony says it's sold 4.1 million PlayStation Move units globally since its launch in September. But the company tells gaming outlets that figure is sales to retailers.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read

Sony's entry into the motion-gaming space is enjoying strong sales, the company announced today.

Sony said it has sold 4.1 million PlayStation Move units worldwide since the controller's launch in September. In a statement announcing the sales, Sony said the figure "not only shows clear success of the launch of the new motion-sensing controller, but also indicates positive momentum going into the holiday season and to the year 2011."

However, Sony confirmed to CNET in a separate e-mail today that the 4.1 million units were sold to retailers, and not to consumers. The company wouldn't disclose how many units were actually sold to customers.

"While we don't disclose our exact sell-through number, the key is that our retailers continue to ask for more Move units and are taking every unit we can supply them with based on their sales," a Sony Computer Entertainment spokesperson told CNET.

Sony's announcement comes on the heels of Microsoft saying that its own motion-gaming option has sold well--more than 2.5 million Kinect sensors since its launch earlier this month, according to Microsoft. A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed to CNET today that Microsoft's figure is made up of sales to consumers, and not to retailers.

But in either case, both the Kinect and PlayStation Move have a long way to go to catch up to the motion-gaming leader, Nintendo. Last month, Nintendo reported that it has sold 65.3 million Wii Remotes to consumers in the United States alone since its console's launch in November 2006. That figure includes units bundled with the Wii and Wii Play, as well as controllers purchased separately.

However, when it comes to unit sales, Microsoft's Kinect is at a disadvantage. Both Sony and Nintendo require controllers for all players who want to enjoy their respective motion-gaming experience. More than one controller is needed for multiplayer experiences, meaning homes might have several Wii Remotes or Move controllers. To play with Microsoft's motion option, consumers need only to buy a single Kinect unit per console to play either individually or with others.

Outside of motion-gaming peripherals, Nintendo reported yesterday that it sold 1.5 million hardware units--900,000 DS units and 600,000 Wii consoles--to consumers over the past week.