In May and June, Sony remained the console leader with its PlayStation 2 while Microsoft's Xbox sales have nearly doubled, outselling Nintendo's GameCube every month this year except April, according to NPD Group.
After the price drop, Microsoft's May hardware sales of 230,000 units were nearly triple the horrendous tally of April. Sony sold 520,000 units in May -- 2 1/2 times more than the month earlier -- and Nintendo increased its GameCube sales by 37% to 112,300. In June, Sony sold 693,000 PS2s, Microsoft sold 265,000 Xboxes, and Nintendo sold 213,000 GameCubes. Microsoft and Sony sell their consoles for $199 and Nintendo for $149.
"Xbox is doing extremely well right now in the United States, which suggests that consumers don't mind spending the extra $50," said Simon Price, an analyst at International Development Group. "Nintendo has a killer lineup of games shipping, so I expect GameCube sales to pick up by late summer. Sony operates alone, selling huge numbers of hardware, especially since the price drop."
At the end of its fiscal year, June 30, Microsoft had sold 3.9 million units worldwide, compared with its forecast of 5.4 million-6 million units. In the United States, Microsoft sold 1.4 million units since the product launched in November and is on course to sell an additional 4.5 million units by year's end, according to International Development Group.
Sony, which sold 7.3 million PS2s last year in the United States, is on track to reach an installed base of 15.3 million U.S. units this year. Nintendo is expected to come in third in this year's race with 4.3 million GameCubes sold by year's end, bringing its tally to 5.5 million in the United States.
By June 30 of next year, Microsoft expects to have sold 9 million-11 million Xboxes worldwide. Sony, which already has sold 30 million PS2s worldwide, expects to sell an additional 20 million units by March 31.