Wii still tops in sales; PS3 gains momentum

Sony dropped the price on its PlayStation 3 in July — from $599 to $499 for its 60-gigabyte model — and got a bump in sales, but Nintendo's Wii continued to dominate by posting its second largest monthly sales figure of 2007.

Consumers bought 425,000 Wii systems in July, an 11% increase over June, according to The NPD Group. That brings the total number of Wiis sold since its launch to 3.6 million. Sony sold 159,000 PS3s, up 61% from June. Microsoft, which dropped the price of its Xbox 360 systems (now priced $280-$450) earlier this month, sold 170,000, down 14% from June.

Overall, the video game industry had nearly $1 billion in sales ($926 million), an increase of 37% compared to July 2006, NPD analyst Anita Frazier said. With annual sales at $7 billion already, the industry is poised for a record year. "July is typically one of the slower months for the video game industry," she said. "At this pace, the industry is on track to ring up $16-$18B for the year."

Nintendo pointed out that its Wii and Nintendo DS (405,000 sold in July) were the two top-selling video game systems in the U.S.

Sony Computer Entertainment America president Jack Tretton said in a statement that its company "is incredibly well positioned heading into the important holiday months. … The PS3 is experiencing a huge boost in sales and is about to receive a flood of new games; the redesigned PSP is set to hit retail on Sept. 17; and the PS2 continues to demonstrate its staying power as a great casual/social gaming value (222,000 units sold in July). I think the next few months will herald a marked uptick in momentum for all our platforms in this marketplace."