As Sony officially ends production of the PlayStation 2 and all eyes shift towards the two big next-generation game consoles expected to be announced and possibly made available before the end of the year, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720, Sony’s current console, the PlayStation 3, is making headlines of its own.
Despite being released one year after its main rival, the Xbox 360, and the network’s disastrous extended outage after an “external intrusion” in Spring 2011, Sony’s PlayStation 3 now looks like it has finally overtaken Microsoft’s console in terms of the number of units shipped.
In its six-year history, never before has the PlayStation 3 shipped more units than the Xbox 360. That was, of course, until December 2012 as Games Industry International reports, quoting a substantial forecast report by International Data Corporation (IDC), that worldwide shipments of the PlayStation 3 reached 77 million units compared to 76 million Xbox 360 units.
These figures denote the number of consoles shipped by their respective manufacturers and not device sales numbers to the end user. However, as both consoles are well-established, it’s unlikely that either manufacturer would produce units far in excess of consumer demand.
Nevertheless, this is a welcome boost for Sony as it is expected to announce its forthcoming console at E3 2013 gaming expo in June of this year – as is Microsoft with its own forthcoming console.
Also in the report, titled Worldwide Video Game Entertainment Console Hardware and Packaged Software 2012-2016 Forecast, is a prediction that Nintendo’s newest console, the Wii U, will “find an audience” and reach 50 million global shipments by the end of 2016. It’s thought that just over three million Wii U units have been sold to date since the console’s staggered launch in November and December of 2012.