According to official April figures released by the NPD Group, the Playstation 3 found itself beaten out for fifth place by an unusual competitor: its predecessor, the Playstation 2.
A 50% leap in Playstation 2 sales accounts for the surprising change, an increase likely prompted by the system’s price cut on April 1, a move which apparently electrified interest in the nine-year old platform.
The PS2’s success was probably the only nugget of April sales news to put smiles on the faces of Sony execs. Nintendo platforms continued their lockdown of the top spots, with the Wii coming second and the DS coming both first and third, courtesy of the just-launched DSi: the DS’s two hardware variations accounted for an astonishing million sales during April.Meanwhile, the Xbox 360 was down slightly over last April, but still managed a solid fourth place and remains on course for a record-breaking year.
But both the Playstation 3 and PSP posted disappointing results, with the PS3 placing sixth with its worst performance in over 18 months, and the PSP limping in seventh with a total of 116,000 sales — down over 30% on March’s numbers.
The news has revitalized persistent rumors of price cuts for Sony’s PS3. The system’s base model is between $150 and $200 more expensive than its competitors, the Wii and Xbox 360. Industry news site Gamasutra predicts we’ll see a $100 cut in the $400 Playstation 3 announced at the E3 video games trade show in Los Angeles in early June.
So if you’re contemplating taking the Playstation plunge — and with top exclusive superhero thriller Infamous just a week away, we’re betting some of you are — you might well want to hold off and wait to see what June has in store.