WII BATTLES PLAYSTATION 3 IN THE AISLES
A greater product supply and a Sunday launch helped Nintendo of America top rival Sony Corp. in gaining retail support for their competing video game systems.
While the Friday, Nov. 17 launch of the Sony PlayStation 3 console gained more media attention and longer pre-opening lines outside stores, the relative scarcity of available systems (stores had as few as 15 initial units to sell) and mid-week rollout (most key chains distribute circulars on Sunday) resulted in relatively little fanfare in stores and chain circulars.----
Touting Wii as the "family" entertainment system and noting the price differential ($249.99), Nintendo launched a pre-release campaign in 9,800 stores six weeks before Nov. 19. Retailers providing in-line and endcap space to the "coming soon" product included Wal-Mart, Toys "R" Us and Target.----
Never one to sit idle while competitors seek to steal market share, Microsoft conducted promotions for Xbox 360 to stay in the fray. The release of a high-definition DVD player compatible with the system helped Xbox gain nearly as much circular and in-store support as the two new consoles; Circuit City featured the player in its Nov. 19 circular, offering a free King Kong Deluxe Edition DVD (from Universal Pictures) with purchase of the $199.99 player.----
In December, NPD Group reported that Wii sold approximately 476,000 units in November, while Sony PlayStation sold 197,000. However, Xbox 360 topped them both by selling 511,000 consoles.