With the console game market scoring depressingly low sales in recent months, Sony’s announcement that it has shipped 2.5 million of its PlayStation 3 Move wireless controllers may be a welcomed reprieve from the relentless drumbeat of bad news.
The company said Thursday that it had shipped 1 million Move controllers in the U.S. and Canada, plus 1.5 million units in Europe, since launching the device Sept. 19. (Move has not yet launched in Asia.) The wireless device, which sells for $50 and up, lets players control their actions within video games by moving their arms, much like the Nintendo Wii remote.The combined sales exceeded some analysts’ expectations.
“It’s ahead of what I thought previously,” said Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Securities. “I think that they are a lock to sell 3 to 4 million by Dec. 31, and a lock to hit more than 5 million by fiscal year end” on March 31.
Although Sony’s numbers are for controllers it had shipped to stores, there’s a good chance that many of them, if not all, have sold. Many stores sell out of the devices as soon as they’re received, said John Koller, director of hardware marketing for Sony’s PlayStation business in Foster City, Calif.
“There’s minimal on-hand inventory in many stores,” Koller said. “We’re basically shipping every unit we can make.”
That’s counter to what some have speculated about the robustness of Move sales prior to Sony’s announcement.
Koller credits the brisk sales to the diverse lineup of 24 games that use Move, including iPets for kids, Time Crisis: Razing Storm for hard-core players and Start the Party for families and casual players. Sony expects another 15 Move-enabled titles to come online by March 31, which it hopes will prompt the overall console to get a move on.