PS2 declared winner of holiday console wars

Posted by Mark Raby

Culver City (CA) - There were many battles being closely monitored during the big holiday shopping season of 2006. The Wii won the battle of the new systems, overtaking the PS3, but the Xbox 360 outpaced them both. However, according to the latest figures from research firm NPD, it's the PS2 that deserves the real accolade, having sold more units during the final month of the year than any other console.

Sales figures showed that about 1.4 million PS2 consoles moved through the checkout counters and e-tail sites in December, continuing the legacy of Sony's six-year-old console as one of the top-selling game systems of all time.

Unlike Nintendo, which is trying to brush its lackluster Gamecube history into the past, and Microsoft, the company most eager to enter the next generation, Sony is still standing strong in PS2 production. Last year, it introduced a new model of the system, a special edition silver-coated version, and over a hundred new titles were released for it. Sony followed a similar suit during the Playstation/PS2 transition, introducing a portable version of the original console and still developing first-party games for the vintage platform.

The continued success of the PS2 is good news for Sony, as it tries to figure out how to move more PS3 systems. The latest and greatest offering from Sony was well overshadowed by its predecessor, as PS3 sales only tallied around 490,000 in December, less than a third of the number of PS2 sales.

About 687,000 Wiis were sold during the month; a number that would have likely been higher had Nintendo been able to meet the fervent pre-Christmas demand surrounding the new system. Xbox 360 sales were in the range of one million for December.