440,000 PS3s sell during Thanksgiving week, 360 sales unclear

Sony's console sells 37.2% more during "Black Friday" week than it did in all of October; Microsoft says Xbox 360 doubled previous week's total, but exact figures not provided.

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Yesterday, Nintendo announced the Wii had sold 550,000 units in the US during the Thanksgiving holiday week, the traditional start of the Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa shopping season. Today, Sony responded in kind, announcing the PlayStation 3 sold 440,000 units domestically during the same period--an "all-time high" according to the company.

The PS3 is gaining momentum…
The PS3 is gaining momentum…

But although the $199 Wii is still outselling the $299 PS3, the sales numbers show that momentum is shifting. Sales of Nintendo's console were down 31.3 percent from the 2008 Thanksgiving week, and only up 8.5 percent from October's monthly total of 506,900 units. By contrast, sales of the PS3 increased 37.2 percent from the console's October 320,600-unit tally. When compared to an estimate offered last year by rival Microsoft, which then bragged its Xbox 360 outsold the PS3 3-to-1, the PS3 appears to have come close to quadrupling its 2008 Thanksgiving week total.

One year later, Microsoft isn't bragging about the 360's sales…much. Though the company has not yet released a formal statement on the console's sales during last week, Xbox 360 product management director Aaron Greenberg used his Twitter account to boast of the console's success. "Great #BlackFriday results just in, biggest sales week of the year for #Xbox360, more than 2xs previous week sales," he tweeted.

…but is the 360 losing it?
…but is the 360 losing it?

When asked for exact 360 sales figures for the week, a Microsoft rep said that the company does not reveal internal numbers outside of earnings reports. (The same was true in 2008, but an approximate figure of 388,000 units could be extrapolated.) However, looking at the 360's US performance so far in 2009 may offer a clue to the console's Thanksgiving performance. During its four-week October reporting period, the research firm the NPD Group reported 249,700 360s had been sold in the US, a weekly average of 62,425 units. Were that figure the same during the week before Thanksgiving, 124,850 units of the console would have been sold.

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