When Sony released the PlayStation 3 toward the end of 2006, the Japanese hardware maker had given its American rival Microsoft a year's head start. Since then, the Xbox 360 has been ahead in the sales race, though Nintendo's Wii--which was released at almost the same time as the PS3--rapidly established itself at the front of the pack. Sony today confirmed that the PlayStation 3 hit a significant sales milestone in March, with the 50 millionth PS3 being purchased on March 29.
The Xbox 360 took nine months longer to reach that particular milestone; Microsoft's Steve Ballmer took to the stage at January's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to confirm that his firm's console had just sold 50 million units. As of December 2010, the Wii had sold 86 million units worldwide.
Sony also confirmed today that PlayStation Move hardware had sold 8 million units as of April 3, though it was not clear from the numbers provided if this was for complete systems or the total number of individual elements, such as controllers. Microsoft's Kinect motion-sensing peripheral has outperformed the Move hardware too, with life-to-date sales of 10 million units being confirmed last month.
These milestones came despite an apparent drop in US sales for the PS3 in 2010--Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter estimated a year-on-year sales decline of 12 percent for Sony's console in 2010, compared to a 3 percent drop for the market as a whole. Sony also confirmed that as of March 20, the PlayStation Network had 75 million registered accounts.