So How Did The Consoles Sell In Australia In 2009? [Updated]

So How Did The Consoles Sell In Australia In 2009? [Updated]

Australians bought 2,247,000 videogame consoles and handhelds in 2009. But can you guess which piece of hardware sold the best?

2009 was a record year for the industry in Australia as we spent over $2 billion for the first time. Despite that, new console hardware sales were actually down ever-so-slightly, dropping 2,000 units below the year before.

The best-selling console of 2009 was the Nintendo DS.

Remarkably, it’s the fourth consecutive year that has seen Nintendo’s handheld emerge as the best-selling piece of gaming hardware. The DS has now sold more than 2.5 million units in Australia.

Nintendo also took out 2nd place with the Wii selling 730,000 units. There are now more than 1.7 million Wiis in Australia.

That’s the easy part out of the way. Nintendo were happy to provide Kotaku with both 2009 and life-to-date sales figures for their hardware, all based on official GfK stats. When it came to Sony and Microsoft, however, things were a little trickier.

Sony told us they’d “installed an additional 318,000 PS3 devices into Australian homes, taking the lifetime installed base to 770,000 units.” Checking the fine print, we realised these figures included the consoles they’d given away for free in various promotions, including with their Bravia TVs.

Once you bring a halt to the spin, real GfK figures show that Sony actually sold 272,000 PS3s in 2009 which brought the life-to-date sales figure to 646,000. Sony also revealed life-to-date figures for PS2 (2.5 million) and PSP (604,000) which we confirmed were GfK stats.

Microsoft, too, got all obtuse on us. They issued a press release claiming “more than 950,000 Xbox 360 consoles now take pride of place in lounge-rooms across the ANZ region.” They were including New Zealand as well – something neither Sony nor Nintendo had done.

The language of “in lounge-rooms” also suggests they’re not referring to how many consoles have been sold, meaning they’re taking the same tack as Sony and including promotional consoles. The ambivalent footnote “All stats quoted come from GfK or Microsoft internal sales data” appears to back this up.

Microsoft also refrained from mentioning how consoles they had sold during 2009. We know they hit 500,000 consoles sold to date in Australia in January 2009. So, if you subtract the NZ sales from the 950,000 figure, chances are Microsoft sold about the same number of consoles in Australia in 2009 as Sony did. We’ve asked them to clarify.

UPDATE: Microsoft has clarified its figures, saying via email: “Xbox has now achieved an Australian install base of more than 850,000 Xbox 360 units, since launching in Australia in March 2006.”

Which means the install base has grown 350,000 since the figures we were told last January, placing the 360 marginally ahead of the “additional 318,000 PS3 devices” Sony “installed” over the course of 2009.

To conclude: Nintendo is in a clear first place. Sony and Microsoft continue to squabble over second place, selecting the stats that cast them in the best light when, in reality, there’s not much to choose between them.

Don’cha love the console wars?



  • What the freak Sony and Microsoft, we know you’re behind Nintendo so stop trying to hide it with added crap in your sales figures.

    Thank you Dave for bringing clarity to this mess!

    • Yeah no doubt Sony and MS are WELL behind Nintendo

      …but I think I’d let it slide if I were Nintendo (or a Nintendo Fanboy) cos maybe there will be questions over the legitimacy of including Wii Play as Game sales, thats some added crap…

  • I would have thought prior to September, Xbox winning, after September PS3 winning..

    The question now is, how will they go in 2010 without new revisions this year?

    Prediction, PS3 will sell more this year, so the sold will be neck and neck this time next year..

  • How many Xbox360s were taking pride of place in living rooms, forcibly bought after the untimely RROD of their predecessor was no longer covered by warranty?

    • Ouch

      See I didnt want to say that…

      Although mine is finally getting used after a few months even since I downloaded Peggle last week (got sick of waiting for it on the AU PS Store). Funny Fact – I bought my 360 over a year ago and the controller still has the original batteries in it – goes to show how many times I’ve used it!

    • Looking at the 360’s attach rate and active subscribers, I’d say that number wouldn’t be as large as one may assume.

  • This is silly, include the giveaways and make a straight forward list, who cares about the actual “sales” figures? imagine all the wii fit console bundles that were unwanted gifts and never actually played more than once, you still include those. this article is harder to read than the PR mumbo jumbo. it doesnt matter anyway you cant give away a Wii my friend left his at my house and doesnt want it back. free wii anyone?

    • Amen to that. We bought a Wii in May last year. Used it solidly for a weekend, sporadically for another month. It hasn’t even been turned on for about 4 months now – PS3 and DS get all the love.

  • what about IPODS???? I bet Apple’s Touch & Phone models outsold Microsoft & Sony’s consoles by a huge margin!

    What will be most interesting will be what might be the last of the consoles wars late this year with the HD Wii versus 360 Natal and PS3 Motion. Personally I think all three miss the whole point of Wii’s success so far, and there’s noone in developer land or consumer land thats really asking for these so… maybe these will all flop?

    And DS2 vs PSP2 vs Apples current gen iPhone/Touch platform. That is IF Sony bothers trying again. And might Microsoft finally get around to launching it’s long time in R&D portable? Timing seems finally right, no? If it incorporates Live games that play on 360 and the portable it seems to me it would be a success, especially if it puts some real effort behind the mp3 and phone functionality -though it might be reluctant to incorporate these two features to keep down the price, especially after watching the psp bomb compared to ds and itouch.

    Kotaku -go forth and bring us new information on Microsoft’s portable plans. You have been charged with this mission!

  • What is it with the DS? It’s rubbish. One decent game (Mario Kart) and a few quirky others that caputre the attention of 5 year olds… In 18 months of ownership and looking for decent games, the happiest day I had was when I sold it and put the $120 towards a proper console – a PS3.

  • Yes why isn’t the give away PS3s included in the count. Did you every consider the fact that some people might have gone out a bought the TV just to get a PS3 killing two birds with one stone?

    I know a couple of my friends did. IT was an easier sell to their wifes!

  • Those Bravia ‘Giveaways’ aren’t exactly free anyway- wait and see the price of those TV’s that were part of the promotion fall by the rough cost of the PS3 within the coming month or two.

    I know because I hooked onto that deal before Chrissy in 2008, only to go TV shopping with a friend in February to see my Bravia significantly cheaper, in fact, nearly $500 cheaper…

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