Despite Sony rumors running rampant throughout most of February before the PlayStation 4 announcement, the XBox 360 was still the top selling console of the month. Making it now twenty-six months in a row, the XBox 360 topped both the PlayStation 3 and Wii which came out after it in its generation as well as the latest generation’s entrant, the Wii U. With this momentum, does Microsoft really need to announce the next XBox, and if so, when?
Right now, Microsoft has the benefit of learning from Sony’s lessons that were painfully learned from the PlayStation 3 launch which Sony never fully recovered from. When the PS3 launched a full year later at a higher price point than the XBox 360, even the system’s power and free online network weren’t enough to make up the deficit.
This generation’s big battle is going to be a more even playing field. Even though the PlayStation 4 was announced already, it is likely that over the coming season Microsoft will be announced by E3 at the latest. Given the current state of things, Microsoft may wait until E3 so they can ride the wave of strong sales that may take a hit at the announcement of a new console. Consumers may remember that the original XBox lost a lot of support at the launch of the XBox 360 so they may fear the same for the 360 with the reveal of the next XBox.
Regardless of the speculation, it is a fact that the XBox 360 sold 302,000 units and the top selling console according to Microsoft in the month of February. Meanwhile the Wii U topped out at 64,000 units, a dismal pace for a new console. It will be interesting to see what comes from the rest of March, especially with GDC upon us.