Sony sells 4.1 million Move systems, races Kinect

Sony sells 4.1 million Move systems, races Kinect

Seattle: Sony Corp has sold 4.1 million of its Move motion-sensing game controllers to retailers worldwide in the two months since launch, putting it roughly on par with Microsoft Corp’s Kinect system as the holiday shopping season takes off.

On Monday, Microsoft said it had sold more than 2.5 million of its controller-free Kinect video game systems worldwide only 25 days after launch, keeping it on track to hit its target of 5 million this year.

Move, launched six weeks earlier, has the lead in overall sales, but the two seem evenly matched, running at a rate of more than 2 million units per month.

Sony launched the Move controller—a wand-like device that allows users to control on-screen gaming action—in September in North America and in October in Japan.

The device costs $50 for the controller or $400 bundled with a PlayStation 3. Microsoft’s Kinect system, launched in early November, costs $150 or $300 bundled with a 4 gigabyte Xbox console.

The Sony and Microsoft sales figures are not exactly comparable, as Sony’s number refers to sales to retail stores whereas Microsoft’s refers to sales to consumers, known in the business as the “sell-through" number.

Ultimately, the difference may be minor, as both companies have reported strong demand from retailers and are restocking store shelves as fast as possible.

The two devices, which are competing with Nintendo’s Wii motion controller system, look set to buck the slowdown in video game spending this year, and will likely benefit from an upbeat start to the holiday shopping season.

Sony’s US-traded shares rose 1.65% on the New York Stock Exchange, while Microsoft shares were flat on the Nasdaq.