Matt Matthews of examines the great mystery of the software tie ratio, and what the most up-to-date tie ratios mean for their respective platform holders.

Hard Software Numbers

The Xbox 360 is way ahead of the competition in part because it had a full year headstart. Still, the PS3 and Wii have been out for the same length of time and the Wii has moved far more software.

Before the Sony and Nintendo fans get all bent out of shape, let's do a better comparison. Reports on December 2006 sales put the Xbox 360's LTD tie ratio at 5.1. Digging out our hardware LTD sales from that same period, here is an apples-to-apples comparison, each platform 14 months after launch.

The Wii looks great up against the Xbox 360 despite a lower tie ratio precisely because it has sold more hardware. That is, more system owners buying less software can give higher software sales than fewer system owners buying more software. Regrettably for Sony, they've got both fewer system owners and fewer software per owner.

Monthly Sales Too

Both the Xbox 360 and the Wii are doing well, and the PS3...ouch. Given that December is one of the two best months of the year for software sales, these are grim numbers for Sony.