updated 12:35 pm EST, Fri November 14, 2008
NPD Consoles October 2008
A study of October console sales in the US by the NPD Group released today suggests Sony has improved its long-term sales of of the PS3. While Nintendo continues to enjoy a clear lead, the PlayStation 3 saw one of its greatest year-over-year results and saw sales grow 57 percent versus October of last year to 232,400 consoles. The difference wasn't enough to eclipse the Xbox 360's 371,000 systems but represents a tangible improvement for Sony, which has regularly struggled to sell the PS3 due to its high price and a lack of system-selling exclusives.
The launch of LittleBigPlanet resulted in the eighth most popular game of the month despite only five days of sales at best, NPD says, though the researchers don't say how many of these sales were attached to new systems as often happens with high-profile releases. Sony considers LBP its flagship game for the season and has taken to creating a special PS3 bundle for some countries that includes the game at a discounted price.
Nintendo by contrast sold 803,210 Wii systems and saw a 16.9 percent increase in sales just over September alone, sparked both by the seasonal boost to sales as well as renewed interest in Wii Fit and other games key to its lineup.
The Xbox 360's sales figure was a 6.8 percent jump over the previous month and was helped both by earlier price cuts, reaching as low as $199 for an Arcade model, as well as an uptick in systems bought alongside Fable II.
All console makers are known to be concerned that a failing US economy will curb sales in the last two months of 2008 but have also been buoyed by high-profile game launches in the season. Microsoft in particular is poised to benefit from the two-million plus copies of Gears of War 2 sold in just its first weekend on shelves.