updated 04:05 pm EDT, Fri March 20, 2009
Xbox 360 tops PS3, NPD
With the recent release of the NPD market research group's sales numbers for gaming consoles and associated game titles for the month of February, Microsoft product management director Aaron Greenberg boasted about the superior performance of the Xbox 360. In the Friday Gamasutra report, Greenberg points out Microsoft's 53 percent annual sales boost for the Xbox 360, saying it exceeded expectations. He also has something to say about rival Sony's year-to-year declines, which showed two consecutive months of declines, blaming it largely on a price of entry for the PS3 that hasn't budged despite the tough economic conditions.
NPD numbers revealed 391,000 Xbox 360s were sold in February in North America, or 115,000 more than PS3s. Only 131,000 of the aging PlayStation 2 system were sold and Greenberg believes Microsoft is converting PS2 owners to Xbox 360, mainly due to its lower price of entry compared to the pricey PS3. Basic PS3s start at $399 at nearly every retailer, while a basic Xbox 360 is available for less than $200. The basic Xbox 360 Arcade lacks a large hard drive, a Blu-ray drive and Wi-Fi.
"What we're finding in our research is that a large portion of the volume we're driving with Xbox 360 purchasers is actually PS2 owners choosing Xbox for the next generation," Greenberg says. "Xbox continues to head north while the PS3 is heading south. We're gaining share." Other reasons for the success of the Microsoft system, Greenberg says, include the larger games library and the availability of exclusive gaming and add-on content online at Xbox Live.
As for gaming titles, another indicator of the Xbox 360's greater popularity is that a newly released title common to both systems, Street Fighter 4, sold 11 percent more copies for the Microsoft system.
Nintendo beat out both Microsoft and Sony in terms of hardware sales, with both its Wii gaming console and portable DS system taking up the top two spots, selling 753,000 and 588,000 units, respectively, in February. The same holds true for games, as Nintendo's Wii Fit game with the balance board outsold second-placed Street Fighter 4 for Xbox port by 198,000 copies.