updated 08:10 am EST, Fri March 12, 2010
Xbox 360 helped by Wii and PS3 shortages
The Xbox 360 claimed a rare absolute victory in sales last month, according to new NPD data. Microsoft pushed 422,000 Xbox 360s in February compared to a relatively mild 397,900 Nintendo Wiis over the same period. The reversal was rare but was helped by the launch of key games in or shortly before the period, including Bioshock 2 and Mass Effect 2.
In the case of Bioshock, about three quarters of all sales were for the Xbox version, NPD noted. Mass Effect has always been exclusive to the Xbox 360 on consoles.
Both Nintendo and Sony, which sold 360,100 PlayStation 3s, were hampered by ongoing shortages. Nintendo expects low Wii stock until March, while a surge of slim PS3 sales has caught Sony off-guard and also likely won't see supply match demand until later in the spring.
Nintendo has only very occasionally been eclipsed in sales and since launch has sold about twice as many Wiis as Microsoft has Xbox 360s, at 67.5 million versus 39 million. The price of the system has been lower overall at an average $250 and even today matches the $200 Microsoft charges for a stripped-down Xbox 360 Arcade. Sony has usually trailed due to high prices but has been much more competitive with the slim 120GB PS3 as it matches the popular Xbox 360 Elite's $300 price and is accordingly much closer to the Wii.