updated 01:55 pm EST, Fri March 9, 2012
NPD sees big rebound in February
Results posted late Thursday by the NPD Group chalked up a significantly improved February for gaming following a bleak January. Console hardware sales were up 87 percent over what they were in January, to $381.4 million, helped not just by 426,000 Xbox 360 sales but also by the PlayStation Vita. Sony had just four days of hardware sales that weren't directly quantified, but they were enough that the increase would have been a more modest if still healthy 62 percent.
The Xbox was once again the top-selling console of the month. Microsoft was keen to tout the figure as it led to the Xbox having over 40 percent of current console market share for a full year. Games would have been key to the position: nine of the ten top-selling games had an Xbox 360 version, with only the PS3-bound Twisted Metal remake going without.
Nintendo still had adequate performance, but was well under Microsoft's amount. The 3DS was closest at 262,000 systems, while 228,000 Wii systems and 135,000 DSi units traded hands. Sony hasn't made its PS3 volumes public.
While it's yet to be seen whether the sales will be sustained, they suggest that January was a one-time sink, possibly triggered by the immediate wake of the holidays. Some key game launches just as the month started, like