If you had to boil down this month's NPD numbers to one statement, it wouldn't be about any particular system (despite how my headline reads). "Videogames are blowing up" would probably be the best summary. The industry as a total is up 34 percent, hitting $1.33 billion. Gamers laugh in the face of recessions!
Sony did it again, and Microsoft called it. Sony's press release used the word "eclipse" when referring to its sales against Xbox 360's. At first, I thought it was funny, and maybe too strong of a word. But, year-to-year sales have doubled, and they managed to move 280,800 systems to Microsoft's 254,600. If you want to talk "eclipse," check out the PlayStation 2's numbers: 351,000 systems were sold in Feburary. That makes this oldie-but-goodie the next best selling system to the Wii (432,000)! Let's not forget the PSP: February was a great month for the portable, with 243,100 systems sold.
Microsoft's monthly release on the NPD figures opens with the sentence: "For February's NPD reporting period, Xbox 360 remained in a supply constrained situation." Yeah, we've heard! While they don't have the hardware numbers to brag about, they do have the majority of the top ranked and best selling software titles. Devil May Cry 4, Turok, and Lost Odyssey moved many a copy, and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare continued to kick ass for Microsoft this month. Ars Technica says that Microsoft should be worried about these figures. I don't think so, but I do think they'll continue to be outsold for at least next couple of months.
The last word from Microsoft in their release is a p.s. that states that they "are not in talks with Sony or the Blu-ray Disc Association regarding integrating Blu-ray in to the Xbox 360 experience." So that's that.
Finally, Nintendo kicks ass in February. Who's surprised? The DS absolutely dominates for the month. That explains why I had a very difficult time finding one for a friend's birthday gift. The portable moved 587,600 units, up from 251,000. Wii came in at number two with 432,000 units sold, and I bet half of that was the "wait for Brawl" crowd. Of course, titles like Mario and Sonic: Olympic Games and Guitar Hero III helped Nintendo rule the overall software sales for the month.
All in all, this month's figures read a lot like last month's. I expect that the next few months will play out the same way. I don't see any of the big three's courses changing any time soon. What do you think?
For February's NPD reporting period, Xbox 360 remained in a supply constrained situation. The situation is improving and we are confident consumers will soon be able to find the Xbox 360 SKU they seek, in time for the launch of "Grand Theft Auto IV", which we expect to be one of the biggest titles of the year with huge impact on the Xbox 360 platform.
What makes a winning platform? It's more than console sales. It's about consoles + content + community.
As you do your reporting this month we thought we'd provide you with what we believe is a complete picture of a healthy console ecosystem, and how Xbox 360 is contributing:
· $332 million was spent on the Xbox 360 platform this month, capturing 39 percent of the generation's ecosystem, $235 million was spent on the PS3 and $283 million was spent on the Wii. (February NPD data)
· The Xbox 360 platform now has a U.S. installed base of 9.6 million; the PS3 has 3.8 million, the Wii has 8.1 million. (February NPD data)
· February NPD data shows a new Xbox 360 software attach rate of 7.2, nearly twice that of the PS3 or the Wii. (February NPD data)
· 255,000 Xbox 360 consoles were sold during the month of February. (February NPD data)
· Xbox 360 leads in games, with six out of the top 10 best selling console games in February. (February NPD data)
· Xbox 360 "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare" (Activision) was the best-selling console game across all platforms, outselling the PlayStation 3 version by 2:1. (February NPD data)
· Xbox 360 has the top selling games on its platform. According to February NPD, Xbox 360 sold $184 million in games, with PS3 selling $97 million and Wii $130 million.
· Third party partners find more success on Xbox 360. In February, Xbox 360 accounted for $159 million of all third party game sales this generation, or 45 percent of share. (February NPD data)
· Xbox 360 has more games available than any other platform, and more than twice the games available on PS3. (February NPD data)
· Xbox LIVE is the largest online gaming community currently over 10 million strong worldwide, and growing. The PS3 online network is only 2.9 million (U.S. data only) and the Wii has only four million (this number includes North America and Japan). (Microsoft internal estimates)
· Xbox LIVE is opening doors to help turn its 10 million gamers into developers. Last month, Xbox 360 announced community games for Xbox LIVE and will be widely available this fall.
· Today, we are announcing Xbox LIVE experienced 750,000 downloads of seven new community games on Xbox LIVE. They were made available for free, for less than a week. (Microsoft internal estimates)
When you look at lifetime performance of all three consoles, Xbox 360 continues to lead:
Lifetime Ecosystem Performance (US NPD Data):
· To date, $9.0 billion have been spent on Xbox 360 in the U.S, which is more than the competition's retail dollars combined. This is nearly $6 billion more than consumers have spent on PS3 and approximately $4.5 billion more than Wii.
· Third party publishers make 60 percent of their revenue at retail on the Xbox 360 platform this generation.
Xbox 360: Extending the Lead
· Xbox 360 has six of the top 10 best games, ranked by quality. (Metacritic)
· No other game platform delivers downloadable digital entertainment, with family favorites like "Hannah Montana" and "Lost."
· No other platform delivers interactive online experiences to more than 10 million members around the globe.
EBRUARY 2008 NPD HIGHLIGHTS:
PS3 Sales Eclipse Xbox 360 for Second Straight Month; Year-Over-Year Sales More Than Doubled
- Total PlayStation Hardware Unit Sales Top 875,969
- PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3™) outsold Xbox 360 for the second straight month with 280,841 hardware units sold in February, 10% higher than Microsoft (according to NPD February 2008 sales data). Year-over-year this represents 120% sales growth.
- PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) continued its trend of strong sales with 243,115 PSP hardware units sold in February, representing a year-over-year increase of 38%.
- PlayStation®2 (PS2) continues to surprise and delight mainstream audiences with hardware unit sales reaching 351,787 units. Additionally, for the third consecutive month, PS2 sold more software units than any other console on the market, not only a testament to the staying power of PlayStation products, but also the incredible PlayStation software library.
- The PlayStation brand generated the most U.S. retail dollars in the industry for the second consecutive month with $511 million in sales, 52% and 6% higher than Microsoft and Nintendo, respectively.
"Consumers are recognizing the tremendous value of PS3 and we believe that Blu-ray becoming the high-def format of choice was the tipping point for many consumers. With monster titles like Gran Turismo 5 Prologue and Grand Theft Auto IV launching in April and Metal Gear Solid 4 in June, we're demonstrating this is the year for PS3."
- Jack Tretton, president and CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment America