January NPD: PS3 outsells Xbox 360

Ah, this is refreshing. I don’t say that as a fanboy of any particular console, but more as the person who digs through the NPD data every month. It’s nice to see something different!

The PlayStation 3 has a good start this year with 269,000 units sold, beating out Microsoft’s number of 230,000. I’m glad to see that Sony didn’t go for the “in your face, Microsoft” approach for this victory, and I’ve applauded their humble tone before, but the release title unapologetically proclaims that “PS3 Outsells Xbox 360; PlayStation Brand Outsells Competition Combined.” Ah, we’ll give it to them this month. Good job, sirs and gents.

Microsoft is quick to mention shortages. There hasn’t really been any serious shortage problems in the past, and it seems kind of funny that the news hits the same time as these NPD numbers, but our own quick checks with retailers seems to prove this true. In my own research, I couldn’t find an Xbox 360 today at all, but then again, the PS3, Wii, and especially the  DS are also in short supply. What’s going on here?

As in the past, people continue to spend more on their Xbox 360s. Microsoft’s release says that $159 million was spent on Xbox 360 games in January compared to $131 million on Wii and $80 million for PS3. This may have something to do with six of the top ten games being Xbox 360 titles. You know these titles; I don’t have to tell you their names.

So, to boil these two releases down: Sony says they sold more systems, Microsoft says that they sold more games. Microsoft says that the Xbox 360 brand sold more than the PS3 or Wii, but Sony answers that the PlayStation brand sold more than anything. Whatever! I’m still waiting on Nintendo’s, but you all know what that will say already.

Things should become really interesting in the next couple of months. I predict that Sony’s momentum will continue, with high-profile releases like Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, Metal Gear Solid 4, SingStar, Grand Theft Auto IV, LittleBigPlanet, Resistance 2, and more on the horizon. Wait, does this make me a fanboy? 

Damned if you do, right? Full releases after the jump.

PS3 Outsells Xbox 360; PlayStation Brand Outsells Competition Combined

PlayStation Hardware Momentum
•       PS3 Outsold Xbox 360: PLAYSTATION(R)3 (PS3™) demonstrated continued
momentum in January 2008 with 269K hardware units sold in January, 17%
higher than Microsoft.
o       PLAYSTATION(R)Network total downloads exceeded 7.9 million in
January 2008, well above the 6.6 million in December 2007. Currently
in North America there are more than 2.9 million registered
PLAYSTATION Network accounts and more than 52M total downloads
life-to-date from PLAYSTATION Store.
o       The best is yet to come: The influx of exceptional exclusive and
third-party games like Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, Metal Gear Solid 4:
Guns of the Patriots and Grand Theft Auto IV, not to mention later
releases such as LittleBigPlanet, Resistance 2, SingStar, to name a
few, combined with current momentum for Blu-ray, are expected to
further enthusiasm for PS3.
•       PSP(R) (PlayStation(R)Portable) continued its sales ascent in
January 2008 with 230K PSP hardware units sold in January;
representing an increase of 9% over January 2007. Also, with its new
partnership with Skype™ and great upcoming new games, such as God of
War: Chains of Olympus, Patapon and Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII,
further sales growth is expected in 2008.
•       PlayStation(R)2 (PS2) also had an excellent month in January with
hardware unit sales reaching 264K units. Also, the PS2 sold more
software units than any other console on the market.

Power of the PlayStation Portfolio
•       According to NPD January 2008 sales data, the PlayStation brand
generated the most U.S. retail dollars in the industry with $486
million, 25% higher than Nintendo and 61% higher than Microsoft.
o       The PlayStation brand was #1 in both hardware and software in January.
o       The PlayStation brand sold more hardware units than Nintendo and
Microsoft combined (764K versus 530K and 230K, respectively).
o       PlayStation total hardware revenue was $196 million in January;
surpassing the total hardware revenue of Microsoft and Nintendo
o       PlayStation total software revenue in January was $224 million, 38%
higher than Microsoft.

Industry Outlook
“Coming off a great holiday sales season we see strong momentum behind
PS3 in 2008, and feel confident about the year ahead. We have an
exceptionally diverse lineup of exclusive games, from Gran Turismo 5
Prologue, Metal Gear Solid 4 and Resistance 2 to more mainstream games
such as LittleBigPlanet and SingStar. Beyond that, we have Blu-ray
emerging as the de facto high def standard, the developer community is
hitting their stride, consumers are recognizing the tremendous value
and innovative services such as PlayStation Home are all in the works,
so this is definitely shaping up to be a breakthrough year for us.”
 – Jack Tretton, CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment America

Today we have an update from NPD on console, accessory and software sales for January 2008 and it demonstrates that whether you are a consumer, retailer, or a publisher there is no better platform for games than Xbox 360.


Xbox 360 experienced a record-setting holiday that has not slowed down in 2008. NPD today reported that in January, Microsoft sold 230,000 Xbox 360 consoles. Our retailers are telling us that Xbox 360 is selling as fast as they can restock, but due to this high demand, Xbox 360 is experiencing temporary shortages. We are working as quickly as we can to replenish inventory.


Xbox 360 Owners Spend More on Games; Drives Industry Ecosystem

·         In January, $297 million was spent on the Xbox 360 platform (hardware, software and accessories combined), compared to $244 million on Wii and $219 million on PS3. (U.S. NPD, January)

·         $159 million was spent on Xbox 360 games alone in January compared to $131 million on Wii and $80 million for PS3. (U.S. NPD, January)

·         Total customer spending on Xbox 360 life-to-date now reaches nearly $8.6 billion; this is more than double PS3 and Wii combined. (U.S. NPD, January)

·         Six of the top 10 best selling games in January are on Xbox 360’s platform. (U.S. NPD, January)

·         After five months on the market, “Halo 3” continues to make the top 10 best selling games list according to NPD with 127,000 additional units sold in January. (U.S. NPD, January)


Games Play Better, Sell Better on Xbox 360     

·         “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare” on Xbox 360 was the number one selling game across all platforms for the third month in a row. In January, the fourth edition of Activision’s acclaimed war game sold more than 331,000 copies on Xbox 360 and outsold the PS3 version by more than 2:1. (U.S. NPD, January)

·         Music fans love to jam on “Rock Band” and “Guitar Hero III” on Xbox 360! The Xbox 360 version of “Rock Band” sold more than 172,000 units in January and ranked fifth on the top 10 best selling games according to NPD. “Rock Band” on PS3 failed make it into the top 25 list for January. (U.S. NPD, January)

·         Third party publishers made 61 percent of their retail revenue, this generation, on Xbox 360 compared to 20 percent on Wii and 18 percent on PS3. (U.S. NPD, January)

·         Xbox 360 has 83 titles with a Metacritic review score of 80 or higher compared to just 42 for PS3 and 14 for Wii.


Looking forward, Xbox 360 will continue to be the destination for the best games with powerhouse franchises such as “BioShock,” “Call of Duty,” “Guitar Hero,” “Halo,” “Madden,” “Mass Effect,” and coming in April, “Grand Theft Auto IV.”  Whether you are an experienced gamer or a family looking for a night of fun, Xbox 360 is today’s preferred gaming experience, where everyone is invited to play.

Dale North