North American Sales of Xbox 360 hardware pulled ahead of the PlayStation 3 in March according to market research company NPD.
262,000 Xbox 360s were sold in March - compared to 257,000 PS3s according to the latest figures from NPD. Both systems were once again massively outsold by the Wii, however. Nintendo's console shifted 720,000 units. The PS2 performed respectably, selling 216,000 units.
The Nintendo DS came in a shade behind the Wii, with 698,000 sales. Sony sold 297,000 PSPs.
Microsoft attributed its over-taking Sony to renewed supply of the console. "We said as our supply issue lifted that we'd be back in the game", commented Microsoft spokesman David Dennis. "For the most part we're in good supply throughout the retail channel. There are still pockets of shortages, but for most part you can go into a store and find an Xbox 360."
Sony Computer Entertainment America's president and CEO, Jack Tretton, remained bullish. "Our sales momentum continues to defy what is traditionally a sluggish sales month, said Tretton in a statement. PS3 continued the strong momentum with a year-over-year sales growth of over 98%. It is proof that, in these economically challenging times, consumers recognize the long-term value of our platforms and the tremendous heritage of our brand in delivering the best entertainment experience."
Overall, hardware and software sales were up 57% compared to the same period last year. $1.7 billion was made in total. "You'd never know that the U.S. economy was under distress by looking at the video games industry sales figures", said NPD analyst Anita Frazier.
It's worth noting, of course, that this time last year both the Wii and PS3 were only a few months into their life cycle in the US a factor bound to affect sales.
Nintendo also led the way on the software front, with Super Smash Bros. Brawl
for the Wii topping game sales with 2.7 million copies sold. (Quite a way) behind it was the 360 version of Ubisoft's Rainbow Six Vegas 2
, with 752,000 sales, followed by the 360 version of Electronic Arts' Army of Two
with 606,000 sales. You can see the Top 10 in full below.
1. Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Wii Nintendo 2.7 million
2. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2
Xbox 360 Ubisoft 752,300
3. Army of Two
Xbox 360 EA 606,100
4. Wii Play
Wii Nintendo 409,800
5. God of War: Chains of Olympus
PSP Sony 340,500
6. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII
PSP Square Enix 301,600
7. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
Wii Activision 264,100
8. Major League Baseball 2K8
Xbox 360 Take-Two 237,100
9. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Xbox 360 Activision 237,000
10. Army of Two
PS3 EA 224,900Sources: Reuters, GameDaily.biz