Following November's strong NPD results
, the industry's big three platform-holders each weighed in to highlight their own strengths in a month that saw record-breaking performance against industry benchmarks for Wii, the most successful month ever for Xbox 360 -- and Sony focusing on "momentum."
Microsoft Beats Its Own Personal Best
Microsoft guessed last month it would outsell the PlayStation 3 two to one. It didn't make that goal in October, but it did in November -- it actually outsold both the PS3 and PS2 combined.
It was both the most successful November and the most successful Black Friday in the history of the console, with 836,000 units sold in total and $298 million in third-party game sales. The company claims to generate more retail revenue for third-party publishers than both the dominant Wii and the PlayStation 3 combined.
Microsoft says its software attach rate is 8:1, and its total software sales were $408 million in November. Xbox 360 exclusive Gears of War 2
took the top spot on the software charts to boot with 1.6 million units sold.
The Xbox 360's growth translated globally as well, Microsoft says, noting sales up in Europe up 124 percent, a growth for the region that well outpaced its competition (43 percent for Wii, 3 percent for PS3).
The company also released new stats for Xbox Live, claiming 1.5 million transactions and 4 million game sessions on the service.
"We’ve created the optimal line-up of experiences this holiday season for families seeking lasting entertainment value, particularly during rough economic times in the U.S. and abroad," says Don Mattrick, senior vice president of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business.
"We have the largest library of games, TV, and movie content and the most expansive and rewarding social experiences. We’re confident Xbox 360 will continue to drive record sales around the world this holiday and beyond."
Sony Focuses On Momentum
With Sony's three hardware platforms making up the bottom three of the monthly NPD hardware charts, the company chose to group them together, highlighting 1 million hardware units for the PlayStation brand -- which it says is a 93 percent growth over last month.
Sales of PlayStation 2 rose slightly from 190k to 206k, but the PSP's growth was more considerable at more than double, or 118 percent.
According to Sony's numbers, the PlayStation 3 specifically sold 378,071 units, twice what it sold in October, and representing a 60 percent year-to-date growth, totaling some 2.8 million units sold to date.
The company claims over 3.5 million units of PS3 software sold to date, though its top sellers were third-party titles: Call of Duty: World at War, Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe,
and Madden NFL 09
Sony noted 15 million registered PlayStation Network accounts to date, but declined to provide growth figures for the month.
In November, the PlayStation brand saw $663 million in revenue, Sony said, or 11 percent year-to-date growth, alongside $261 million in November hardware revenue, or 9 percent growth. Software revenue was up 16 percent to $352 million.
"Throughout the year, PS3 and the PlayStation brand have demonstrated consistent growth and we remain confident in meeting our fiscal targets," SCEA sales VP Ian Jackson told Gamasutra.
"We have continued to deliver blockbuster software titles and ground-breaking services -- including an unmatched holiday software line-up and today’s launch of the PlayStation Home Beta service -- and we expect continued momentum throughout the holiday season."
Nintendo Breaks Sales Records
Between its Wii and DS, Nintendo accounted for a staggering 3.6 million units of hardware in November alone -- the Wii's 2 million sold, according to Nintendo, sets an all-time record for a console's sales outside of December, while the DS is now the second-highest total for a non-December month in history. Overall, the company claims it represents 198 percent of the industry's total year-over-year growth, and 66 percent of the month's hardware sales.
The Wii has now sold 15.4 million units since its November 2006 launch. Its Wii Play
software, which continues to chart on monthly NPD, has now sold 7.9 million units to date in the U.S. alone, Nintendo tells Gamasutra.
Nintendo had four titles in the top ten on the month's software charts, none of which launched in November -- Wii Play, Wii Fit, Mario Kart Wii
and Wii Music
, and Nintendo specifically highlighted that title's "long-tail trend."
"Nintendo's record-breaking sales demonstrate that consumers are looking for the best value not only among video games, but also among all entertainment options," says Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of Sales & Marketing.
"Shoppers are looking for gifts that can be enjoyed by the whole family, and Nintendo provides an incomparable range of experiences that gets the whole family involved."