PlayStation 3 beats Xbox 360's U.S. sales for the first time in years
Sony fans can finally celebrate a triumphant month in the United States, with the PlayStation 3 landing on top of the sales charts.
The NPD Group does not provide exact figures to the press, but the market research firm told GamesIndustry.biz that the PS3 was the top-selling console in the United States in September 2013. Sony’s strong sales broke a 32-month winning streak by Microsoft, whose Xbox 360 dethroned the Nintendo DS in January 2011.
September also marks the first time the PlayStation 3 has outsold the Xbox 360 since December 2009. Sony dropped the price of its console earlier that fall and enjoyed a few months of higher sales before falling behind the Xbox 360 once again.
Microsoft pointed out that it remains the best-selling console in all of 2013, and had more software sales than any other console during September.
Last month’s strong PS3 sales might have more to do with Grand Theft Auto V and smart bundling than consumers’ sudden love for Sony. To help drive sales, Sony bundled the game and the console with 500GB of storage for just $270. Microsoft, meanwhile, is charging $420 for its GTA V bundle, which includes a year of Xbox Live but only 250GB of storage.
NPD specifically called out Sony’s bundle as a reason for the stronger sales. Grand Theft Auto V has already pulled worldwide revenues of $1 billion, and NPD says it helped boost total U.S. video game revenues by 27 percent year-over-year.
The PlayStation 3’s victory looks more symbolic than strategic at this point, as a single month of sales won’t make much of a difference in market share for the seven year-old console. But with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One arriving in a month, the race will be on once again to grab as much market share as possible.