Microsoft Trumpets Splinter Cell Sales, Sony Talks PS3 Growth

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Teasing plans to "make entertainment history" at E3 next month, Microsoft spun NPD's April 2010 retail video game revenue report as a tale of irate ex-NSA ops, multiplayer betas, and "industry-leading" attach rates.

While Xbox 360 exclusive Splinter Cell: Conviction sold less than half a million copies, it grabbed the top slot in April's lackluster software sales, holding off dual threats from Nintendo's portable Pokemon remakes, and surging ahead of Sony's PS3 exclusive God of War III, which had moved over a million units in March.

Microsoft also hailed its Halo: Reach public beta as a "blockbuster" success, claiming over one million unique players participated in the game's inaugural day. The beta wraps on May 19, and Halo: Reach is due out sometime this fall.

While the Xbox 360 was only up six points in hardware units sold, year-on-year, Microsoft touted its software attach rate of 8.8 and said the Xbox 360 platform totaled $204 million across hardware, software, and accessory sales, "more than any other platform."

NPD's take was slightly different, highlighting the PS3's sales growth in the latter three categories. NPD analyst Anita Frazier noted that "across hardware, software, and accessories, the PS3 platform is the only one to have enjoyed growth over last year for both the month of April and year-to-date."

Sony echoed NPD's angle, continuing to highlight its year-on-year growth, despite overall lagging behind Microsoft in hardware and software sales. Sony president and CEO Jack Tretton noted the PS3's "nine consecutive months of year over year growth" and increase revenue of 32 percent since April 2009. After generically (and over-obviously) pitching the PS3 as an "all-in-one" entertainment machine, Tretton cited upcoming 3D games, movies, and the PlayStation Move motion control system as "ground-breaking innovations."

Nintendo's response was predictably numbers-driven, highlighting the Nintendo DS and Wii hardware sales--440,000 and 277,000 units respectively. Both systems combined accounted for 60 percent of all hardware sold in the U.S. in April, said Nintendo.

"Consumers recognize the unprecedented combination of value and fun offered by Nintendo game systems," said Nintendo sales and marketing vice president Cammie Dunaway. "But including even more hardware and software with every Wii system should drive consumer interest even higher."

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