Following the release of yesterday's NPD hardware sales figures, in which the PS3 finally landed a few decent punches on its competitors, you could expect a few things to happen. One was that Sony would dance the happiest post-NPDs sales dance they've danced in a long time. The other was that Microsoft, relegated to the arse-end of the pack, would find putting a positive spin on their performance very, very difficult. Guess what? They found it very, very difficult. The end result is so timid that it inspires pity. Sympathy, almost.
Sure, David Dennis did his best when he claimed hardware shortages, but nobody was really buying that. Instead, the official spin relies mostly on software sales and abstract revenue figures, like the fact people spent twice as much money on 360 games in January than they did on PS3 games, or that third-party publishers are enjoying better success on the 360 than on other platforms.
The full, exhaustively cherry-picked statement is below:
January NPD Update
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.