The NPD report for December is in. It was a good holiday season for all involved — and a very good one for Microsoft. The Xbox One and Xbox 360 were the best selling consoles in each of their generations, with 908,000 sales for Xbox One and 643,000 for Xbox 360, making up 46% of the total US hardware market. Xbox One games also held six of the top ten spots for best-selling software.
This is the status quo according to the last generation — Xbox holds down the US, Playstation does better in Europe and dominates Japan (Microsoft has been trying to make Europe a battleground this generation, but has largely ceded Japan). Still waiting on PS4 numbers, and will update with those. My guess is they aren’t too far behind — Sony is mounting an impressive attack in home territory, significantly helped by better on-paper specs and a $100 price difference. Globally, Sony’s machine is still ahead.
There’s one major caveat to any console sale numbers from launch until a month or two from now. As I’ve said before, demand far outstripped supply for the entire launch window, and this early sales contest was likely to go to whichever company could get more consoles in stores. I haven’t ever seen a physical PS4 in a store in the US, and I’ve been looking. There’s no telling what either Xbox One or PS4 numbers would have been if there were enough machines to go around.
“According to the latest NPD report, PlayStation 4 remains the cumulative leader for next-gen console sales in the U.S. since its launch on November 15,” Sony spokesperson Dan Race said in a statement provided to GamesBeat. “We sold every PS4 available at retail in the U.S. and were out of stock in December due to overwhelming consumer demand.”
“There’s this very complicated dance of moving the inventory around, but we really feel like the situation is starting to normalize quite a bit. It’s hit or miss — some places we’re in stock, some places we aren’t.”
It’s been a hugely successful launch for both companies so far, and there’s a lot of gaming ot look forward to in 2014. With a solid starting install base and not too many games, the developers will be on their way.