Posted on February 15, 2008,

Microsoft’s Spin on the January NPDs: Supplies Constrained, Games Sell Better on 360


Like any other month, we’ve gotten Microsoft’s spin on the latest NPD figures. But unlike most months, the Xbox 360 was outsold by both the Wii and PlayStation 3 – so where does that leave Microsoft to spin things in a positive way? Plenty of places, apparently, as they flouted the total amount spent on the platform and how games sell better on 360.

Hit the jump for the spin and my thoughts.

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.

Firstly, I’m not certain where they see Halo 3 as being on the top 10 best selling list – unless, of course, Microsoft is focusing exclusively on the current generation of home consoles. Sneaky.

The proclamation that games “play better” on Xbox 360 seems like nonsense; that claim could fly when it came to Madden 08, but to make such a broad claim is absolute nonsense. Having played both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of Burnout Paradise, I can safely say that the PS3 version isn’t inferior. In fact, I’d rather play the game on PS3, thanks to not having to jump through the additional hoop that is Xbox Live. (But, for the record, I own the 360 version, as that’s what my friends play the game on.)

And the facts are picky-choosey when it comes to Rock Band and Guitar Hero III. Microsoft claims that Rock Band didn’t make the top 25 list for January on PS3, but in the same bullet point fail to mention anything about Guitar Hero III’s sales on PS3.

I could continue on, but that seems like enough for this month. As always, I’m not a fanboy – I simply pick these apart so that readers can see these NPD spins for what they really are.

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1 Comment on Microsoft’s Spin on the January NPDs: Supplies Constrained, Games Sell Better on 360

Rick Robertson

On February 19, 2008 at 4:16 pm

TIME. Rick . R.