Posted on October 19, 2007,

Microsoft’s Spin on the September NPD Figures

microsoft-npd-spin1.png microsoft-npd-spin2.png

Yesterday, the September NPD figures were released (software and hardware) and essentially read, “Halo 3 sold a lot. Xbox 360 also did. And the Wii did, too.” The PlayStation 3 didn’t fair particularly well, and virtually every other game sold worse than what was anticipated.

So, as you would expect, Microsoft is feeling all high and mighty, and have contorted the numbers around to make them look as good as possible. Some of the highlights:

  • Xbox 360 outsold PS3 5:1
    • 50% increase in sales over August for the 360
    • PS3 had an average weekly decline of 27%
  • Xbox 360 software revenue outsold PS3’s portfolio 8:1 and the Wii’s 4:1 and sold three times more both systems combined
    • Xbox 360 software was 74% of total software sales on next-gen market, compared to Wii’s 17% and PS3’s 9%
    • Without counting Halo 3, the Xbox 360 portfolio outsold the PS3’s 2:1
  • Xbox 360 has the most top-rated next-gen games, with 80 games averaging 80 or higher on Metacritic, compared to the PS3’s 31 and the Wii’s 11
    • The Orange Box and Mass Effect have both got scores higher than 97 and higher on Metacritic

They also go on to claim the fact that the Xbox 360 held six spots in the top ten console games rankings, including #1, 2 and 3 being the three versions of Halo 3. And to boot, the Legendary Edition of Halo 3 sold more than twice as many units as Heavenly Sword, leading them to say, “The helmet is mightier than the sword.” How clever.

As opposed to last time I broke down Microsoft’s spin on the NPDs (or as I like to think of it, simply putting things in perspective), I feel this can all be wrapped up pretty quickly. Yes, Microsoft, your games are selling well but even in what will likely be your best month, the Wii had an incredible month, the PS2 version of Madden 08 outsold the 360 version, Mass Effect has been reviewed by a single publication and a 50% jump isn’t a huge one considering the Xbox 360 didn’t have a huge month in August and Halo 3 was released in September.

Oh, and that line about the helmet sucked.

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7 Comments on Microsoft’s Spin on the September NPD Figures


On October 19, 2007 at 3:10 pm

It seems like Microsoft is tooting their horn a little too loudly.


On October 19, 2007 at 4:35 pm

As I said in another post, raw numbers are useless. The fact that Madden on PS2 outsold the 360 version probably has something to do with the fact that there are 10x more PS2s out there than 360s. This is not in any way a defense of Microsoft, because the same argument holds when comparing Heavenly Sword to Halo 3 (i.e. there are fewer PS3s in the hands of the public than 360s).

As for the 50% sales increase… you’re coming off August, which I would suspect is a slow month for console sales anyway, and you’ve got the Halo 3 release which everyone knew would be a system seller. The next few months will be interesting. Because H3 was released late in September, you’ll probably see a decent October for 360 console sales as well. After that you’re into the holiday buying season. But I would be very surprised if they showed any growth over prior month through the end of the year.


On October 19, 2007 at 4:39 pm

Go 360


On October 21, 2007 at 8:11 pm

The 360 is in the middle, average, semi-perfect range. Not to expensive, not too cheapy. The Wii costs less and has noticeably worse hardware. The PS3 costs more, but its hardware differences are so minute that only Nazis notice them.


On October 21, 2007 at 8:56 pm

I think it’ll be a PS3 Christmas.

How can you say the hardware is worse than the 360? At least it’s reliable. You can say it’s a lower end machine, but since when does technical specs make the machine better? If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and you had to choose between a Pea Green Gameboy and it’s entire library of games and a Sega Gamegear and it’s entire library of games and an endless battery supply which would you choose?

I’m willing to bet on the Gameboy, do you know why?
Because the game boy has more, fun games than the Game Gear.
Why did the pea green gameboy beat out the 16 bit game gear? same reason.

It’s not the specs that make the console, it’s the games.


On October 23, 2007 at 5:36 am

It look like even Halo isn’t going to save the 360 worldwide. After a dismal year of sales outside of the US its slumped again in Europe:

Here are last weeks sales:

DS: 171,260
Wii: 70,322
PS3: 64,087
PS2: 57,152
PSP: 54,449
360: 37,303
GBA: 2,286

Considering its only popular in one region now there is a strong possibility it wont even reach the 25m sales total of the original Xbox. IMO there is only one thing that might save it. Make Xbox live free.


On October 23, 2007 at 5:46 am

Sorry the figures I posted are UK sales not the whole EU. Considering the UK is the only EU country where the Xbox is popular that actually makes things far worse.