Posted on September 14, 2007,

Spin Doctor: Microsoft’s Take on the August NPDs

xbox-360.jpg

As is customary following the release of NPD numbers, Microsoft has released its spin on the previous month’s sales. While Xbox 360 was outsold by both the DS and Wii, it had plenty to legitimately brag about.

August NPD Round-Up:

  • Xbox 360 unit sales are up 63 percent, versus an 18 percent decline for PS3 and 5 percent decline for Wii month over month
  • Xbox 360 outsells PS3 more than 2:1
  • Xbox 360 software sales are more than PS3 and Wii software sales combined
  •  “Madden NFL ‘08” on Xbox 360 outsold all other versions of the title, including the PS2 by more than 250,000 units, and  PS3 by more than 560,000
  • Xbox 360 held the top two titles across all next generation consoles with “Madden NFL ‘08” (EA) at #1 and “BioShock” (2K Games) at #2
  • Halo 3 preorders continue on a trajectory to eclipse Halo 2 preorders

And the highlights:

  • Since November when all three systems sold in the market, gamers have spent more dollars on Xbox 360 software than on software for PS3 and Wii combined (Xbox $24.3 million compared to $19.8 on Wii and PS3 combined), confirming Xbox 360 as the place to play this year’s biggest blockbusters and newest family and social titles.
    • Xbox 360 outsells PS3 more than 2:1 with more than 277,000 Xbox 360 consoles sold last month, while PS3 sold 131,000
    • Xbox 360 software and accessories attach rates continue to beat the rest at 6.3 and 3.3.
  • After maintaining the launch price point for longer than any other console in videogame history holding the record at 21 months, Microsoft dropped the price of Xbox 360 in early August breaking the previous record held by PS2 at 19 months. The month of August saw 63 percent increase over July and 35 percent increase over August 2006 for Xbox 360 consoles sales – making it the only console system to increase unit sales from July to August this year according to NPD.
  • Last month according to NPD Group, Xbox 360 held the top two spots for games across all next generation consoles with “Madden NFL ‘08” (EA) and “BioShock”(2K Games).
    • With frame rates at twice as fast as the competition, “Madden NFL ‘08” on Xbox 360 sold more than 897,000 units in the U.S. Surpassing PS2 by more than 250,000 units and more than triple the sales of the PS3 version (at 336,000).
    • Console exclusive to Xbox 360, “BioShock” sold more than 491,000 units in the U.S. in just its first two weeks on the market. The title has grabbed the attention of both gamers and critics with its unprecedented cinematic feel and interactive approach to storytelling, and has received an average review score of 96 (out of 100), making the game the year’s highest ranked game across ALL console platforms (according to Metacritic.com).
      • Additionally, “BioShock” has set a new record on Xbox LIVE as the fastest downloaded demo to ever reach the 1 million mark.

Check after the break for some impressions on Microsoft’s spin-job.

Let’s address this point by point, shall we?

Microsoft: Xbox 360 unit sales are up 63 percent, versus an 18 percent decline for PS3 and 5 percent decline for Wii month over month

Me: That looks great on paper – and compared to the PlayStation 3, it is. But that 5% decline for the Wii still puts it at roughly 127k units more than the Xbox 360 sold, even with its 63% increase.

MS: Xbox 360 outsells PS3 more than 2:1

Me: Not a major accomplishment, considering the incredibly poor sales of the PS3 in August. Still, it’s a feat, although in the big picture, outselling your rival by 136k units in one month isn’t a big deal.

MS: Xbox 360 software sales are more than PS3 and Wii software sales combined

Me: With a larger U.S. install base, you’d expect this to be true, especially with the Xbox 360’s phenomenal attach rate.

MS:  “Madden NFL ‘08” on Xbox 360 outsold all other versions of the title, including the PS2 by more than 250,000 units, and PS3 by more than 560,000

Me: Again, nothing to be knocked here – Madden’s numbers were incredible on the Xbox 360 this month. EA sure did clean up.

MS: Xbox 360 held the top two titles across all next generation consoles with “Madden NFL ‘08” (EA) at #1 and “BioShock” (2K Games) at #2

Me: The way this is worded discounts the fact that the PS2 version of Madden sold over 150k more units than BioShock.

MS: Halo 3 preorders continue on a trajectory to eclipse Halo 2 preorders

Me: Not surprising; we all know Halo is going to sell an absolute crapton upon its release. GameStop should be the one particularly happy to hear this news.

MS: Since November when all three systems sold in the market, gamers have spent more dollars on Xbox 360 software than on software for PS3 and Wii combined (Xbox $24.3 million compared to $19.8 on Wii and PS3 combined), confirming Xbox 360 as the place to play this year’s biggest blockbusters and newest family and social titles.

Me: Looking at the lineup of games that the Wii and PlayStation 3 have to show to date, I would certainly hope this is true. Let’s face it – up until now, there just haven’t been a ton of quality PS3 and Wii games. Combine that with the fact that the Xbox 360 already had an established install base, and this figure isn’t particularly surprising.

MS: Xbox 360 outsells PS3 more than 2:1 with more than 277,000 Xbox 360 consoles sold last month, while PS3 sold 131,000

Me: More than anything, I think these numbers reflect the fact that gamers looking to pick up Madden on a next-gen platform (Wii isn’t considered next-gen for this discussion, as graphics are what’s going to blow away the guy who cares about nothing but Madden), and the Xbox 360 is the cheaper system between it and the PlayStation 3. For under $300, you can pick up an Xbox 360 to play Madden on (and a superior version at that – don’t forget about that framerate), while it would cost $200 more for the cheapest PlayStation 3 solution. Sure, that doesn’t count a memory card or hard drive, but for the core experience, Xbox 360 was the more obvious way to go for Madden freaks.

MS: Xbox 360 software and accessories attach rates continue to beat the rest at 6.3 and 3.3.

Me: This is still a tremendous figure, and certainly something that will ease any publisher’s worries when wondering if their game will see on the Xbox 360. I wonder, though – does that accessory attach rate include things like faceplate?

MS: After maintaining the launch price point for longer than any other console in videogame history holding the record at 21 months, Microsoft dropped the price of Xbox 360 in early August breaking the previous record held by PS2 at 19 months. The month of August saw 63 percent increase over July and 35 percent increase over August 2006 for Xbox 360 consoles sales – making it the only console system to increase unit sales from July to August this year according to NPD.

Me: Again, as I pointed out earlier, just having an increase in sales doesn’t mean you aren’t being outsold by your competition (see: Nintendo Wii).

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2 Comments on Spin Doctor: Microsoft’s Take on the August NPDs

License to ill

On September 14, 2007 at 10:44 pm

It just means if you want the best third party games you better get a 360…

xboxlenny

On September 16, 2007 at 12:11 pm

im waiting for some fanboys to have their 2 cents on why the Xbox 360 has the numbers compared to the PS3. Im waiting…….. you know who you ps3 fanboys are. Read em and weap.

But again this is Moneysofts numbers, so who knows.