The console sales horse race is more of a marathon than a sprint, but a Register report shows Microsoft edging out the competition in the all important holiday season. The report quotes preliminary NPD numbers mentioned on CNBC to show that Microsoft sold about 2 million Xbox 360s from Nov. 1 through Christmas day, beating out the Wii's estimated 1.8 million in sales. Sony lagged behind with an estimated 750,000 consoles sold through over the two months.
A look at last month's numbers and some quick math shows that all three console makers picked up considerable steam going into Christmas, selling two-to-three times as many system in December as in November. The healthy numbers are also encouraging in light of last December's year-on-year decline in the game market as a whole.
Consider these numbers to be hearsay until we can verify the actual NPD numbers later this month, but as it stands now it looks like a relatively un-merry Christmas for the PlayStation 3.
[Thanks, Tom Stone]
[Update: Changed to reflect that Christmas may have been fine for Sony and their PlayStation brand as a whole. It only appears to be an un-merry Christmas for the PS3 ... but we won't know for sure until NPD verifies these numbers or releases their final report.]