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MS, Nintendo, Sony all agree: July sales numbers were great!

Kyle Orland

We're always amazed by the endless optimism of public relations departments. No matter what kind of story the sales numbers tell, they can always spin it around into a much sunnier story.

Nintendo was first in console sales last month and first out of the gate with their spin. In a press release they trumpeted the Wii's ability to stay on top despite "industry pricing shifts" (or, more accurately, shift -- the effect of Microsoft's price drop won't show up until the August numbers). July gave the Wii its highest weekly sales rate since December and its sixth consecutive month of topping the hardware sales charts, Nintendo was quick to point out. Nintendo also trumpeted its library of an estimated 800 Wii and DS games by the end of the year. Of course, that will include about 150 Virtual Console rehashes, but hey, who's counting? Besides Nintendo. And us.

Microsoft was next, playing up the fact that the Xbox 360 has now outsold the PS3 for nine straight months despite analyst predictions to the contrary (Wii? Wii who?). Despite being second in home console sales for a while now, Microsoft stressed that the Xbox 360 still leads by a good margin in lifetime consumer spending on software, hardware and accessories. Speaking of software sales, Microsoft is mighty proud of their software attach rate of 6.2 and their habit of placing plenty of third party games in the top ten for monthly sales (20 titles so far this year, compared to one each for the Wii and PS3).

Sony's reaction was posted directly to the company's official blog and talked primarily about the overall sales growth in the industry. When it comes to Sony systems, Analyst Relations Manager Mariam Sughayer says she's happy to see a 61 percent increase in PS3 sales over June, even if that still places the system in third place. It's not just the price drop, either ... Sughayer thinks consumers are buying hardware in anticipation of upcoming software like Warhawk, Heavenly Sword and Lair. Hopefully those buyers won't be put off by some of the middling early reviews for those games.

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