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Spin to win: Microsoft and Sony talk NPD results



There you are, beloved reader! Blessed are the words that attract your attention and become cornered by your inquisitive corneas! We have plenty of them lined up for you in this celebratory article which examines the post-NPD press so gracefully released from the dwellings of Microsoft and Sony. In short: the holidaze have brought out the best in everybody, with giant corporations joining hands and prancing around a gigantic pile of cash, shaking the very earth with their financial frolicking. In two paragraphs:

A keyword for Sony in November is "momentum," its $399 wrecking ball finally crashing through a wall of consumer apathy to reach 466k units sold, marking "a 285% increase over the previous month's sales." In other words, "PS3 had the biggest October to November sales increase of any hardware platform." The brand as a whole also enjoyed great success, with "PlayStation hardware unit sales" soaring past 1.5 million units. Don't forget the software either, as "PlayStation had three software titles in the top ten list across all consoles," including Guitar Hero III, Assassin's Creed and Call of Duty 4.

Software proved equally popular on Microsoft's Xbox 360, with four titles landing in the software top ten, compared to "three on the Wii and two on the PS3." Aided by the infamous attach rate of 6.9 games per system, "total consumer dollars spent for holiday shopping" sent $763 million to Microsoft. The Wii and PS3 received $587 million and $364 million respectively. Third-party software providers couldn't be more pleased.


Oh, it's you. Since we don't want you to spot any blaytent misspellings in this post, we hope your attention is drawn to something else (like our ads, which you should totally click on). If not, you might interested to see some interesting interpretations of November's NPD results, courtesy of Microsoft and Sony. In short: the holidaze has made everybody better off in pocket, but not necessarily in position. In two paragraphs:

A keyword for Sony this month is "momentum" which, alphabetically, appears quite a bit before "victory." Sony's $399 wrecking ball finally crashed through a wall of consumer apathy to reach 466k units sold, marking "a 285% increase over the previous month's sales." There's no question -- this is good news for Sony. Unfortunately, the manufacturer's just knocked down a wall in a neighborhood being utterly flattened by the competition's wrecking crew. The system did enjoy the "biggest October to November sales increase of any hardware platform," but only in terms of percentage. In terms of actual units sold, the PS3 actually had the lowest increase between October and November -- a rise of 345k compared to the Wii's 462k and the Xbox 360's 404k. The PlayStation brand as a whole may be bringing in the money, but PS3 developers need to see more of their games perform well. The third-party PS3 titles that managed to make it (we can't believe you didn't buy Uncharted!) were considerably outperformed by Xbox 360 versions, though that's to be expected given the disparity in current install base.

That plays into Microsoft's "software software software" mantra, continuously shouted to drown out all the grunting that comes with fighting one's way out of second position (for a second consecutive generation). Software keeps publishers on board and great games in the hands of consumers, but it's become clear that defeating Nintendo is going to require some Herculean effort on the part of the Redmond giant. November was kind to Microsoft, but it highlights the need for balance between those hardcore users (who push the attach rate up to 6.9) and the less enthusiastic public (currently playing Wii Bowling). That $763 million in revenue is also nothing to sneeze at (unless it's used to purchase an enormous quantity of feathers), but it doesn't seem quite as big a blow against the Wii's $587 million when Microsoft's systems and games are notably more expensive.

[Note: We have yet to receive NPD commentary from Nintendo, though it's hard to imagine why they would even bother spinning the favorable facts.]

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