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July NPD: Xbox 360 takes the lead, first time since Sept. '07

Compared to last year, July's NPD numbers are fairly static, with overall video game industry sales down just 1% from $850.6m to $846.5m. While software sales were down a sizable 8% with newcomer NCAA Football 11 bringing in the top two spots for a combined 667K units sold, hardware sales were up a hefty 12%, mostly on the back of the newly redesigned (and, ostensibly, fixed!) Xbox 360 S. Looks like there was "unprecedented demand," like Microsoft said.

Most notably, that July sales surge resulted in a minor 2% drop in Xbox sales while every other console suffered double digit drops. This, as you can see in our lineup below, has earned the Xbox 360 the rare opportunity to best the Nintendo DS as the best-selling piece of video game hardware last month. To put things in perspective, NPD analyst Anita Frazier notes, "It's the first time since September '07 (Halo 3 launch) that the 360 was the top-selling hardware platform."

While the list of software sales only charts console and portable SKUs, there is one other game that deserves to be mentioned: StarCraft 2. Despite just five days on the market in July, the much-anticipated RTS sold an impressive 721K units at retail in July. Of course when you factor in digital and global sales, it sold a lot more than that.
  • 360: 444K, down 9K (-2%)
  • DS: 398K, down 113K (-22%)
  • Wii: 254K, down 169K (-40%)
  • PS3: 215K, down 90K (-30%)
  • PSP: 84K, down 37K (-31%)

  1. NCAA Football 11 – Xbox 360 – EA – 368K
  2. NCAA Football 11 – PS3 – EA – 299K
  3. Crackdown 2 – Xbox 360 – Microsoft – 209K
  4. Super Mario Galaxy 2 – Wii – Nintendo – 193K
  5. LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 – DS – WBIE – 142K
  6. Red Dead Redemption – Xbox 360 – Take-Two
  7. LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 – Wii – WBIE
  8. Dragon Quest IX– DS – Nintendo
  9. New Super Mario Bros. Wii – Wii – Nintendo
  10. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – Xbox 360 – Activision

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