Sat, Feb 15, 2014 - Page 15 News List

Sony’s PlayStation 4 regains leading position over Xbox One in US sales


Sony Corp, after replenishing its inventory of PlayStation 4 video game consoles, retook the lead in US retail sales from Microsoft Corp’s Xbox One last month as the two vied for industry dominance.

PlayStation 4 sales were almost double those of its nearest next-generation competitor, Tokyo-based Sony said on Thursday in an e-mailed statement, citing NPD Group Inc.

Combined sales of the PS4 and its predecessor, the PlayStation 3, surpassed all other platforms last month, Sony also said.

The video game industry is monitoring demand for the new consoles to see whether they spur a broader retail comeback, or if play for many consumers has shifted permanently to smartphones and tablets. US spending on video game hardware increased 17 percent to US$241 million last month from a year earlier, Port Washington, New York-based NPD said in an e-mail.

In December last year, customers purchased 908,000 Xbox Ones, beating out the PS4, Microsoft said in a statement on Jan. 15. It sold 643,000 Xbox 360s for third place, the company said.

Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft did not say how many of the consoles it sold last month.

Last month, software sales fell 41 percent to US$232 million, in part because few titles were available for the newer machines. Microsoft’s Xbox One on March 25 gets the exclusive Electronic Arts Inc shooter Titanfall.

January last year included an extra week, making comparisons difficult. Normalized sales removing that week show total hardware revenue rose 47 percent, NPD said.

The PS4 and Xbox One, both released in November last year, compete with Nintendo Co’s Wii U, on the market for more than a year.

Nintendo, based in Kyoto, Japan, saw sales of games made for its 3DS handheld rise 6 percent on a normalized basis, and 26 percent for the Wii U, NPD reported.

Total video game sales, including accessories, fell 21 percent to US$664 million.

They would be down only 1 percent on a four-week comparison basis, NPD said.

Factoring in sales made through digital downloads, used games, social games and rentals, consumers probably spent US$1.05 billion last month, NPD said.

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