Sony rising: PS3 opens up lead on Xbox 360 in July
The July NPD sales numbers have been released, and as always, Nintendo dominates in every way, while Microsoft and Sony battle it out for a distant second place. The industry continues to see large growth year over year, with a 35 percent jump in sales for the year to date, and an impressive 48 percent jump in software sales alone. With the large difference between the sales of Nintendo's hardware and software and its two main competitors, one could easily make an argument that Nintendo is to be thanked for much of that growth.
The Nintendo Wii sold 555,000 units in July, while the Nintendo DS sold 608,400 units. While this may look like a dip from last month due to the number of weeks in July, it's still much higher than anyone else on the charts. Games for Nintendo's platforms also make up five of the top ten slots in the software sales, with Wii Fit taking the number two slot with 369,600 units sold, Guitar Hero: On Tour taking the number three slot with 309,700 units sold, Wii Play coming in at number four with the 284,000 units sold, Mario Kart Wii taking the seventh place with 174,500 units sold, and Rock Band for the Wii coming in at number eight with 165,800.
Nintendo properties continue to sell amazingly well, and the Wii version of Rock Band is the only version on the charts this month. It might be a hacked down port, but the market sure doesn't seem to care. With Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero: World Tour on the way, we'll see how much longevity the first Rock Band finds on the charts.
Sony took the number three slot in hardware sales, with the PlayStation 3 selling 224,900 units and the PlayStation Portable coming in fourth with 221,700 units. Metal Gear Solid 4 didn't seem to have the staying power that we expected; it's nowhere on the top ten software sales, although the PS3 version of NCAA Football 2009 came in at number five with 242,500 units sold. PlayStation owners still love their sports games, and the system is starting to have a large enough installed base to put these games on the charts. Likewise, the PS3 version of Soul Calibur IV came in at number nine, selling 155,800.
With Home and LittleBigPlanet on the way, as well as a standard $400 80GB system announced at E3, the PlayStation 3 looks to have a bright future. To begin to chip away at Microsoft's lead in lifetime sales, though, we're going to have to see some much larger gains.
Microsoft isn't doing poorly, but the company sure doesn't have much to brag about this month. The 360 sold 204,800 units, outselling only the PS2 with its 155,500 in sales. As usual, the number one slot in software sales belongs to a 360 game, as NCAA Football 2009 sold 397,000 units. In the number six slot we have Soul Calibur IV with 218,900 units sold, and number 10 is Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution, a rather surprising seller with 147,600 units moved.
Microsoft needs to do something to get its momentum back; the days when the company could rest on its higher installed base and Sony's floundering are long over.
There aren't many surprises on this month's charts, although the fact that Metal Gear Solid 4 didn't chart at all is a little unsettling. Of course, for all we know, the game is still selling very well, just not quite enough to make it onto the top ten list. The fact that Sony was able to chart two multiplatform games speaks well to its installed base, however, although Sony will have to deal with the upcoming rumored 360 price drop in the next few months.
Nintendo, as per the usual, has nothing to worry about except the online grumblings of hardcore gamers.