The overall worldwide tally may still favor Sony, but Microsoft can take solace that on home territory it held the competition at bay.
The December 2013 sales figures from market research firm the NPD Group show that the Xbox One sold 908,000 units in the US, and surprisingly enough, the Xbox 360 also some decent upside with 643,000 units sold in the same period. This gave Xbox both the first and third place finish in sales, book-ending the PS4.
Combining the two Xboxes, Microsoft got 46% of the US market for game hardware. However, that is only a 10% increase on the same period in 2012, despite the heavy launch of the Xbox One. That doesn't sound as good when you consider how long it has been since anyone had a major new console launch. It will be interesting to see how growth rates are impacted when the hangover from the big launches hits both Microsoft and Sony. Nintendo just announced that it had over-anticipated, to put it mildly, its profts and sales, and is reporting a giant loss with a 70% write-down of Wii U game console.
According to Xbox Wire:
- Total combined retail spend on the Xbox platform (Xbox One and Xbox 360) in December reached $1.39 billion, 50 percent of the combined software, hardware and accessories spend in the U.S. (Source: NPD Group, December 2013).
- During the month of December, Xbox One held six of the top 10 spots on the new generation console game title list: “Battlefield 4,” “Forza Motorsport 5,” “Dead Rising 3,” “Ryse: Son of Rome,” “Madden NFL 25” and “Call of Duty: Ghosts” (Source: NPD Group, December 2013).
- U.S. consumers are purchasing an average of 2.9 games per console since launch.
There is some talk that Microsoft's strategic direction is not going to include the Xbox and that it may be spun-off from the company. So, it remains an uncertain time for the Microsoft game team and, they still have some way to go to repeat stateside success internationally where Sony's PS4 has more than made up for any perceived shortfalls in the US.