Playstation 3 climbs ahead of Xbox 360 in January

Posted by Mark Raby

Port Washington (NY) - The latest numbers from NPD are in and the PS3 reached the #2 console spot, although it's really more because Xbox 360 sales are tapering off.

Of course, the Wii took the top slot during January, selling 274,000 units in the US.  The PS3 was actually close behind with 269,000 units, and the maturing Xbox 360 came in at 230,000 units. Even the Playstation 2 eclipsed 360 sales, with 264,000 PS2s sold last month.

These are weak numbers across the board, which is to be expected immediately after the holiday shopping season.  However, the fact that Xbox 360 sales slipped that much could mean it is straining to reach a much wider audience than the currently installed user base.  Obviously, lifetime sales of the 360 remain considerably higher than the PS3, and it is a cat-and-dog race between the 360 and the Wii.

The Xbox 360's Call of Duty 4 once again took the top spot on the software side, reaching 330,900 units sold last month.  Right behind that was top-five-list regular Wii Play with 298,100 and the Wii version of Guitar Hero III with 239,600.  Music games continued to dominate the rest of the list, with the Xbox 360's Rock Band coming in fourth at 183,800 units and the Xbox 360 version of Guitar Hero III rounding out the list at 182,700.  

The Wii's supposed killer app Super Mario Galaxy slipped to sixth place, after a 2nd place finish in December, and the only PS3 game on the top 10 was its version of Call of Duty 4, which ranked eighth.

On the handheld side, the DS edged out the PSP with 251,000 units compared to 230,000.