PS4 won the December NPD, but Xbox One had its biggest month yet and Microsoft says Sony saw no year-on-year growth

By Brenna Hillier, Friday, 13 January 2017 00:36 GMT

PS4 vs Xbox One is finally turning into a battle worth watching as opposed to a one-sided steamroll.

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PS4 was the best-selling console in the US in December 2016, according to the NPD group’s data.

Sony confirmed the news with VentureBeat ahead of the December 2016 report’s general release, but didn’t have any further comment; the platform holder has retired into dignified silence regarding NPD reports ever since its lead over Xbox was firmly established.

Microsoft, on the other hand, puts out a statement nearly every month, and this one’s a doozy: Xbox One was more popular in December 2016 than it was in its launch month or at any time since.

“December was the biggest month ever for Xbox One sales in the US, and Xbox One was the only [current-generation] console with year-over-year growth, according to NPD,” a Microsoft spokesperson said.

“In addition, Xbox One was the top-selling console over the second half of 2016, following the announcement of Xbox One S at E3.”

We already knew Sony had had a pretty big December, as PS4 recently hit 53.4 million global sales. That was off the back off a strong November for PS4 in which it hit 50 million sales, too.

I’m not pointing this out to diminish or detract from Microsoft’s performance, but to highlight it: if Sony had such a tremendous holiday season and Xbox still managed to shift more units over the second half of 2016, the Xbox One must really have kicked butt in those four months it topped the NPD charts last year.

Of course, Microsoft here seems to be talking about the US only, and PlayStation has traditionally been much stronger than Xbox in Europe and especially Japan. But it’s still clear that Microsoft’s hard work in turning the Xbox One around over the past few years is really paying off.

Now if Microsoft would only release solid sales figures we could get an idea of the gap between the two platforms. Not that it really matters; you probably remember the PS3 and Xbox 360 ended up neck and neck despite Sony trailing for several years early in the generation.

The full NPD report with software charts and terrifying numbers should drop sometime next week.

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