Xbox is back on top. We can hear Microsoft purring from here.
First details of the NPD's monthly sales report have begun to filter out, starting with a delighted announcement from Microsoft.
The platform holder confirmed that the Xbox One was the best-selling console in the US for the month of August, giving it two consecutive months in the top slot. This is a really big deal; Xbox One has out-performed PS4 less than ten times over the 33 months since both consoles launched.
The Xbox One S launched in August, kicking off with a 2TB launch edition on August 2 and following up with more affordable 500GB and 1TB versions a couple of weeks later. It's not clear whether this was the motivation for the increased Xbox One sales, or whether it was a continuation of last month's trend of users picking up bog-standard Xbox One consoles on the cheap following a price cut.
Cheekily riffing off yesterday's announcement of the PS4 Pro's November launch, Microsoft said the Xbox One S is the the only console available this holiday with built-in UHD 4K Blu-ray, 4K video streaming and HDR for video and gaming.
The company also pointed out that total global gaming hours on Xbox One consoles increased 42% percent year-over-year, and that the Xbox Design Lab has generated "hundreds of thousands of designs" - no mention of sales, though.
The NPD later confirmed that Xbox One S sold through about 79,000 units, making up one-third of all hardware sales.
NPD software chart August 2016
Madden NFL 17 predictably topped the charts, but pulled in 3% less than madden NFL 16 in its launch month.
Overall, software dollar sales grew 7% year-on-year, which NPD analyst Sam Naji credited to new releases Madden NFL 17, No Man’s Sky and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. Last year saw only two new releases during August, Gears of War Ultimate Edition and Until Dawn, so it's no surprise this was a better month.
Note that the chart below doesn't account for digital PC sales of Overwatch, No Man's Sky and Minecraft, so it's possible these three titles performed even better than the charts suggest.
- Madden NFL 17
- No Man’s Sky
- Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
- Grand Theft Auto V
- Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege
- Call of Duty: Black Ops III
- Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens
- Destiny: The Taken King
General August 2016 NPD
Overall US spend rose 1% year-on-year.
That there was any bump at all is the result of software jumping 8% year-on-year, as hardware actually fell 6% year-on-year. That's despite a nice month-on-month boost from the Xbox One S launch; PS4, Wii U and older consoles all fell off a bit.
Accessories were also down 5%; the white Xbox One S controller outsold the PS4's black DualShock 4, which had been the best-selling game pad for ages. Interestingly, while traditional gaming accessories like game pad, headset, headphone and cards dropped, interactive toys increased by 10%. We thought that craze was over.