There was no changing of the guard in the United States last month as new video game consoles from Sony and Microsoft continued to battle for top billing. The race in February was so tight, however, that the pricier Xbox One actually managed to pull ahead of the more popular PlayStation 4 in dollar sales.
Market research firm NPD Group on Thursday night released its numbers for February video game sales, showing once again that software sales continued to slide despite the recent debuts of the Xbox One and PS4. According to the firm, retail sales of new video games came in at $328 million in February, down 11% on-year.
Strong hardware sales picked up the slack, however, as continued demand for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One led to video game hardware sales totaling $347 million, a 42% increase over the same month a year earlier.
“February 2014 hardware sales increased by 42 percent over February 2013 due to an over 60 percent increase in console hardware sales,” NPD Group analyst Liam Callahan said. “Within console hardware, we continue to see strong year-over-year increases due to the success of the Xbox One and PS4.”
The battle between Sony and Microsoft’s new consoles saw the PS4 come out on top yet again, but the Xbox One managed to narrow Sony’s lead as anticipation for Titanfall mounted.
According to NPD Group’s data, total Xbox One unit sales in the U.S. amounted to more than 90% of the PlayStation 4’s unit sales. And because the Xbox One is $100 more expensive than the PS4, Microsoft’s revenue from sales of its new console actually topped Sony’s PS4 revenue.
Microsoft said that it sold approximately 258,000 Xbox One consoles in the U.S. last month, which is ahead of where the Xbox 360 was at this point following its debut.
Despite its age, NPD said that the top-selling video game title in February was Activision’s Call of Duty: Ghosts.