Sony, MS react positively to NPD data

Despite massive caning by Nintendo.

Sony and Microsoft have said they're jolly pleased with the NPD sales figures for March, even though the Wii outsold both their consoles combined and still had change for chips.

As reported earlier 720,000 Wii units were sold in the US last month, compared to 262,000 Xbox 360s and 257,000 PS3s. Nintendo DS sales reached 698,000 while the figure for PSP was 297,000.

But so what, said Sony, we're doing better than last year: "Our sales momentum continues to defy what is traditionally a sluggish sales month. PS3 continued the strong momentum with a year-over-year sales growth of over 98 per cent," pointed out bossman Jack Tretton.

And besides, no one's got any money anyway and our boxes still say PlayStation on them, he added. Or rather: "It is proof that, in these economically challenging times, consumers recognise the long-term value of our platforms and the tremendous heritage of our brand in delivering the best entertainment experience."

Sony sold 1.9 million games during March, up 139.2 per cent from last year's figure. PSP sales were up 65 per cent year-on-year and 22 per cent compared to last month. According to Tretton, the rise was thanks to the release of God of War: Chains of Olympus and Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, the best-selling handheld games in March.

"This further proves the trend that 2008 is the year for PlayStation," Tretton concluded.

No it isn't, it's the year for Grand Theft Auto IV on Xbox 360, said Microsoft: "Whether it's the results of online polls or data from pre-sells, consumers have made it clear that the benefits of Xbox Live and exclusive access to GTA IV episodic content are making Xbox 360 the chosen place to play GTA IV." The company didn't add anything about year-on-year figures, curiously.

The company went on to reiterate that gamers have spent USD 9.4 billion on Xbox 360 consoles, software and accessories so far, more than they've spent on rival platforms. In Europe more than seven games per console have been sold, making it the machine with the best attach rate.

Nintendo hasn't said anything about the NPD figures yet, probably because it's now so rich it could pay Donald Trump to speak on its behalf, but can't be bothered because it's too busy watching Madonna insulate its loft with 100 pound notes.

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