Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft have all rushed to put a positive spin on the latest NPD Group figures from the US, which document the fortunes of all the different consoles and suggest Christmas 2006 was a bumper period for hardware sales.
Nintendo Wii reportedly sold 604,200 units in December, which means its US installed base at the turn of the year was 1.1 million, while PlayStation 3 added 490,700 units for a total of 687,300, but Microsoft clearly had better lorries or something because it sold 1.1 million in December, putting its overall base at 4.5 million.
None of the new consoles could overcome the mighty Nintendo DS though, with sales totalling 1.6 million in December, and it's also worth adding that the PlayStation 2 outsold the next-generation consoles, its lower price and broad software catalogue driving 1.4 million sales. PSP did 953,200, which also kept its nose ahead of GBA, at 850,000.
Everyone's claimed some degree of victory since the stats emerged overnight, but probably the only interesting things to point out are NPD's own comment that PS3 and Xbox 360 were held back by short supplies, and Sony America spokesperson Dave Karraker's note that NPD doesn't cover Canada. We'd add that since Europe, Japan and various other countries aren't in the US, it probably doesn't cover those either...
Finally, there was confusion among analysts, which makes a healthy change. Michael Pachter, of Wedbush Morgan Securities, last seen doubting there'd be a sequel to Bully, told GameSpot that the Wii number was peculiar, as it left around 900,000 of the units Nintendo said it had shipped unaccounted for. "I assume 200,000 are in transit, but this number makes no sense to me at all," he complained.