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MS: Xbox 360 to end 2011 as global no. 1

Despite first y-o-y decline since Dec 2009.

The Xbox 360 was the best selling telly console in North America last month, with 277,000 sales.

This time last year, Xbox 360 sold 443,500 consoles, which means this is the first year-on-year decline for Xbox 360 in North America since December 2009. Oh no! But wait - the comparison is skewed due to the summer 2010 launch of the Xbox 360 Slim model.

Nevertheless, numbers for July in North America were down across the board.

The Wii finished next with 190,000 sales (down 25 per cent on July 2010), followed by PlayStation 3 with 148,000 sales (worked out by the clever people on NeoGAF).

The DS was July's best selling piece of hardware overall, with a probable 290,000 sales (it was "about flat" to July 2010, according to NPD). The 3DS declined on June, meaning the total was somewhere below 114,000. That number should soar in August because of the price cut (effective today in the UK).

Microsoft bragged about leading US home console sales for over a year, and said Xbox 360 "remains on track to have the biggest year in Xbox history - an unprecedented feat in the sixth year of its lifecycle".

Microsoft expects the September launch of Gears of War 3 to help Xbox 360 "maintain its lead throughout the year, ending 2011 as the number one console worldwide".

Microsoft noted that, beyond shops, Kinect Fun Labs had been downloaded one million times in two months.

Nintendo focused on games, particularly the runaway success of Ubisoft's Just Dance 2, which has now passed five million sales. It's the only third-party game to have done so.

Nintendo has seven first-party Wii games that have sold more than five million copies: Wii Play (13.04 million - cheats!), Mario Kart Wii (10.64 million), New Super Mario Bros. Wii (8.36 million), Wii Fit (8.17 million), Wii Fit Plus (7.06 million), Wii Sports Resort (6.45 million) and Super Smash Bros. Brawl (5.28 million).

"Nintendo systems have games for every type of player," commented Nintendo America's Scott Moffitt. "We're poised for a great holiday season, thanks to tremendous value across all our platforms and fan-favourite franchises delivering fun new surprises."

Those upcoming games include Zelda: Skyward Sword for Wii; Star Fox 64 3D, Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 for a cheapened 3DS; and Kirby Mass Attack for DS.

Sony focused on, wait for it, peripheral sales.

"PlayStation peripheral sales increased by 18 per cent year-over-year, demonstrating a strong consumer interest in PlayStation Move and the Sharp Shooter," said Sony marketeer Patrick Seybold.

"PlayStation will continue this momentum in the fall with the release of Resistance 3, the ground breaking shooter that combines 3D with Move and the Sharp Shooter. Our unmatched line-up of first-party software continues to deliver a gaming experience that can only be found on the PS3."

The best selling game of July was NCAA Football 12, presumably boosted by the Madden NFL 12 delay to the end of August. Film tie-in Cars 2 was second. No other new entries graced the top 10.

June successes from games L.A. Noire, Duke Nukem Forever and Infamous 2 dwindled, all three falling out of the top 10.

Critically acclaimed newcomer Catherine apparently just missed the top 10, selling 78,000 copies.

Late-June release Shadows of the Damned struggled, selling only 14,000 copies.

Catherine just missed the top 10. Not bad for a weirdo.