Microsoft has extended its streak of console sales leadership into its third year.
Research firm NPD yesterday released its game-market sales for January. Microsoft led U.S. console sales for the 25th consecutive month, tallying 281,000 units sold. At that sales level, Microsoft was able to grab 44 percent console market share. All told, consumers spent $338 million on Xbox 360 hardware, software, and accessories during the period.
Despite the Xbox 360's specific success, overall hardware sales for all devices were down 17 percent compared with January 2012, reaching $205 million during the period. Software sales hit $373.1 million. Total industry sales for gaming that also accessories and other related categories was $834.7 million.
NPD's data, by the way, is based on a system that covers 364 of the 365 days in a year. Therefore, every five or six years, the company adds a so-called "leap week" to ensure its data is accurate and accounts for all days. This January, NPD used its leap week, meaning the period included an extra week compared with January 2012. However, the 17 percent drop is actually a four-week comparison and considered the more accurate representation of sales.
It's not clear by how much Microsoft was able to top its competitors in the console market. Both Sony and Nintendo have so far remained tight-lipped on actual unit sales during January, and NPD does not publicly release unit sales of hardware.
On the software side, Call of Duty: Black Ops II was once again the leader, followed by Far Cry 3 and Just Dance 4. NBA 2K 13 and Madden NFL 13 rounded out the top five.