Sony, Microsoft put spin on GTA IV sales

As expected, Grand Theft Auto IV is selling very well to both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 gamers. The latest chapter in the series has enticed both Microsoft and Sony to stand up on their soap boxes to proclaim the success of GTA IV on their respective platforms.

SCEA SVP of marketing Peter Dille said, “Grand Theft Auto fans who love the game grew up on PlayStation and we believe that rich heritage will be a deciding factor for many gamers at retail.”

Although the exact breakdown over the two platforms is still unknown, GTA IV definitely helps sell PlayStation 3 consoles.

“From our position, the launch of GTA IV has been tremendous in driving traffic to our stores, as well as providing a vigorous lift in PS3 console sales over this time last week,” said Bob McKenzie, SVP merchandising at GameStop Corp. “We attribute the growth to a huge fan base of PS2 owners who see this title as the trigger for the PS3 upgrade they've been planning.”

Wedbush Morgan industry analyst Michael Pachter agreed, saying, “There is a huge installed base of loyal PlayStation 2 owners who have been looking for a reason to upgrade, and they have strong previous ties to the Grand Theft Auto franchise on PlayStation platforms.”

Sony may be happy to report that GTA IV is pushing sales of its console, Microsoft still has the leg up on install base and attach rate. Aaron Greenberg, director of product management for Xbox 360 and Xbox Live, told Next-Gen, “What we've heard anecdotally from our retail partners is that the Xbox 360 version of the game is outselling the PS3 version by a margin of two-to-one.... That mirrors what we saw with pre-orders, but it continues to hold true at retail, at least for the first couple of days. It's a great sign.”

Sony commented that its own findings run contrary to Microsoft’s claims, but didn’t offer any hard numbers.

Greenberg also refrained from giving figures, opting to wait for NPD Group’s findings, though added that GTA IV should also have a positive effect on Xbox 360 sales as well. “The fact that we know that we're outselling [the PS3 version] two-to-one on the game is a pretty good sign that a lot of those games are going with a new console out the door,” he said.

Across the pond, UK industry monitor ChartTrack has the Xbox 360 version selling 335,000 copies and the PS3 274,000 units in the first 24 hours of GTA IV’s launch, according to MCV. The combined sale of 609,000 copies on day one make GTA IV now the fastest-selling game its first day in the UK.

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