Halo 3 juggernaut launches Xbox 360 to be top selling console

Nintendo has consistently dominated the sales chart with its consoles since the launch of the Wii last November. Despite the best marketing and price drop efforts of Microsoft and Sony, the Wii was the mass market darling, beating all competitor sales by a considerable margin month to month... until Master Chief returned.

Clearly spurred by the release of Halo 3, the Xbox 360 led all console sales in the U.S. during September with 527,000 units sold.

Even without the killer application that Microsoft needs on its side, Nintendo’s consoles continued a strong showing. The Wii sold 501,000 units, while the DS handheld sold 495,800.

Sony’s picture for the month looks as it has in previous months, with the PSP led the way with 284,500 sold. September also marked the release of the slimmer, lighter PSP-2000 hardware in the form of the silver-colored PSP packed with Daxter and other materials.

The PlayStation 2 sold 215,000 consoles, once again outpacing the PlayStation 3 which moved only 119,400.

The release of Halo 3 singlehandedly caused gamers to buy a new console, explaining the sudden skyrocketing of Xbox 360 sales. Retailers reported that Xbox 360 sales roughly doubled around the time of the Halo 3 launch.

Unsurprisingly, Halo 3 obliterated the rest of the fray on the software sales charts. All three Halo 3 SKUs piled up to 3.3 million copies sold – a stunning figure given that the second place Wii Play moved 282,000 units.

Halo 3 pulled in a $170 million first day, with total first week sales hitting $300 million.
"Halo is truly a cultural phenomenon, and the launch of Halo 3 is an important milestone for Xbox 360 and for video games as entertainment and as an art form," said Microsoft founder Bill Gates. "Halo 3 embodies our vision for the future of entertainment, where some of the world's greatest creative minds will deliver a new generation of interactive storytelling."

Whatever it is, it’s selling Xbox 360 consoles like hotcakes.

"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher
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