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Paris Hilton holds an Xbox 360 goody bag  (Source: MSN Entertainment)
Xbox 360 price drop spurs hardware sales prior to Halo 3 launch

NPD Group released last week its video game sales data for the month of August. To no one’s surprise, the month once again belonged to Nintendo. The Wii and the DS continued to be top sellers, with Nintendo’s home console holding top spot at 403,600 units and the portable selling 383,000 units. 

The big change for August was Microsoft’s surge that put the Xbox 360 past the PS2 and PSP. During the month, the Xbox 360 sold 276,000 units – a considerable jump from July’s 170,000.

Sales of the Xbox 360 were clearly boosted by a price cut of the console enacted by Microsoft on August 8. Retail prices were cut by as much as $50, making the Premium console $349, the Elite at $449 and the Core at $279.

Gamers looking to buy into the Xbox 360’s impressive fall line-up may have found the price drop reason enough to pick up Microsoft’s machine. Madden NFL 08 for Xbox 360, which released mid-August, became the top selling game for the month with 896,600 units, beating the second best-selling PS2 version by over 250,000. 

The anticipated release of Halo 3 is another driver of Xbox 360 sales. Microsoft’s marketing machine is firing in all cylinders, devoting millions of dollars into cross-promotions to reach non-traditional gaming channels. As a first, 7-11 convenience stores are taking pre-orders for Halo 3 and will be selling the game at 12:01 A.M. on September 25. While at 7-11, gamers may also purchase Game Fuel, a limited-time Mountain Dew drink branded with Master Chief.

Sony’s hardware made up the latter half of NPD Groups sales list. The PlayStation 2 remained Sony’s top seller with 202,000 sold. The PSP, even only a month shy of release of the slimmer, lighter hardware managed to move 151,200 units. The PlayStation 3 maintained a second month of six-digit sales, with 130,600 sold.

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RE: Reality check
By SigmaHyperion on 9/19/2007 12:05:43 PM , Rating: 2
Those are some decent games that the PS3 has coming out, but none are the type of game that has millions of people salivating for it to come out with the exception of GT5: Prologue and to a much lesser extent the new Ratchet and Clank. Unless Haze or Uncharted can pull something out of their sleeve at the last minute I don't see them helping much in selling a lot of consoles.

And, for all the hardware that the GT series has sold over the years, I don't think what amounts to a demo downloaded off PGN, is going to move many consoles. The vast majority of consumers, even amongst those that like the GT series, aren't going to know about it if they don't see it in the store when they're there. They're not going to know anything about some demo that's available for them to download.

Not picking on just the PS3 -- from your list I also don't think Lost Odyssey and definitely Eternal Sonata are going to move a lot of hardware either. The new Ace Combat(which MS 'stole' from Sony) will likely outsell both.

Who knows, maybe the relative obscurity of some of the titles the PS3 is coming out with this holiday season will actually help them. Lord knows that the titles that Sony marketed the hell out of have been somewhat dissapointing. Or, in the case of Lair, a complete train wreck.

RE: Reality check
By ruibing on 9/19/2007 1:52:24 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, you're right, I did forget Ace Combat. I have one of the earlier ones on PS2 and it was pretty good. My two main favorites from the 360 are actually Lost Odyssey and Eternal Sonata (I'm a RPG fan).

The main problem for the new games is that most are new IPs. I think Haze and Uncharted can become a very popular franchise, especially Uncharted. I've read that GT5 Prologue will be available on PSN and retailers. It will function as the full game.

I'm not saying the PS3 titles are better or worse, I just wanted to point out that they are on level with the new 360 titles now. With a better marketing campaign (and maybe a price drop), the PS3 should continue to perform better and better.

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