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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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