Microsoft has been taking the top spot over the PlayStation 3 and Wii for over a year in the monthly NPD figures. However, the average price consumers are paying for each of the consoles make that feat even more impressive. Analysis shows that the average price of an Xbox 360 console has increased over the last several months, and the system is ruling the roost in spite of it.
The analysis from Gamasutra shows that while the PlayStation 3 and Wii both dropped in average retail prices (by roughly $40 and $8 respectively) between July and September, the Xbox 360 actually rose from $280 to $306. This is $35 higher than the PS3's average price of $271 as of September. "Compared to its closest competitor, Microsoft is selling 12,000 more systems per week and at a $35 higher price," the analysis concludes.
The average price is determined by how many of each model is sold at retail, and Microsoft has an advantage in that department. While Microsoft offers a lower-priced model at $199, its Kinect bundles at $299 and $399 have sold well. Given the popularity of the peripheral, these are probably responsible for driving up the average unit price.
American gamers are not only willing to pay more for Xbox 360, but they're also willing to pay for Xbox Live, which adds an annual $60 fee on top of console ownership.
This doesn't mean that Sony is suffering, though. The price cut in August was a strategic move this year, and it's on-track to set a new record calendar year and achieve its sales goals for the fiscal year ending in March 2012.