December NPD: Xbox One beats PS4, but 3DS comes out on top

Before the NPD numbers even came out, Sony sent us an email reminding us that PS4 was "out of stock in December due to overwhelming demand." It sounded like Sony was blaming supply for what could have been a second-place finish against Xbox One. We were right.

Xbox One beat PS4 in console sales in December, but as before, there are a few caveats. When you combine both November and December, PS4 is still the best-selling next-gen console--and when you factor in global sales, PS4 clearly has the lead. However, while both new machines are having great, competitive launches, neither of them were able to beat Nintendo 3DS, the best selling system of all of 2013--not just December.

"Hardware sales of the Wii U were also positive with December 2013 marking its highest month for unit sales month so far," NPD analyst Liam Callahan noted. Guess having great games does sell hardware, huh?

Call of Duty: Ghosts ends up taking the top software spot for the month, but Grand Theft Auto 5 is the top-selling game of 2013. In fact, it's "within striking distance" of being the best-selling GTA game of all time. "With the success of Grand Theft Auto V, the launch of Bioshock Infinite, as well as the continued popularity of the NBA 2K franchise, Take 2 Interactive was the top video game software publisher for 2013," Callahan added. That should be good news for shareholders, right?

    Top 10 Games (New Physical Retail only; new releases bolded)

  • Call Of Duty: Ghosts (360, PS3, PS4, XBO, PC, NWU)

  • Battlefield 4 (360, PS3, PS4, XBO, PC)

  • Just Dance 2014 (WII, 360, NWU, XBO, PS3, PS4)

  • Madden NFL 25 (360, PS3, PS4, XBO)

  • NBA 2K14 (360, PS4, PS3, XBO, PC)

  • Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (360, PS4, PS3, XBO, PC, NWU)

  • Grand Theft Auto V (360, PS3)

  • Lego Marvel Super Heroes (360, PS3, 3DS, XBO, PS4, NWU, PSV, PC)
  • FIFA 14 (360, PS3, PS4, XBO, PSV)

  • Skylanders SWAP Force (WII, 360, PS3, NWU, 3DS, XBO, PS4)

And here's a bonus look at the top 10 best-selling games of 2013:

    Top 10 Games of 2013

  • Grand Theft Auto V (360, PS3)

  • Call Of Duty: Ghosts (360, PS3, PS4, XBO, PC, NWU)

  • Madden NFL 25 (360, PS3, PS4, XBO)

  • Battlefield 4 (360, PS3, PS4, XBO, PC)

  • Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (360, PS4, PS3, XBO, PC, NWU)

  • NBA 2K14 (360, PS4, PS3, XBO, PC)

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops II (360, PS3, NWU, PC)
  • Just Dance 2014 (WII, 360, NWU, XBO, PS3, PS4)
  • Minecraft (360)
  • Disney Infinity (360, WII, PS3, NWU, 3DS)

End of year sales prove to be interesting, with not one but two Call of Duty games on this year's chart. People really, really like Call of Duty. Also, it appears Disney Infinity beat Skylanders as the physical-toy-video-game mash-up game of the year.

As always, NPD is careful to point out as always that these figures only represent new physical retail sales.