January NPD: PS4 punches back at Xbox One, both beat 3DS

Oh, what exciting times for the gaming industry. Now that both of the new consoles are out, we get to watch as they exchange blows from month to month. NPD data showed Xbox One beating out PlayStation 4 last month, and now the PS4 has countered by leading for this month. We're sure to see the two locked in this struggle for quite a while, so you may as well relax and get comfortable while you settle down with some sales data.

Interestingly, NPD announced that PS4 led overall hardware sales in January, followed by Xbox One. That indicates that both of them beat 3DS, which won overall hardware sales for 2013 and tends to win month-by-month as well. Nintendo's plucky handheld won the day even in the busy shopping season of December, but come January the new consoles took the lead.

This January comes with a wrinkle, too. Every five or six years, NPD says, it needs to include a "leap week" in its sales figuring to keep the weeks aligned properly. That made this year's January a five-week period, as opposed to last year's four-week period. Hardware sales were up 17% year-over-year, but taking the leap week into account, sales were up 47%.

Physical software sales were less impressive, having fallen 25%. The actual titles topping the list are unsurprising, and not a single new game made the list in the sleepy release month of January. With the exception of Minecraft and Tomb Raider replacing last month's Just Dance 2014 and Skylanders Swap Force, the games represented remained the same from December, even if the order was a bit shaken up.

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

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

    • NBA 2K14 (PS4, 360, XBO, PS3, PC)

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

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

    • Grand Theft Auto V (360, PS3)

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

    • Minecraft (360)

    • FIFA 14 (PS4, XBO, PS3, 360, PSV)

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

    • Tomb Raider (PS4, XBO, 360, PS3)