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February NPD: PS4 and Xbox One are neck-and-neck

The winner of February's edition of the new console wars depends on how you look at it. According to the NPD Group, PS4 sold more hardware units, while Xbox One made more money in sales (due to its higher price), giving both Sony and Microsoft a case to claim victory. Meanwhile, Square Enix crashes onto the Top 10 software sales with Thief, Lightning Returns, and Bravely Default, but can't topple Call of Duty.

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The newfangled 'console wars' roll on, as February saw the PlayStation 4 narrowly hold off the Xbox One, in terms of most units sold for the month. But it comes with a bit of a caveat, as the Xbox One is actually leading the two in terms of overall money made, due to its higher price tag. The NPD Group has announced that console hardware sales have increased 60 percent over this time last year, which is largely attributed to Sony and Microsoft's new machines.

"PS4 led hardware sales in February 2014, but by a narrow margin with Xbox One selling over 90% of what the PS4 sold in terms of unit sales," stated the NPD Group's Liam Callahan. "However, with Xbox One's higher price point it led hardware sales on a dollar basis."

Physical software sales are also on the rise. In their first four months, the Xbox One and PS4 have sold 80 percent more games than the Xbox 360 and PS3 did in that same time span. As expected, these new software sales have begun digging into game sales from other major platforms.

As for specific software sales, Call of Duty: Ghosts continues to reign supreme atop the charts. Meanwhile, everything is awesome with The LEGO Movie Videogame debuting in second place, while Square Enix has a lot to celebrate, with Thief starting off at the #4 slot, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII debuting at #8, and Bravely Default breaking through for a #10 opening. A notable omission is Nintendo's Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. The NPD Group states that it was the fourth-highest selling SKU and did help push Wii U sales modestly, but did not rank in the top ten, due to the group's current ranking format.

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

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

    • The LEGO Movie Videogame (360, PS3, 3DS, NWU, XBO, PS4, PSV)

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

    • Thief (PS4, XBO, 360, PS3, PC)

    • Grand Theft Auto V (360, PS3)

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

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

    • Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (PS3, 360)

    • Minecraft (360)

    • Bravely Default (3DS)

    Senior Editor

From The Chatty

  • reply
    March 13, 2014 5:30 PM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, February NPD: PS4 and Xbox One are neck-and-neck.

    The winner of February's edition of the new console wars depends on how you look at it. According to the NPD Group, PS4 sold more hardware units, while Xbox One made more money in sales (due to its higher price), giving both Sony and Microsoft a case to claim victory. Meanwhile, Square Enix crashes onto the Top 10 software sales with Thief, Lightning Returns, and Bravely Default, but can't topple Call of Duty.

    • reply
      March 13, 2014 5:38 PM

      Uh, can you please explain the last sentence? How is it in 4th place but doesn't make the top ten?

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        March 13, 2014 5:53 PM

        The NPD used to rank based on SKU, but now it ranks based on combined SKU's sold.

        So a Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze that sells numbers on Wii U doesn't sell as much as a Thief that counts numbers from Xbox One, PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, and PC retail numbers combined.

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          March 13, 2014 6:10 PM

          Yeah, that's some dumb ranking system, then, should be game per platform.

          Or just be a list per platform.

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            March 13, 2014 6:15 PM

            No argument here. I miss the old system.

          • reply
            March 13, 2014 6:40 PM

            Sounds like a cop out way to put more games on their list so publishers can brag about it in Magazine ads.

      • reply
        March 13, 2014 6:41 PM

        4th highest selling on the WiiU

    • reply
      March 13, 2014 6:17 PM

      damn this console race is close. yay!

      • reply
        March 13, 2014 6:24 PM

        Yup. I'm a PlayStation man, but healthy competition is a good thing

        • reply
          March 13, 2014 6:35 PM

          I'm a Dapper Dan man, dammit!

          • reply
            March 14, 2014 6:53 AM

            Watch your language, young feller, this is a public market. Now if you want Dapper Dan, I can order it for you, have it in a couple of weeks.

      • reply
        March 13, 2014 6:36 PM

        It is?

        • reply
          March 13, 2014 6:45 PM

          Yes?

          • reply
            March 13, 2014 10:59 PM

            Probably shouldn't confuse one month of close sales with the total number of units sold since each console was released.

            • reply
              March 14, 2014 12:48 AM

              you just wait until after this Titanfall month.

              • reply
                March 14, 2014 1:19 AM

                You mean this Infamous month?

                • reply
                  March 14, 2014 1:57 AM

                  Stoner Heroes month

                • reply
                  March 14, 2014 4:55 AM

                  Titanfall will move more consoles than Infamous, but IMO the 500 bucks is better spent on a video card.

                  • reply
                    March 14, 2014 7:51 AM

                    Will it? Titanfall is available on two other platforms that are (potentially) much cheaper ways to play the game than a new $500 console.

                    • reply
                      March 14, 2014 7:55 AM

                      Except there's a $400 bundle that includes Titanfall, isn't there?

                      • reply
                        March 14, 2014 7:57 AM

                        Oh, I guess that was a limited numbers bundle.

                        • reply
                          March 14, 2014 8:22 AM

                          A $400 bundle? I thought it was a $500 one.

                          • reply
                            March 14, 2014 8:41 AM

                            There was a $100 discount code to buy it direct from MS, I guess, but it's expired now. It showed up in my Slickdeals feed a couple days ago.

                    • reply
                      March 14, 2014 7:59 AM

                      Who knows, guess I'm just saying Titanfall has a better chance than Infamous.

              • reply
                March 14, 2014 7:47 AM

                Yeah I know right? I totally am loving it in 1080p on my PC, it's wonderful!

            • reply
              March 14, 2014 2:35 AM

              It's only been three months...

            • reply
              March 14, 2014 5:00 AM

              It's hard to do an apples to apples comparison because PS4 is available in many more regions than the XB1. So obviously the PS4 is going to sell more units overall - it has far wider availability.

              In the US/Canada, the PS4 and XB1 are practically tied. Which is pretty strange to me considering the gap in hardware and price difference. Then again, you'd have to fucking kid yourself to think that PS4 has better games than XB1. I'm guessing XB1 is selling decently well just because it has better games at the moment. PS4 doesn't have much going on yet, but i'm sure that will change a year from now.

              • reply
                March 14, 2014 5:20 AM

                They both have almost nothing so far. PS4 has a lot more small/indie games, and both systems will have seen their first major post-launch releases by the end of this month. I can't really understand the argument in favor of either system in terms of "more/better games" barring subjectivity. Neither had a great launch library, and until this month, haven't expanded it much since launch.

      • reply
        March 14, 2014 5:41 AM

        IN the US, world wide its still 2 to one almost in favor of the PS4.. Funny how they can make the bone win, even when its losing. It cost more so now they sold more $$ in sale?, they still in the end made less money and sold less consoles, why was that brought up? consoles are the new politics, lie till it fits your needs, don't post simple real world numbers anybody could understand. Coax your reader, give him little PR bits , change his mind....

        • reply
          March 14, 2014 6:15 AM

          Well I live in North America so that's the market that matters to me. It's not about making the bone win! As a consumer I prefer the race be tight because as soon as one of these companies start dominating the market they get lazy and we all get a worse experience.

          It was brought up because MS makes more money per unit as far as profit goes, so even if though they sold less units this month, they got more cash in the bank because of it. I'm getting this from the article, I'm not making it up.

          Not sure where you're going with your wacky conspiracy big media Xbone the truth is out there stuff, so I'll ignore it.

          • reply
            March 14, 2014 6:24 AM

            Let me wake you up to the fact that how the consoles sell world wide is what developers look for when deciding which platform(s) to target first.

            I know that most Americans doesn't care about the rest of the world for some weird reason. But what is important is which platform will come up on top - world wide, that platform will be the preferred platform by developers this generation. Last generation, it was 360, this time around it looks like it will be PS4 (based on what systems most developers have shown their new IP:s/games on).

            • reply
              March 14, 2014 6:28 AM

              Hey, now. He doesn't speak for the rest of us.

            • reply
              March 14, 2014 6:30 AM

              The 360 trailed the market worldwide, yet that was still the platform that was targeted by devs.

              • reply
                March 14, 2014 7:02 AM

                It was also first on the market by what, an entire year? I think that's likely why.

                • reply
                  March 14, 2014 8:22 AM

                  I doubt by year 4 to 5 that the first year's sales lead mattered much. PS3 was way more difficult to program for is the main reason I think.

                  • reply
                    March 14, 2014 8:23 AM

                    No, I mean in the sense that by the time the PS3 hit, developers already knew the 360 pretty well, having had a year to work with it. It makes sense that they'd stick to what they knew, and adapt it to the new platform.

            • reply
              March 14, 2014 7:53 AM

              God i love console debates. Gets my juices flowing in the morning.

    • reply
      March 13, 2014 7:11 PM

      This is good news. Both consoles have their own merits. I'm an Xbox One man myself, but later down the line I can see myself owning both consoles due to the exclusives. Hardware and performance aside, it's all about the games and luckily both consoles have plenty coming.

    • reply
      March 13, 2014 7:14 PM

      Worth noting the PS4 was still supply constrained the entire month of February. Seems like only in the past week have they been widely available for purchase (finally).

      March will be interesting with the release of Titanfall on the XBO and Sony looking to have finally caught up to demand.

      • reply
        March 14, 2014 1:48 AM

        I have yet to see any since launch... Backwoods PA here.

      • reply
        March 14, 2014 6:47 AM

        It's also wroth noting the Xbox One still isn't world-wide...

    • reply
      March 13, 2014 8:08 PM

      So the PS4 which is still sold out basically everywhere in the world because Sony can't make them fast enough to keep up with demand outsold by 10% the XBox One, in its strongest region (NPD is US only) in a month leading up to its strongest title (Titanfall), while having no availability issues.

      It's really hard to spin this as anything but a dismal sign for MS.

      • reply
        March 14, 2014 2:45 AM

        Sounds like they made more $$$ than Sony, so they can't feel too dismal about things.

      • reply
        March 14, 2014 3:41 AM

        Ms will win March, no question about it. Titanfall was a smart move. And they have been updating the OS and just released some nice accessories like headsets too. I predict the One will start pulling ahead now. I have friends bored to death with their ps4 wishing they got the One.

        • reply
          March 14, 2014 3:57 AM

          PS3 was weak at first and look at the exclusives now.

        • reply
          March 14, 2014 4:39 AM

          I feel like the opposite is likely to occur. TF is cool, but I feel like we're not seeing nearly the impact that EA or especially MS likely wanted to see. It'll move systems better than they have been, but PS4 has been supply constrained (and likely will be less so now that the Japanese launch is done) and it doesn't seem like XBO has been at all.

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          March 14, 2014 4:57 AM

          I'll agree with your first two sentences. The bundle that includes TF for the price of a vanilla console will certainly motivate holdouts that are interested in TF. Delaying the 360 version of TF should also help XB1 sales.

          Having built a PC in the fall, I still don't find any game on either console compelling enough to spend the money.

          • reply
            March 14, 2014 7:55 AM

            I agree with your last sentence. All these great game bundles and the cheapness of pc games on steam sales has really made so i dont have much desire to get either console. Its sucks too, because if i get one, i really only want to get one, but there are aspects of both that i want. PS4 and the exclusives I want, but xb1 has the better media handling (atleast imo). Will be a tough choice when i finally decide to make it.

        • reply
          March 14, 2014 9:11 AM

          One got the first post release exclusive with Titanfall, but Infamous comes out in a week or so. I'm glad I have both.

        • reply
          March 14, 2014 11:01 AM

          I will say that there is nothing remotely exciting on the PS4 right now. Only on title in the near future to get excited about and that is InFamous. I've had a ball with a few of the Xbox's exclusives so far.

          • reply
            March 14, 2014 11:12 AM

            This is basically my issue with it. I didn't like the other infamous games. Which is weird because I loved the crackdowns.

    • reply
      March 14, 2014 4:58 AM

      Go my team!!!!

    • reply
      March 14, 2014 5:24 AM

      ill probs hold out till after E3. though I have no idea what they could show to get me to want a xbone yet

    • reply
      March 14, 2014 6:49 AM

      This is the worst thread since yesterday.

    • reply
      March 14, 2014 8:18 AM

      i noticed that they're bundling titanfall w/ the one for free which is pretty crazy so soon after a console launch.

      oh, and there's still no PS4s available.

      • reply
        March 14, 2014 8:43 AM

        They are also giving digital copies of Forza 5 away to non-titanfall bundles.

        • reply
          March 14, 2014 8:49 AM

          well, at least they're not being ignorant about their perceived disadvantage and capitalizing on PS4's supply shortages. i would expect them to get price parity this year, and perhaps pull an apple and refund buyers who purchased at the initial price.

          • reply
            March 14, 2014 9:06 AM

            Microsoft? Issuing $100 refunds to what, 5 million people? No, that isn't going to happen.

          • reply
            March 14, 2014 9:16 AM

            I think they need to get Games for Gold more competitive. They are offering something in the box that the PS4 is not, so I don't think the price-parity argument holds much water. It's obvious the PS4 was designed to include the camera, but they nixed that at the last minute to try to undercut Microsoft's price. Why they announced the price after Sony had counter-punched them the whole first half of last year I don't know, but maybe they thought Sony was going to $499 with the camera packed in as well.

            They also need some compelling reason besides yelling at your TV to change channels to make people understand why the Kinect is packed in. Xbox Fitness is almost that app, but not quite. They need something else, and it's just not there yet. Titanfall helps as having a big game that all the Bros are going to buy, but they really need like a Gone Home or something else that takes the Kinect and blows people's mind while also being an exclusive software title.

            • reply
              March 14, 2014 9:27 AM

              Kinect is a great thing for people who know and care about it. But to the average Joe, you're looking at two consoles that play videogames, and one of them is $100 more. I seriously doubt that doesn't have a big influence on casual buyers.

              • reply
                March 14, 2014 9:29 AM

                I agree, but I don't think you pull the Kinect to get to price parity. I think you get the "killer app" that shows the people why they want to spend $100 more for your system with this magical piece of hardware.

                • reply
                  March 14, 2014 10:04 AM

                  that's an if, not a when IMO. i've been pretty vocal about my scepticism that there will ever be a killer app for that hardware, or if it'll ever justify the increased sticker price. so far i've seen no evidence that i'm on the wrong side of that.

                  does titanfall have any kinect support outside of probably voice-commands to call a titan?

                  • reply
                    March 14, 2014 10:07 AM

                    I do not think it even has that.

                  • reply
                    March 14, 2014 10:09 AM

                    It doesn't have any Kinect commands as far as I know. Nothing was mentioned in the reviewer guide either.

                    • reply
                      March 14, 2014 10:23 AM

                      i think they fucked up with that thing. worst of all worlds - too unresponsive to be an actual reliable input mechanism for gaming, adding cost and diminishing system performance. time will tell, but i don't see anything on the horizon that threatens to prove me wrong.

                • reply
                  March 14, 2014 10:12 AM

                  Yeah, Kinect definitely needs something that makes me say "Holy shit, where has this been my whole life?" for me to be get excited about it. Personally, I'm more interested in the voice stuff and where that could go than I am the body tracking. I'm picturing a game with AI companion(s) that can understand and respond in plain English in say a Bioware/Obsidian-type game. That would sell me on it.

        • reply
          March 14, 2014 10:36 AM

          I've said it before, it's probably a lot cheaper (cost wise) for them to bundle a game rather than drop prices with the system to hedge the costs down to $40 (since a PS4 with game is $460). So the $40 comes down to the Kinect.

          If they can keep doing this going forward with a new game every few months it'll go farther. Add in 3-6 months of Live and that'll close the gap even more.

      • reply
        March 14, 2014 9:16 AM

        No, no, no. We're not calling it "the one". I realize that's what they probably were hoping for with the name, but we're just not doing it.

        • reply
          March 14, 2014 11:11 AM

          The One just sounds pretty stupid honestly. XBONE actually sounds cool and I like it.

    • reply
      March 14, 2014 11:08 AM

      eager for the PS4 + infamous second son + AC4 bundle. because it WILL exist. right???