The console wars continue to get more heated, as the battle continues through the month of March. Sony is declaring victory for the PlayStation 4, while Microsoft has issued a response on behalf of the Xbox One and Nintendo has likewise prepared one for the New Nintendo 3DS XL. However, it's something of a pyrrhic victory, as hardware sales dipped 21 percent from this point last year.
"Hardware unit sales decreased by 9 percent, and with average prices down 13 percent across all platforms, dollar sales decreased by 21 percent," said the NPD Group's Liam Callahan. "Console hardware was the primary culprit responsible for the March 2015 sales decline, with a 29 percent, or $104 million decrease, in spending while portable hardware rose by 71 percent over last year."
Despite Sony's victory for March, it doesn't appear that the competition is taking this month's results quietly. Xbox Marketing's corportate vice president, Mike Nichols, issued a statement noting that Xbox One sales remain strong, with the new Microsoft console outpacing the Xbox 360 at this point in its life cycle. Meanwhile, Nintendo issued its own statement, noting that hardware sales have increased by 60 percent over this time last year, largely on the strength of the New Nintendo 3DS XL.
In the world of retail games, WOOP-WOOP! That's the sound of the police! And that's the sound of Battlefield Hardline taking the top spot for March's retail sales. Even without a blockbuster like a Titanfall or Infamous: Second Son to spur sales, the NPD Group observed that software sales across the new consoles grew 58 percent from this point a year ago. Finishing behind Hardline was a very strong debut for Bloodborne, which offered the second strongest debut month for a PS4 game, only behind last year's Infamous: Second Son. And finally, Mario Party 10 finished in fourth, with Nintendo pointing to nearly 300,000 copies sold both via retail and digital outlets.
March Top 10 Games (New Physical Retail only; across all platforms incl. PC; new releases in bold)
- Battlefield: Hardline (XBO, PS4, 360, PS3, PC)
- Bloodborne (PS4)
- Grand Theft Auto V (XBO, PS4, 360, PS3)
- Mario Party 10 (NWU)
- Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (PS4, XBO, 360, PS3, PC)
- MLB 15: The Show (PS4, PS3)
- Minecraft (360, PS3, XBO, PS4)
- NBA 2K15 (PS4, XBO, 360, PS3, PC)
- Borderlands: The Handsome Collection (PS4, XBO)
- Final Fantasy: Type-0 HD (PS4, XBO)