Sales of Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox One game console increased by whopping 63 per cent year-over-year in the U.S. last month, according to NPD Group, a leading market tracker. While Xbox One was ahead of PlayStation 4 in terms of unit sales in April in the U.S., the console is still behind its rival when it comes to the installed base in the country.
Unit sales of video game consoles in April were up 12 per cent, NPD found. Among all consoles – portable and non-portable – Microsoft Xbox One was the best seller. Among consoles for the living room, Sony PlayStation 4 came second and Nintendo Wii U was behind both of its rivals. Sales of previous-generation consoles – PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii – were down 55 per cent in April, NPD claims.
“Eighth-generation console hardware sales were stable, and portable hardware increased by 36 per cent,” said Liam Callahan, an analyst with NPD Group. “Declines in hardware dollar sales were due to a decrease in average price of 4 percent, due to a drop in console hardware pricing.”
Sony PlayStation 4 has been outselling Microsoft’s Xbox One in the U.S. since the introduction of both systems in November, 2013, except in November and December, 2014, when Microsoft slashed the price of the console to $349. After the price of the console returned to $399 in January, sales of XB1 dropped and Microsoft had to return the “temporary” price-cut. Thanks to decreased price, Xbox One managed to return to the top position in the U.S. last month.
“As the best-selling console in the U.S. in April, fans set record April sales and engagement for Xbox One last month,” said Mike Nichols, the head of Xbox marketing at Microsoft. “Xbox One console sales in the U.S. increased 63 percent in April 2015 compared to April 2014 and Xbox Live comparisons showed the number of active global users grew 24 percent. We are grateful to our fans for their passion and support and are looking forward to sharing more on the best game lineup in Xbox history at E3.”
Sony claims that cumulative sales of PlayStation 4 in the U.S. are still higher than cumulative sales of its direct rivals, Xbox One and Wii U, which is not exactly surprising, keeping in mind how successful the system has been.
“We would like to thank fans around the world for their continued support of the PS4,” a statement by Sony reads. “According to NPD, PlayStation continues to lead software sales for April 2015 and PS4 remains the cumulative sales leader in the US. We are looking forward to an amazing E3.”
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KitGuru Says: Looks like $349 price-point is just what Microsoft needs to keep sales of Xbox One higher compared to PlayStation 4 in the U.S. Recently the software giant extended its price-cut to other regions, which confirms that the strategy works rather well. What remains to be seen is whether Microsoft will slash the price again if Sony decides to make its PS4 more affordable later this year.