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PlayStation 4 Ekes Out Narrow Lead Over Xbox One in February U.S. Sales

Hardware up, software down as the console transition marches on.

The PlayStation 4 sold better than its rival Xbox One on U.S. retail shelves in February, but only just, according to the latest data released by the NPD Group.

“PS4 led hardware sales in February 2014, but by a narrow margin with Xbox One selling over 90 percent of what the PS4 sold in terms of unit sales,” NPD’s Liam Callahan said in an emailed statement. “However, with Xbox One’s higher price point it led hardware sales on a dollar basis.”

The Xbox One normally retails for $500, while the PS4 starts at $400.

In its own emailed statement, Microsoft said it moved 258,000 Xbox Ones in February, so combined with the NPD’s own 90 percent figure, that would put the number of PlayStation 4s at up to 287,000.

Overall hardware sales were up 42 percent year over year and 44 percent month over month (still waiting on that “crisis”). Total game sales for consoles, portable handhelds and PCs fell 11 percent since last February, but rose 41 percent over last month’s $232 million to a total of $328 million.

“Despite positive performance of PS4 and Xbox One, the majority of software losses stemmed from declines for seventh generation consoles (Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii), which is expected as we transition from one console generation to another,” Callahan said.

The top-selling games of the month were Call of Duty: Ghosts, The Lego Movie Videogame, NBA 2K14, Thief and Grand Theft Auto V.

The NPD estimates that retail game purchases account for approximately half of consumer spending in the gaming market segments it tracks.

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