Not a bad month for MIcrosoft, all things considered. They beat the PS3, and at this stage of the console wars, that's probably all that matters to them. And yet, their NPD gloating for the month still feels...restrained. Defensive. Reliant on pointing out revenue, attach rates and supply shortages, all of which are boring.
The parts not dealing with said shortages and attach rates read less like a post-coital NPD cigarette and more like an advertisement for GTAIV, with the company crossing their hearts and hoping to die that not only will they have plenty of consoles out to retailers for the game, but that the promise of XBL multiplayer and DLC will help them shift a bucketload of 360s in April. Which is all well and good, but we're talking about March's NPDs here, Microsoft, not April's. Keep on topic, please.
Consumers continue to make the ultimate vote for Xbox 360 as the console of choice by investing $US 9.4 billion to date this lifecycle in the Xbox 360 experience, far outpacing that of other game consoles. (March NPD data)
Going into March, some key U.S. retailers were still experiencing the trickle down effect of Xbox 360 console shortages. By the end of March, supply issues had improved and we expect retailers to be fully stocked with Xbox 360 consoles in time for the "Grand Theft Auto IV" launch. According to NPD, 262,000 Xbox 360 consoles sold in March, reclaiming the #2 position in the next-gen console category.
In just two weeks, Xbox 360 will extend its industry lead with the year's most anticipated game launch, GTA IV. Launching April 29, GTA IV will be coming to Xbox 360 on day one. GTA IV will feature the first ever online multiplayer for the franchise and Xbox 360 is also the only place you can earn GTA IV Achievements and increase your gamerscore.
Starting this fall, only Xbox 360 owners will have access to exclusive GTA IV episodic content. Whether it's the results of online polls or data from pre-sells, consumers have made it clear that the benefits of Xbox LIVE and exclusive access to GTA IV episodic content are making Xbox 360 the chosen place to play GTA IV.
Xbox 360 drives industry growth with record attach rates
· March NPD data shows a new U.S. Xbox 360 software attach rate of 7.5, a record for any game console.
· In Europe, Xbox 360 continues to enjoy the highest software attach rate of any game console with more than 7.0 games sold per console (PS3: 3.8; Wii 3.5) after 27 months on the market..
· Xbox 360 sales in Europe have more than doubled in the wake of recent retail price changes, solidifying its leadership position as the number one next-generation console in EMEA, owning 42% of the market in terms of life-to-date revenue. (Microsoft estimates based on ChartTrack and Gfk data).
· Third party publishers find more success on Xbox 360. In March, Xbox 360 accounted for $US 220 million of all third party game sales this generation, or 49 percent of share. Third party publishers win on Xbox 360 more than any other platform. (March NPD data)
· Games for the Xbox 360 platform accounted for four of the top ten games for this generation. (March NPD data)
Xbox 360 most widely used system for online gaming
· Xbox 360 delivers social entertainment experiences to more than 10 million Xbox LIVE gamers around the globe. (Microsoft internal data)
· On April 2, NPD released a study called "Online Gaming 2008" which reported that 42 percent of people aged six to 44 play video games online. Their console of choice? Xbox 360. Half of online gamers prefer the Xbox 360 over other current-generation gaming consoles. ("Online Gaming 2008")
· Xbox LIVE now delivers 4,800 hours of TV and movie entertainment including family favourites like "Hannah Montana," "Lost," and "Superman III."(Microsoft internal data)
Xbox 360 is the gaming platform of choice—our great games and exploding online community will help keep it that way.