Sony tops console sales; Microsoft 1st in revenue

Bloomberg News

SAN FRANCISCO — Sony’s PlayStation 4 held the lead in U.S. video-game unit sales in February, while Microsoft’s higher-priced Xbox One generated more revenue, researcher NPD Group said.

Spending on video-game hardware increased 42 percent to $347 million from a year earlier, as players continued to snap up the machines, Port Washington, New York-based NPD said Thursday in an e-mail.

“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,” said Liam Callahan, an NPD analyst. “With Xbox One’s higher price point it led hardware sales on a dollar basis.”

The results point to tight competition between the consoles as Microsoft and Sony, with their first consoles in seven years, battle each other and a shift toward social and mobile games. Xbox said it could get a boost this month from “Titanfall,” an Electronic Arts shooter that began shipping exclusively on Microsoft consoles this week.

Microsoft sold 258,000 Xbox Ones during the month and 114,000 older Xbox 360s, the Redmond company said in a separate e-mail.

Total U.S. retail spending on video games, including hardware, software and accessories, rose 9 percent to $887 million, according to NPD.

“Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze” helped Nintendo Co.’s Wii U home console sales in the U.S. rise about 25 percent in February from a year earlier, the Kyoto, Japan-based company said, citing NPD figures.

After slashing its full-year forecast for global sales, the company is counting on the upcoming releases of “Mario Kart 8” and “Super Smash Brothers” to keep the console in competition with the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.