Shipments of Sony's PlayStation 3 surpassed Microsoft's Xbox 360 in February, as videogame console sales rose 19% year-over-year, a market research firm said.
Sony shipped 280,800 PS3s during the month, beating the 254,600 units of Xbox 360 shipped by Microsoft, the NPD Group said Monday. Surpassing both consoles, however, was the Wii. Nintendo shipped 432,000 of the lower-priced consoles favored by casual gamers.
Videogame consoles sold well in general in February, as sales rose to $480 million from $402.3 million a year ago. Even more impressive, however, were videogame sales, which soared 47% to $668.7 million from $453.7 million a year ago.
"With several marquee titles still to come in the front half of the year, the industry is poised to achieve another year of record-breaking sales despite difficult economic conditions," NPD analyst Anita Frazier, said in an e-mailed statement.
The top selling game of the month was "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare" on the Xbox 360. Publisher Activision shipped 296,200 units, inching out the No. 2 best seller "Devil May Cry 4," which is also for the Xbox. Publisher Capcom USA shipped 295,200 units.
Continuing to do well in the videogame console market was the PlayStation 2. Sony shipped 351,800 units of the older version of the PS3.
The high number of PS2 shipments, surprised Frazier. "While it certainly has earned its spot among the now-gen slate of console systems because of its staying power in the marketplace, the fact that it realized such significant growth this month is really a testament to its broad adoption and the response of consumers to promotional activity at retail," she said .
In the portable console market, the Nintendo was the clear leader, shipping 587,600 units of the DS. Sony shipped less than half as many PlayStation Portables, at 243,100 units.
Finally, videogame accessories saw a 36% jump in sales to $185.3 million from $136.1 million a year ago.
Last year was a record year for the videogame industry, which achieved $17.94 billion in sales, a 43% increase over 2006, according to NPD.