According to preliminary retail figures for February from researcher NPD Group Inc., U.S. retailers sold 335,000 Wiis, 228,000 Xbox 360s and 127,000 Sony Corp. PlayStation 3s -- the three newest machines that are currently jockeying for their share of the games market. Those results mean Microsoft, which launched the Xbox 360 a year earlier than its rivals, is in first place among the latest generation of consoles with cumulative U.S. retail sales of 5.1 million consoles, followed by Nintendo with 1.9 million Wiis and Sony with 1.1 million PlayStation 3s, according to NPD estimates.
In an interview, David Hufford, a spokesman for Microsoft, said the company is pleased with its market position, pointing out that six out of the top ten best-selling games in February were titles for Xbox 360.
While Sony's PlayStation 3 -- at $500 to $600, the priciest of the newest consoles -- has lagged behind the sales of its competitors, the company's older game console, the PlayStation 2, continues to sell well because of its low price ($129 in most stores) and vast library of game software. The PlayStation 2 was the second best-selling console in February after the Wii, with 295,000 sold in U.S. stores.