Sony seems to be reaping the benefits of it’s long-put-off price cuts to its PlayStation 3 gaming console: according to media analysis firm NPD, the PlayStation 3 was the top-selling gaming console in the United States during the month of September, moving 491,800 units during the month. The victory marks the first time the PlayStation 3 has topped the U.S. console sales charts since the system was introduced almost three years ago.
The Nintendo Wii dropped to second place, with 462,800 units in sales, and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 finished in third place with 352,600 unit sales.
Overall, NPD found that game hardware sales were off 6 percent from the same month in 2008, although sales of gaming software were up 5 percent compared to a year ago. In terms of hardware, however, the Nintendo DS handheld system continues to dominate the industry, moving 524,200 units; Sony’s PSP manages 190,400 units in sales. And Sony’s venerable PlayStation 2 is still ticking along, managing 146,000 units in sales during the month.
Although Microsoft’s Xbox 360 might have placed third in overall console sales, the Xbox 360 platform accounts for a major portion of game sales: the the top-selling title for the month was Microsoft’s Halo: ODST, and five of the top ten software titles for the month were for the Xbox 360 platform.
All three console makers have been cutting prices in a run-up to the 2009 end-of-year holidays: Sony’s PlayStation 3 saw the deepest cuts, although Nintendo and Microsoft each knocked roughly one-third off the price of their consoles. Sony has since introduced a premium 250 GB version of the PlayStation 3 for consumers eager to download and store movies, television shows, and other copious amounts of digital content.