Xbox 360 tops U.S. console market for 18th consecutive month, but sales continue to fall

Microsoft is increasingly relying on the Kinect motion controller to buoy sales of its aging console.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft sold 257,000 Xbox 360 units in the U.S. during June, beating both the Sony PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii for the 18th consecutive month, according to NPD Group.

The aging console -- although to be fair they are all aging -- now commands a 47 percent market share for current-generation consoles.

Things are not all good of the console though. It might have held on to the top stop but the sales for June are down considerably compared to sales of over half a million a year ago. According to NPD, the whole console industry is suffering, with sales of hardware and accessories at physical stores in the U.S. falling by 29 percent in June to under $700 million. Throwing digital sales into this mix brings sales up to $1.3 billion.

"Outside of new physical retail software," says NPD analyst Anita Frazier, "the second largest channel generating sales of content is in the area of mobile games.  We’ve watched this grow consistently quarter over quarter, and new survey results indicate that 57% of smartphone owners play games on their phones on a daily basis.  What’s really interesting is that when asked where they were when they last played a game on their smartphones, 65% indicated that they had played the game at home".

Microsoft continues to bank on the freshness of the Kinect motion-controller to buoy sales of the consoles, and has just launched the Kinect PlayFit dashboard to help keep track of the calories burnt from playing Kinect games such as "Dance Central 2," "Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012" and "Kinect Star Wars."

The Xbox 360 held four of the top 10 U.S. console game titles, including "Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier," "Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes," "Max Payne 3" and "NBA 2K12."

Back in April, Microsoft's third quarter earnings report showed how revenue from sales of the Xbox 360 console had fallen dramatically over the quarter, down by 33 percent to $584 million.

Image source: Microsoft.

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