Before it introduced the Xbox One, Microsoft's Xbox 360 topped the U.S. sales charts for 32 straight months. In December, Microsoft returned to its winning ways, as its Xbox One console outsold all others.
In both October and November, Sony had managed to usurp Microsoft: the PlayStation 3 topped the charts in October, as Microsoft customers began cutting back on purchases. In November, Sony's PlayStation 4 rode the launch wave to become the most popular console in America in terms of sales. But that also left just nine days (as the Xbox One was launched on Nov. 22) for Microsoft to catch up; the company sold 909,132 Ones during that time.
Surprisingly, Microsoft actually sold fewer Ones during December than those nine days in November: 908,000 units, according to NPD data that Microsoft released. But that was good enough to boost Microsoft to the top of the U.S. console market once again.
Additionally, Microsoft sold 643,000 Xbox 360 consoles during the same month, giving the company a 46 percent combined market share across both consoles for the month, Microsoft said.
"We're grateful for the excitement and support of our fans--many purchasing their next Xbox console and many joining the Xbox family for the first time," said Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of marketing, strategy and business for Xbox, in a statement. "Our journey is just starting, with more innovation, games, and entertainment coming in 2014 and far beyond."
Dominating the top 10 games list
NPD found that gamers spent $1.39 billion on Xbox games, consoles, and accessories for the month, putting six Xbox One games among NPD's top ten: "Battlefield 4," "Forza Motorsport 5," "Dead Rising 3," "Ryse: Son of Rome," "Madden NFL 25" and "Call of Duty: Ghosts."
Sony hoped to mock Microsoft and its poorly thought-out used games strategy right out of the market, and the PS4 launch was well-received. But Microsoft's own mea culpa was also well regarded, and gamers obviously forgave Microsoft--not only with their minds, but their wallets as well. And Nintendo? If Friday's data means anything, they're not long for this world.