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Success and spin as format holders celebrate August sales

"Xbox 360 owns sports," says Microsoft, PS3 sales leap over 90 per cent and Nintendo continues to extend its hardware lead

Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony have all responded to the release of NPD sales data for the month of August, which showed that sales of software in the US has risen by 13 per cent.

All three companies have reason to celebrate, with their official corporate statements spinning sales numbers to highlight the increased installed base, attach rates and dominance with specific software titles.

With DS and Wii leading hardware sales in the region, Nintendo has said that it has now sold almost 22 million portables in North America since launch, and almost 12 million Wii consoles.

Microsoft was more bullish in it's response to the data, claiming that "Xbox 360 owns sports" following Madden NFL 09 topping the software charts with over one million units sold.

And Sony pointed to PlayStation 3's success this year, stating that sales of hardware have risen 92 per cent compared to 2007, with software also growing by 92 per cent.

Nintendo noted that five games for Wii featured in the top ten for August: Wii Fit sold almost 395,000 units, Mario Kart with just under 329,000 copies, Wii Play sold over 200,000 units, Madden NFL 09 All-Play shifted around 116,000 copies and Guitar Hero: World Tour, which sold over 111,000 copies.

"The positive public response to Nintendo DS and Wii has stayed strong throughout 2008," commented Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales and Marketing. "New titles like Madden NFL 09 All-Play for Wii have joined top ten veterans like Wii Fit, demonstrating the wide and long-lasting appeal of Nintendo games."

For Microsoft, lifetime-to-date spending on Xbox 360 hardware and software in the region has reached USD 10.7 billion according to the NPD data, as the console grows its installed base to 10.9 million units, and an attach rate of 8 games per console.

To support its claim of dominance in the sports genre, Microsoft revealed that Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 sold 56,000 units in the first five days of sale on Xbox 360, while NCAA Football 09 has sold 460,000 units since release.

USD 94 million was spent on third-party games in August, with Xbox 360 generating more dollars than other consoles, to date generating USD 4.1 billion or 58 per cent of market share, according to the company.

Hardware sales for Sony continue to climb, with more than two million PlayStation 3 units sold during 2008 in the US, up 92 per cent on last year.

And it wasn't just Microsoft that enjoyed success with EA Sports titles - sales of Madden NFL 09 on the PS3 reached 643,000 units in August, an increase of 90 per cent year-on-year compared to Madden NFL 08.

More than 263,000 copies of Soulcalibur IV have been sold for the PS3 in July and August, with Sony claiming a 38 per cent higher attach rate than on the Xbox 360.

PSP sales in August were up 67 per cent compared to the same period last year, fuelled by the NFL 09 PSP Entertainment Pack, which helped shift 253,012 units during the month.

Sales of the PlayStation 2 have now topped more than 42.7 million units in the US, with 144,096 consoles sold in August. The entire PlayStation brand generated USD 365 million during the month.

"We had yet another strong month for PlayStation in August, which validates that consumers are indeed recognising the long-term value that PS3 offers as both a gaming and home entertainment device," offered Jack Tretton, CEO of Sony America.

"We also began shipping the new 80GB PS3 model in late August to address any short term inventory transitions from the 40GB to 80GB model. We're looking forward to a solid holiday season and are excited to offer a string of unmatched content to consumers in the coming months with LittleBigPlanet, SOCOM: Confrontation, Resistance 2, and MotorStorm: Pacific Rift," he added.

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