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NPD reaction: Microsoft celebrates third party success

Company notes $98 million in US third party sales in April; claims fastest hardware growth in the first quarter

Microsoft has released its official reaction to the NPD Group's hardware and software sales numbers for April of 2009, focusing on third-party software success and a growth in Xbox 360 console sales for the first four months of the year.

According to Microsoft, four of the top ten home console games for April 2009 are third-party titles for the Xbox 360, including Capcom's Resident Evil 5, EA's The Godfather II, and both Guitar Hero: Aerosmith and Guitar Hero: Metallica from Activision Blizzard. It should be noted that the top ten Microsoft refers to does not include portable titles for the Nintendo DS or PlayStation Portable, unlike the software list reported earlier.

"Sales of third-party games on Xbox 360, a key measure of platform health, hit USD 98 million in April, more than any other system," Microsoft said in a press release.

Microsoft also noted that while Xbox 360 console sales were down in April year-on-year, hardware sales for January through April combined are up 28 per cent from the same period in 2008.

"Xbox 360 is the fastest-growing game console in the US so far this year, with retail sales jumping 28 per cent year-over-year in the first four months," said Microsoft.

"In April, Xbox 360 US retail sales were 175,000 units. Although this represents a dip of 7 per cent compared with a year earlier, April 2008 saw the release of the blockbuster Grand Theft Auto IV, significantly boosting Xbox 360 sales this time last year," the company added.

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