New graphs released today by the NPD group show Microsoft's Xbox 360 leading Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii in retail sales of online-capable games and retail cards for digital currency.
ithout specifying specific sales numbers, the graphs show the Xbox 360 selling significantly more online-capable games as the PS3 in 2010, and both systems selling many more such games as the Wii for the year.
Online-capable game sales for all three consoles increased sharply from 2006 to 2008, according to the data, before largely leveling off through 2010. NPD did not measure how often such games were actually played online.
Retailers also sold significantly more Xbox 360 digital points cards than PS3 cards in 2010, according to NPD's data, and point card sales for both systems easily outpaced those on the Wii for the year. The data doesn't take into account digital currency purchased directly through the systems themselves.
NPD has also begun separating out sales of software compatible with stereoscopic 3D displays, which represented a full 25 percent of all new retail software sales last November before falling off to a level around 10 percent of total sales this April.
The NPD data also unsurprisingly shows sales for motion-controlled games increasing significantly between April 2010 and April 2011, after the release of the PlayStation Move and Xbox 360 Kinect controllers.
Earlier today, NPD announced a new report
showing digital gamers purchasing more games overall than so-called "core gamers."
NPD's graphs are viewable below.
NPD's David Riley has clarified to Gamasutra that the graphs posted below were not to scale, and that the specific ratios cited in our original report were inaccurate.
"When looking at the actual numbers for 2010, Xbox 360 online-playable sales were 40% higher than PS3, not twice as high (or 100% higher)," Riley says. "And in terms of share of unit sales that were online playable in 2010, within the platform's sales, the Xbox 360 and PS3 have basically the same share of online playable sales for the year."]