As usual, the three major console manufacturers sent out their own spin in response to the latest monthly NPD sales figures
, which saw Wii and DS hold their top hardware positions while PlayStation 3 bested Xbox 360.
As it has done throughout the year, Sony called attention to its year-over-year growth, which it sees as increasing momentum.
Said Sony Computer Entertainment America president Jack Tretton, "Leading into a pivotal season packed with blockbuster titles and unique online service offerings, consumers have chosen the PS3 as their home entertainment console of choice - showcased by its year-over-year sales growth of 155 percent. Poised for continued momentum, PS3 is delivering on its breadth and depth of exclusive titles to its gaming fans with today's prized exclusive title launch of Metal Gear Solid 4
. The media have hailed 2008 as the year of the PS3, and with solid sales and growth opportunities ahead, we feel consumers are saying the same."
Tretton also mentioned Blu-ray market growth as a catalyst for PS3 success.
In an interesting piece of information not included in NPD's report, Sony reported 20 million pieces of PlayStation Network content downloaded in May (11.6 million of which in North America), of 160 million total pieces to date.
Microsoft continued to paint Xbox 360 as the friendliest home to third-party publishers, claiming $110 million third party game sales in May, with 59% of the third party market in the current generation.
The company also noted its "record-breaking software attach rate of 7.7." Said the company, "Only Xbox 360 is providing an improved software attach rate for third party games generation-over-generation."
Again echoing past claims, Microsoft also pointed to the critical reception of Xbox 360 titles, with 12 games reaching or exceeding a Metacritic score of 90 - more than the number of PS3 and Wii titles to reach that mark combined.
Nintendo may have had the easiest job of the three companies in delivering its spin, as it controlled the top two hardware slots as well as seven of the top ten software slots. Unsurprisingly, it pointed to peripherals such as Mario Kart Wii
's user-friendly wheel and the Wii Fit
Balance Board as ingredients for success.
Said sales & marketing executive vice president Cammie Dunaway, "The Wii Wheel and Wii Balance Board accessories make game play fun for new gamers while presenting new challenges for those who have been playing a long time. The diversity of the seven Nintendo games represented in NPD's top 10 for May demonstrates how Nintendo has something for everyone."
The press release noted that 19 of the top 30 games in May are for Nintendo systems.
Nintendo also provided an update on lifetime U.S. sales of its systems, as well as of the Wii Play
software and remote bundle. Wii unit sales now stand at nearly 10.2 million, Nintendo DS at more than 20 million, and Wii Play
at 5.8 million.
Microsoft and Sony each trumpeted the success of Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto IV
on their respective platforms - Microsoft called out raw numbers, citing a 2:1 sales advantage on the part of the Xbox 360 version of the game over "the other platform's version," while Sony pointed to the 32% GTA4
attach rate among PS3 owners, 6% higher than among Xbox 360 owners.
Lastly, Microsoft was sure to tease its upcoming announcements. "We still have quite a few aces left up our sleeve," the statement concluded. "See you at E3 next month!"