PS4 Tops Xbox One in March

Monthly US retail sales of PlayStation 4 once again outpaced sales of Xbox One in March, according to NPD figures. March marks the third month in a row that Sony's PS4 beat Microsoft's Xbox One at retail in the United States, with hardware sales up overall by 78 percent compared to the same period last year.

March 2014 retail sales across hardware, software, and accessories totaled $1.025 billion, a three percent increase over March 2013. Total consumer spending was estimated at $1.66 billion, which includes used game sales and rentals at $135 million; and digital revenues including digital sales, DLC, micro-transactions, subscriptions and mobile purchases at $532 million.

Though PS4 led Xbox One in sales, both consoles enjoyed significantly better performance than their last-generation predecessors. The systems' cumulative sales across their first five months on the market totals "more than double that of their predecessors, the PS3 and Xbox Onex 360", according to NPD analyst Liam Callahan.

NTotal PS4 and Xbox One game software sales were up "close to 60 percent" over their predecessors' first five months, Callahan reported.

Monthly console hardware sales were up more than 100 percent from March 2013. Year-over-year software sales of every other console decreased aside from PS Vita, which saw renewed interest thanks to Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster.

On Thursday Sony announced that it sold more than seven million PlayStation 4 consoles as of April 6, 2014, beating its own expectations for fiscal year 2013 (the company estimated that it would sell 5 million units during the period). Microsoft says that it has shipped 5 million Xbox One consoles to-date, with 311,000 sales in the US in March. Nintendo did not release hardware sales numbers.

Sales of video game accessories rose 4 percent in March, rising slightly on Xbox One and PS4 controller sales, according to NPD.

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