Microsoft's Xbox 360 came out on top of the console war last year to become the best-selling platform of 2011. The console itself has been the best-selling console for 12 straight months in a row. According to the NPD Analysis group, the Xbox 360 captured 49% of consumer retail spending, accounting for $6.7 billion ($2.1 billion on consoles and $4.6 billion on games and accessories) in sales in the U.S. Microsoft's success comes down to more than 66 million Xbox 360 consoles sold and more than 18 million Kinect sensors sold, not to mention the fact that Xbox Live now has almost 40 million members.
What's really surprising about the NPD Analysis isn't that the Xbox came out on top, but that the Wii and PS3 were apparently "neck and neck" in second place for the year. Sony's PlayStation 3 did increase its unit sales year over year, but all of the other platforms declined in unit sales versus 2010.
According to Sony, they sold more than 6.5 million PlayStation consoles and handhelds during the 2011 holiday season and they're highly anticipating the launch of the PlayStation Vita on February 22.
Even though Nintendo declined in unit sales from 2010 they still had a strong year, selling more than 12 million total hardware units in 2011. That includes more than 4.5 million Wii units, more than 4 million Nintendo 3DS systems, and more than 3.4 million units of the Nintendo DS family of systems.
“Overall industry results are not entirely surprising given that we are on the back end of the current console lifecycle, combined with the continued digital evolution of gaming. Core gamers continue to be engaged and spend on established franchises across both the digital and physical format using multiple devices for different gaming occasions,” said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group.
And there you have it, gamers. The Xbox 360 won this year, but 2012 is looking like Sony's year, what with their huge Vita launch coming up and a plethora of PS3 exclusives coming in the next few months. Which console do you think is going to come out on top in 2012?