Microsoft’s Xbox 360 sold 257,000 units in the U.S. in June, topping Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Nintendo’s Wii for the 18th consecutive month, according to NPD Group research cited by the Redmond company. That translates into 47 percent market share among current-generation consoles.

The latest numbers were down considerably from the 507,000 Xbox 360 units sold by Microsoft in the same month a year ago. However, the console industry overall has been struggling, and Microsoft has been able to stay on top in the U.S. because all of the major players have seen a decline compared to the previous year.

Overall sales of video games, hardware and accessories in physical retail channels in the U.S. fell by 29 percent in June, to just under $700 million, according to NPD. The numbers don’t include digital sales. If digital sales, used games and rentals were included, total consumer spending in June was about $1.36 billion.

The overall decline in traditional video game sales reflects a shift to mobile games and digital distribution. Here’s what NPD analyst Anita Frazier said on that topic as part of her monthly summary of the firm’s research.

“Outside of new physical retail software, the second largest channel generating sales of content is in the area of mobile games.  We’ve watched this grow consistently quarter over quarter, and new survey results indicate that 57% of smartphone owners play games on their phones on a daily basis.  What’s really interesting is that when asked where they were when they last played a game on their smartphones, 65% indicated that they had played the game at home.”

PreviouslyXbox 360 tops Wii and PS3 for 1st time in yearly global sales

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  • guest

    Translation: While MS was busy winning battles against Sony and Nintendo, Apple won the war and is now the real gaming leader.

    Wonder how much E&D will lose this quarter?

    • guest

      Well, we know that MS will have it’s first loosing quarter in history (this coming Q1FY13) due to the aQuantive write-off. So if I were MS I’d pile as much loss into the quarter as I could, pushing things forward to protect Q2 thru Q4 as much as possible.

      • dynamite

        The charge will be taken in Q4/FY12, not Q1/FY13.

  • Yolanda

    Congratulations to Microsoft for continuing to own the home video game console market. There isn’t a single other company that is doing for the living room what Microsoft has been doing for years.

    • guest

      A house has more than one room, Susan.

      “What’s really interesting is that when asked where they were when they last played a game on their smartphones, 65% indicated that they had played the game at home”

      • Yolanda

        With Android and Windows Mobile combining to represent more than 70% of the mobile phone market, and with Microsoft earning money from more than 70% of Android handsets sold, the company continues to profit as the mobile phone gaming market matures.

        Furthermore, as Windows 8 devices like Microsoft Surface join the company’s hugely successful Xbox Live service, Microsoft’s gaming octopus continues to grow more legs. I like that strategy.

        • Guest

          I like your enthusiasm about Microsoft products (really!) and I too am excited to see what the future of gaming looks like through MS products. However, I’m not sure where you got those figures consider the story released on this very site yesterday:

          Android has 51% of the market while Windows phones have 1.3% (or 4.3% if you include all Windows mobile devices).

          • Yolanda

            We only consider new smartphone sales to be a reliable indicator of userbase. Two-year-old iPhones, for example, are no longer considered a viable platform as they cannot run the newest iOS. One-year-old Android phones are similarly generally considered obsolete. New phone buyers spend more than twice as much on apps as do existing phone owners.

          • guest

            We? So you are a paid MS spokesperson posting on this blog without attribution as such?

          • Yolanda

            No, we are not paid for posting comments. We are not employed by Microsoft and we do not speak for Microsoft.

          • guest

            According to Asymco, Nokia has sold only 330k WP7 phones in the US. Dismal would be an understatement for this sort of performance for the premier WP partner.

          • Yolanda

            That performance is unacceptable. We expect that the Microsoft-branded phone will sell more briskly.

        • guest

          Susan, MS’s net result after more than a decade of gaming involvement is a [still] large multi-billion loss. Indeed, the division again went into the red recently after just a year or two of profitability. And that includes all WP OEM licensing (about $10-15 for a whopping 1.3% of the US smartphone market) and Android patent troll revenue ($5-10 on the 70% of so of OEMs generating Android’s 50% market share). Meanwhile Apple is making hundreds of dollars off each iPhone plus a nice chunk off all the apps and digital downloads, resulting in billions of profit from the same market. Which strikes you as the better strategy, making billions after just a few years or losing billions even after more than a decade? This is not a trick question, Susan.

          • Yolanda

            We believe that over the next few years, Microsoft will make billions of dollars from Windows 8, Windows Phone, Android, and even iOS hardware and software. We love that strategy and we are glad you do too.

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