ps3Thirty-two months, or 2-and-a-half years: That’s how long Microsoft’s Xbox 360 held the top spot in the U.S. console market, based on unit sales. But the streak ended as of September, as Sony’s PlayStation 3 took the top spot, according to numbers released this afternoon by the NPD Group.

The critical factor: Grand Theft Auto V. NPD says Sony’s result was driven by sales of a special GTA V-branded PS3 bundle that comes with the game. That was just one of the ways that the new installment in the blockbuster franchise reshaped the U.S. video game market in September.

“The launch of Grand Theft Auto V this September was a much needed shot in the arm for the industry. Overall retail sales across hardware, software and accessories were up 27% versus September 2012, lifted by software sales of Grand Theft Auto V,” said NPD analyst Liam Callahan.

In a statement, Microsoft said Xbox 360 “remains the number one selling console in the U.S. in 2013, with 1.6 million units sold this year.”

Both companies are launching the next versions of their consoles, the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4, next month.

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  • guest

    MSFT has one more month where they have a shot to be #1, and then Nov. hits, and it’ll all be downhill from there.

  • jidakida

    Sounds like some serious business for sure.

  • Shiverus

    Why go out and by a 360 when you can get a X1 in a month.

    • norifumi155

      Same logic back. Why buy a PS3 when you can get a PS4 in a month?

      • Win

        Because you have no intention of buying a PS4, so you get the inexpensive PS3 bundle.

        • Guest

          Possible. But rather unlikely given numerous reports that demand for PS4 is substantially higher than for Xbone. I’m sure the cheap PS3 bundle helped these numbers. But I wouldn’t rule out the negative press from MS’s disastrous E3 having an impact as well.

          • Ryan Parrish

            Boy do I hate the Xbone moniker. But, it looks like it has legs.

          • chris

            I love people that say xbone. It exposes them immediately as having an agenda. Pretty much can ignore everything they say at that point.

          • Chris Bordeman

            Nah, we’re adopting it as our own. It’s fun. I’m getting an XBone!! :)

      • freelancepimp .

        Because none of those devices are Backwards compatible so its not like you can play PS3 games on the PS4 and same with Xbox

        • Ryan Parrish

          They will both eventually do cloud play to allow for legacy games, however nobody knows how long that’ll take. So the only way to make sure is to own the old one.

          • freelancepimp .

            I really, really, doubt it. They both could play old games from the started if they wanted to through emulation. They are going to make people rebuy their games or buy them as “HD remakes.” Cloud BC is not happening!!!

          • Ryan Parrish

            Onlive did it with far fewer resources than either Microsoft or Sony. Didn’t you wonder how XBox One would use 300,000 servers?

          • freelancepimp .

            I am not saying it can’t be done (and I think you know that.) We all know it can be. I am saying they are more than likely not going to do it. The only way I see MS doing it is if the xboxone needs a sales boost, and bc is added as a selling point. Those 300,000 servers are probably to collect advertising data

          • Ryan Parrish

            It exists, it’s just a numbers thing. Is it worth implementing at scale or not.

          • freelancepimp .

            How did that cloud play work out?

          • Ryan Parrish

            Well, since they never actually announced anything, it turned out fine I suppose. Phil Spencer is hinting at this, as recently as yesterday at E3, so since the technology already exists, and is likely more mature than last September, it’s just a matter of time until they launch it.
            BTW, that’s impressively childish and petty of you to attempt an “I told you so” to a comment from 8 months ago. You must have an awful lot of free time on your hands to peruse comments from so long ago.

      • ungeheier

        Xbox fans are smarter than PS fans? Or people are still buying PS3’s because they’re Bluray players…

    • daisydog555

      I’m waiting for the 361…

  • Unknown

    It’s Xbox one not fucken xbone who da fucks calls it that

    • Ryan

      No it’s Xbox One. You forgot to capitalize the “O” in “One.”

  • Titibinski

    I bought a Nintendo 3DS to play Pokemon. And I’m 40 years old.

    • Light Yagami

      theres nothing wrong wit tht im 23 and i love the pokemon games

  • woppage

    Given the horrendous failure rate of the 360 (estimates range from 33-50% or higher), one has to ask the question – should they really count sales? Or actual consoles in use…

    Every xbox and 360 owner I know has had to get their system repaired or replaced. EVERY one of them. Only one PS3 has gone down.

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