Sony topped Microsoft again for U.S. current-generation hardware sales in September as its PlayStation 4 trumped the Xbox One for the fifth consecutive month. The company has outsold Microsoft for U.S. console sales each month of 2015, with the exception of April.
Sony also finished No. 1 for software sales in the U.S. in September.
“It was also a very strong month for PlayStation Network with September being the highest grossing month in PlayStation Store history,” a Sony Computer Entertainment America representative said in a statement.
Microsoft, meanwhile, cited its “strong momentum in September” with “solid year-over-year growth in console sales and strong engagement on Xbox Live.” The Redmond company is gearing up for the highly-anticipated release of Halo 5 on Oct. 27, which is exclusive to the Xbox One and is expected to prompt more Xbox 360 owners to upgrade to the latest Microsoft console.
Neither company provided specific sales data for the U.S. in September; NPD does not reveal exact numbers, either. The last global sales count, based on earnings statements, was 34.4 million total combined PS4 and PS3 sales and 23.4 million combined Xbox One and Xbox 360 sales since the current generation consoles launched in November 2013.
Microsoft has priced the Kinect-less Xbox One at $349 since Jan. 16; the PS4 has sold at $399 since both consoles launched in November 2013 but Sony just recently dropped its price to $349.
NPD also noted today that “after 23 months on the market, combined PS4 and Xbox One sales are 40 percent higher than the combined 23 month totals for PS3 and 360.” Take 2 Interactive’s NBA 2K16 was the top-selling game last month and has the best launch month ever for any sports game made for the Xbox One and/or PS4.
As far as the console competition with Sony, Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, sat down for a fireside chat at the recent GeekWire Summit and offered some insight into Microsoft’s early missteps with the Xbox One launch and the ongoing battle with Sony.
Spencer said he doesn’t as much attention to the sales race with Sony and other competitors now. That’s a key mindset shift from when Microsoft launched the Xbox One, Spencer explained. He said the numbers in the chart above were originally an important motivator, but not so much anymore.
“When I started [as head of Xbox] I made statements like, ‘we want to win’ and turned it into a competitive thing,” Spencer said of his first days leading the Xbox team 18 months ago. “But what I quickly realized is that you can only control, as a leader, the things that you can control — the products you built, the features you add to your platform, the way you talk about your team.
“Sony is having incredible success with the Playstation 4 and they’ve earned that,” he continued. “But for me, as a leader of my team and somebody who is interacting with the Xbox community, it was much more beneficial and I could have more impact focusing on the product that we had. It was a change for me.”
Spencer noted that some people may think it’s easy for him to say that now, given that Microsoft trails Sony in console sales. But it’s a mindset he expects to be consistent, no matter the numbers.
“I think — and maybe we’ll test this someday — if we’re winning, I will stay in the same swim lane,” he said. “It’s really about the products that we have, the features we add, and how we treat the customers.”
Watch the interview with Spencer below: