PS4 the Top-Selling Console in US Again During March 2016

More people played The Division on PS4 than Xbox One.

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Ahead of the release of today's NPD sales report for March 2016, Sony has released a statement proclaiming that PS4 was once again the best-selling console in the United States.

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"Thank you to our fans and partners for making PlayStation 4 the top-selling console and software sales leader for the month of March, as well as the number-one console for fans of The Division, according to NPD," a Sony spokesperson said in a statement shared with GameSpot. "We are truly humbled by the success and look forward to delivering more amazing gaming experiences throughout 2016, including the launch of PlayStation VR this October."

As is typically the case, we weren't offered any specific sales figures. Given that PS4 sales have outpaced those of Xbox One, it shouldn't come as a surprise that it was the top console for The Division. Still, it is noteworthy considering that its first two DLC packs will come to Xbox One before other platforms.

Hardware sales across the industry were down 19 percent to $253.2 million from $311.1 million during March 2015.

"Video game hardware dollar sales declined by 19 percent in March 2016, with unit sales dropping 17 percent, " said NPD analyst Liam Callahan. "The difference in trends was due to some softening of average retail prices of 2 percent versus last March."

"Portable hardware sales had the highest dollar sales volume decline versus last March, followed closely by eighth generation consoles," he added. "Seventh generation consoles had a steep percentage decline of 78 percent, though those sales now represent only 2 percent of the month's sales."

Accessory sales fared better, rising nine percent to $285.1 million from $261.8 million last year. According to the NPD Group, this makes it the biggest March ever for accessory sales in the US. This

"Three types of accessories continue to propel overall accessory sales in 2016 (this trend continued in March): Video Game Cards, Gamepads, and Headsets/Headphones; all experienced double-digit growth in March 2016 vs. March 2015, and have sold $82 million more in Q1 2916 versus Q1 2015," Callahan said.

Microsoft, which has made it clear it'll only be sharing non-sales-related data going forward, highlighted the popularity of games on Xbox Live in its comment on today's report.

"In March, global hours spent gaming on Xbox One increased 89 percent compared to last year," corporate marketing VP Mike Nichols told GameSpot in a statement. "Xbox Live engagement was driven by the greatest games lineup, including new titles released in March like Killer Instinct: Season 3 and Tom Clancy's The Division.

"Killer Instinct: Season 3 has seen record engagement across Xbox One and Windows 10 since it launched on March 29, making March the best month ever for the franchise with more than 6 million unique players. Last week, on April 5, we launched Quantum Break to critical acclaim and it became the best-selling Xbox game around the world, and is now the biggest-selling new Microsoft Studios published IP this generation.

"We can't thank our fans enough for their continued support and we're looking forward to bringing more unprecedented experiences on Xbox One, Windows 10 and Xbox Live later this year.”

Nintendo's statement centered around the performance of its software, making no mention of the Wii U or 3DS.

On the software side, The Division unsurprisingly came out as the month's top-selling physical game at retail in the US, followed by another Ubisoft title, Far Cry Primal.

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