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Xbox 360 wrests US sales lead from Wii

Halo effect

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Microsoft's Xbox 360 outsold the hugely popular Nintendo Wii in the US last month as consumers caught Halo 3 fever, sales figures from local market watcher NPD reveal.

In September, Microsoft shipped 527,800 360s, up 90.8 per cent on the previous month's total, 276,700. That growth pushed 360 shipments past the Wii, which racked up 501,000 shipments in September, up from 403,600 in August - a jump of 24.1 per cent.

MS' sales through August and September - the first of the two months saw the company cut the price of its console - reversing the gentle downward month-on-month shipments trend seen through much of 2007, NPD's numbers, relayed by X-bit Labs, show.

By contrast, Wii shipments, after an dip through to March 2007, have been trending upwards ever since. Until September, 2007 monthly Wii shipments have always been higher than the Xbox 360's.

US PS3 shipments have also trended downwards through 2007. Sony appeared to have turned the corner in June and July, when shipments rose to 95,500 and 159,000, respectively, before falling back to 130,600 in August and then to 119,400 in September.

The next-gen console has yet to be bought by more US consumers in a given month than its predecessor, the PS2, which has outsold all other consoles but the Wii and, from August, the Xbox 360 too.

October's numbers will be interesting to see. Sony's decicision to cut $100 off the price of the 80GB PS3 probably won't have much of an impact on sales until November, when the lower-priced 40GB PS3 will ship. Will Halo 3 continue to exert an strong influence on Xbox 360 sales, or will the Wii re-take the lead?

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