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PS4 edges Xbox One as video game hardware sales soar in November

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Everyone's a winner (Credit: Sony/Microsoft)

What a difference a couple new consoles makes.

Overall, when hardware, software and accessories -- including subscription cards for Xbox Live and PlayStation Plus -- were added up, the industry posted sales of $2.7 billion at retail stores last month, a 7 percent increase over 2012, reports the NPD Group.

Much of that can be attributed to the rebounding sales of video game hardware, which were up 58 percent in November to $1.3 billion as consumers snatched up the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

But which one sold better? That depends on who you ask, apparently.

In a statement, Microsoft claimed victory in the early sales race.

“November NPD Group figures released today revealed 909,132 Xbox One units were sold in the U.S. in the console’s first nine days, making it the fastest-selling console on the market in the U.S.” the company said. “Xbox One sales averaged a volume of more than 101,000 consoles per day, significantly outpacing the nearest competitor.”

Sony disputed Microsoft's claim that the Xbox One was the top-selling console in the country, though.

“PlayStation 4 sales in North America and worldwide have been incredibly strong since launch, culminating in PS4 being recognized as the largest console launch in history," said Jack Tretton, president and CEO of Sony computer Entertainment America in a statement. "In North America alone, more than one million PS4 units were sold in only 24 hours and we’re pleased NPD has reported that PS4 was the top selling next gen platform for both hardware and software in November. We are humbled by the passion and excitement demonstrated by gamers for PS4."

So who’s right? Technically, they both are. Sony, citing internal sales numbers, says it moved 2.1 million consoles compared to 2 million (per Microsoft's own stats) for the Xbox One, giving the PS4 the overall lead. But the Xbox One released one week after the PS4, hence Microsoft touting it as the "fastest-seller."

Nintendo also got into the fight by touting strong sales of the 3DS handheld, which moved over 770,000 units in November, bringing the system's total to 10.5 million. The company also claimed that Wii U sales improved by 340% over October, but did not provide any numbers.

NPD allows game and console manufacturers to release their own hardware sales figures, plus the numbers also only reflect sales at brick and mortar retail locations, not online sales. Either way, both companies can feel good that gamers are buying consoles again, as it’s been a pretty slow year for hardware.

Unfortunately, the excitement over new hardware didn't rub off on the software side of the industry. Game sales, which are the most closely tracked number by NPD, were down 24 percent to $1.1 billion.

Those results came amid reports from Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter that early sales of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and Battlefield 4 were "far weaker-than-expected."

As has become typical each November, the new Call of Duty topped the sales charts. EA’s Battlefield 4 came in second, while Assassin's Creed IV took the bronze. GTA V continued to sell well by coming in fifth, while Activision’s Skylanders edged out Disney’s Infinity.

A complete list of the month's top 10 selling games is below:

RankTitlePublisher
1Call Of Duty: Ghosts Activision Blizzard (Corp)
2Battlefield 4 Electronic Arts
3Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag Ubisoft
4Madden NFL 25Electronic Arts
5Grand Theft Auto VTake 2 Interactive (Corp)
6NBA 2K14 Take 2 Interactive (Corp)
7Skylanders SWAP Force Activision Blizzard (Corp)
8Just Dance 2014 Ubisoft
9Disney Infinity Disney Interactive Studios
10FIFA 14 Electronic Arts

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