Could the tides of battle be about to turn? As we promptly approach the onset of a new generation, Sony has finally put an end to the Xbox 360’s sales streak. According to the latest NPD report for September, the PlayStation 3 actually outsold Microsoft’s machine in North America last month, breaking the latter’s 32 month spell at the top of the console charts.

The analytics firm suggests that the Japanese giant’s deal with Rockstar Games may have been the deciding factor, with its exclusive Grand Theft Auto V bundle pushing the system into the lead. However, even with the aforementioned sandbox smash, the Nintendo 3DS still managed to edge out the overall hardware charts, though firm numbers weren’t provided for any of the machines.

Nevertheless, for the first time in nine months, the North American game industry actually improved year-over-year, with the above said open world adventure contributing heavily to a 27 per cent increase in physical retail spend. The sector pulled in a total $1.07 billion compared to $848 million the year prior.

New boxed software sales accounted for $754 million of that tally, an enormous 52 per cent increase over September 2012’s $497 million. Grand Theft Auto V naturally topped the best sellers list, followed by Madden NFL 25, NBA 2K14, and Diablo III. Impressively, PS3 exclusive compilation Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX charted in sixth, above Disney Infinity and NHL 14.

A good month all around, then, but the exciting weeks are still to come. Sony has been behind in North America for so long that this victory doesn’t really mean much – but if it can stay in front through October, then we may be on the cusp of seismic shift. We know that PS4 pre-orders are tracking extremely well, so could things be about to swing in the Japanese giant’s favour? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

1. Grand Theft Auto 5 (PS3, Xbox 360)
2. Madden 25 (PS3, Xbox 360)
3. NBA 2K14 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
4. Diablo 3 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
5. FIFA 14 (PS3, Vita Xbox 360)
6. Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX (PS3)
7. Disney Infinity (3DS, PS3, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360)
8. NHL 14 (PS3, Xbox 360)
9. Minecraft (Xbox 360)
10. Saints Row 4 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

[via joystiq.com, vg247.com]