PlayStation 4

Ongoing stock shortages couldn’t prevent the PlayStation 4 from claiming a second successive victory over the Xbox One in the February NPD report. While the exact figures remain under wraps, it’s thought that Sony sold around 290,000 next-gen systems to Microsoft’s still respectable 258,000 units. Ever the spin doctors, the latter’s claiming that it actually dominated the month due to its device commanding a higher price point. Fair enough.

Still, the ongoing console war is working wonders for the North American games industry as a whole, with overall hardware, software, and accessory sales increasing by 9 per cent year-over-year. In total, the market pulled in a whopping $887 million in February 2014 compared to $810 million the previous year. Hardware was up an enormous 42 per cent due to the abovementioned appliances, but “the majority of platforms” enjoyed a bump over January.

Software did drop, but analyst Liam Callahan noted that combined games sales for both the PS4 and Xbox One to date are 80 per cent higher than the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360's collective first four months. Surprisingly, The LEGO Movie Videogame didn’t mimic its cinematic side-kick’s chart topping success, as it was blocked from the summit by Call of Duty: Ghosts. Elsewhere, NBA 2K14, Thief, and Grand Theft Auto V rounded out the top five, while Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII debuted in eighth.

Of course, this all leaves the industry perfectly poised for a dramatic showdown in March. Microsoft will be counting on its Titanfall bundle to do the business, while Sony has bet on Sucker Punch’s superhero sequel inFAMOUS: Second Son. Both machines will also receive Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, though the series has historically always performed better on PlayStation platforms. The real wildcard is whether the Japanese giant can actually get any stock on store shelves.

Top Ten New Physical Retail Sales: February 2014

1. Call Of Duty: Ghosts (360, PS3, XBO, PS4, NWU, PC)
2. The LEGO Movie Videogame (360, PS3, 3DS, NWU, XBO, PS4, PSV)
3. NBA 2K14 (360, PS4, PS3, XBO, PC)
4. Thief (PS4, XBO, 360, PS3)
5. Grand Theft Auto V (360, PS3)
6. Battlefield 4 (PS4, XBO, 360, PS3, PC)
7. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (360, PS4, PS3, XBO, NWU, PC)
8. Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (PS3, 360)
9. Minecraft (360)
10. Bravely Default (3DS)