Well, that didn't last long, huh? After slipping behind the Xbox One in November and December, Sony has successfully pipped Microsoft's next-gen platform at the post in the January NPD sales report, securing the top hardware spot yet again. For those of you with short memories, the PlayStation 4 dominated the competition in the United States for ten months straight last year, before aggressive holiday price promotions saw its Redmond competitor's console dethrone it during the all-important holiday months.
It's business as usual for the Japanese giant in 2015, though, with its system successfully batting aside its sparring partner's latest round of price reductions. Hardware revenue was actually down year-over-year – presumably due to the Xbox One's drop from $499.99 to $349.99 – but physical software sales offset the decline slightly. In total, the entire industry was down five per cent compared to 2014, pulling in $625.7 million overall.
Dying Light was the best selling game, achieving the highest first month sales for a new franchise in the survival horror genre. This accolade was previously achieved by The Evil Within in October 2014, but that launched on more platforms than Techland's undead-'em-up. We bet that publisher Warner Bros is regretting that European retail delay right now. The remainder of the top ten was filled with familiar names, which you can peruse below.
Interestingly, a number of the games sold better on the Xbox One, which shows that, while it may be back on top in the hardware race, Sony still has its work cut out if it wants people to buy all of their software on its system. Still, it didn't sound too concerned in a statement to Venture Beat: "Since launch in November 2013, 18.5 million PS4 units and 81.8 million software units have been sold through to consumers worldwide," a spokesperson said.
To be honest, sales in January are always low, so this latest victory is unlikely to mean much in the grand scheme of things. It's also worth remembering that Microsoft temporarily increased the price of the Xbox One for a week or so, before bringing it back down. We'll need to wait until next month to see if that made the crucial difference, but with Sony yet to adjust the price of its platform once, we get the impression that it's still very much in control of its own fate this generation.
Top Ten Physical Retail Releases: January 2015
- Dying Light (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
- Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (Xbox One ,PS4, 360, PS3, PC)
- Grand Theft Auto V (Xbox One, PS4, 360, PS3)
- Minecraft (360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4)
- NBA 2K15 (Xbox One, PS4, 360, PS3, PC)
- Super Smash Bros. (Wii U, 3DS)
- Far Cry 4 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3, PC)
- Madden NFL 15 (Xbox One, PS4, 360, PS3)
- Destiny (Xbox One, PS4, 360, PS3)
- FIFA 15 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3, Wii, Vita, 3DS)