PlayStation 3 Outsells Xbox 360 by 16% -- Nearly Passes Wii

To be honest, I didn't see this one coming. Certainly not in the opening month of the year and after the holiday rush. But here it is anyway, courtesy of the NPD, whose numbers are some of the most reliable in the industry. So I'll just cut to the chase and give you those January 2008 numbers:

274k - Wii 269k - PlayStation 3 251k - Nintendo DS 230k - PlayStation Portable 230k - Xbox 360

Can you believe it? I wonder if Sony CEO Jack Tretton can, or if there's not at least a little eye-rubbing and arm-pinching going on. Whatever the case, here's his ebullient reaction to the news:

Coming off a great holiday sales season we see strong momentum behind PS3 in 2008, and feel confident about the year ahead. We have an exceptionally diverse lineup of exclusive games, from Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, Metal Gear Solid 4 and Resistance 2 to more mainstream games such as LittleBigPlanet and SingStar. Beyond that, we have Blu-ray emerging as the de facto high def standard, the developer community is hitting their stride, consumers are recognizing the tremendous value and innovative services such as PlayStation Home are all in the works, so this is definitely shaping up to be a breakthrough year for us.

Yeah, I know, it sounds exactly like what he said a year ago when everything was in the toilet. These things have a way of playing like top 40 songs after awhile, so file it skeptically under "wait and see," and then we certainly will as everyone deploys their next rounds of salvos.

More on the rest of the numbers later, but given the fact that only one piece of PS3 software even charted (Call of Duty 4, which was #8) I'm guessing a substantial portion of the PS3's sales uptick was Blu-ray related.

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Matt Peckham

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