We don't normally write up analyst reports at this end - as members of the OXM community tirelessly observe, anybody can make educated guesses. But in the case of the following from DFC Intelligence, we're happy to make a shamelessly partisan exception. The group has been crunching recent NPD numbers, and predicts that the Xbox 360 will eventually become this generation's best-selling videogames console in the US.
"Riding an undercover $50 price reduction at retail, Microsoft reported that Xbox 360 sales reached a total of 1.4 million units sold during the month of December in the U.S (Microsoft cited NPD Group data)," the report begins. That performance marks the 24th straight month the console has topped sales charts.
"Microsoft also claimed that seven of the Top 10 games for the month were Xbox 360 titles. Consumers spent more than $1.27 billion on Xbox 360 hardware, games and accessories during December. By comparison, Nintendo announced that the Wii U moved more than 460,000 units at retail as well as 475,000 Wii units, during the month.
"November and December Wii U sales combined topped 890,000, totaling $300 million. Nintendo says those Wii U sales are ahead of numbers tallied by the original Wii back in 2006 ($270 million). Sony Computer Entertainment of America did not comment on December sales numbers."
"The NPD Group collects hardware and software video game sales data from major U.S. retailers," it goes on. "In late 2010, NPD decided to no longer report hardware sales publicly, thus leaving it to individual companies to provide their own take on the numbers.
"When NPD releases sales figures on the second Thursday of the month it has been the habit of Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony to make statements spinning the numbers in the most favorable light possible. For most of 2012, the only company with much to talk about was Microsoft.
"Amazingly Microsoft didn't have to do much exaggerating as in its seventh full year on the market the Xbox 360 had a stellar performance," continues the report. "For its generation, the Xbox 360, not the Wii, will end up as the number one selling console system in the U.S.
"Shockingly it was in the later years of its life that the Xbox 360 really took off. The success of Microsoft and the Xbox 360 during the past two years highlights a radical changing of the guard in the game industry. Much has been made about a steady video game sales decline in the past three years. In reality the decline has mainly been due to the aging console systems and more importantly because of Nintendo's collapse.
"Unlike Microsoft, Nintendo has been in a major downward cycle, much of it self-inflicted. Nintendo's spin for the Wii U focused on how it made more revenue than the Wii at launch. Of course, the Wii was supply constrained at launch and sold at a lower price so that is not surprising. The reality is that many Wii U systems were sitting unsold on shelves at year end.
"Consumers love games more than ever but a new order of game providers is resulting in market shifts that are proving painful for Nintendo and other established game companies."
If anyone needs me, I'll be wallowing around in this massive basin of smug. It should probably be noted that the US is Microsoft's heartland - the real challenge, some would argue, is cracking Europe and Japan.