The NPD Group, responsible for data tracking in several consumer industries, has released a few graphs indicating sales of both online capable games and currency cards for each of the three major platforms. So, Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo were broken up on two separate graphs between time and sales.
Microsoft is leading by a large margin in both categories. The graph above shows that the Xbox 360 enjoys more online capable game sales at the retail level than the other two systems and their catalogues available in the same space. While that’s no surprise for Nintendo, whose online network is sparse at best, it does speak volumes about Sony and what the PlayStation Network has to offer. Both graphs short readers on tangible numbers, but the imagery alone suggests that the Xbox 360 tops the PS3 by at least double in this category.
The other major graph in the release indicates the amount of currency cards sold at retail for each system. These are the Microsoft Points Cards, the PlayStation Network Cards or the Nintendo Points Cards that you can buy at your local Gamestop or Best Buy. The Xbox 360 is leading in this arena as well.
Again, no tangible numbers are present. However, the margin by which the Xbox 360 leads the pack is large enough to call this a good, ol’ fashioned trouncing.
It’s worth noting here, and this is me haphazzardly drawing lines between points for the sake of discussion only, that Microsoft may do so well in these categories because of the fact that they charge money for their gaming network. While the Wii and PS3 both present decent online capabilities at zero cost to the consumer, Microsoft charges an annual fee for Xbox LIVE. With that fee they’ve created a network that presents, and has presented for a long time, a bevy of usable services that make gaming and talking together easier there than on any other console platform.
Or, maybe you could explain why Microsoft has such a commanding lead in both of the categories represented above.