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Though we’re quite early on in the next-generation console wars, the clear front-runner is still Sony with its PlayStation 4, beating Microsoft’s Xbox One in console sales for the month of January, and potentially, overall.

The research firm responsible for tallying these stats (and game sales stats in general) is known as the NPD Group, and they released this new data just yesterday, showing that video game hardware sales were up 17 percent from last year’s January records. That’s to be expected with the release of this recent hardware, but January 2013 was five weeks long, whereas January 2014 was a standard four weeks in length, meaning sales were up by a 47% margin.

The PlayStation 4 led these sales.

The NPD was shy about releasing specific numbers, but Bloomberg reports that Sony’s flagship console has sold twice that of Microsoft’s latest effort. The group didn’t mention Nintendo console sales, but latest reports indicate the console has sold a paltry 4 million units in the near year and a half it’s been on the market.

Now, for the seemingly-bad-but-really-quite-normal news: total video game sales are down from last year. Specifically, they’re down 21%, but that excludes the purchase of digital games, used games, social networking games, and rentals. Take into account the extra long January we had last year, and you’re looking more at a 1% decrease.

On a more chipper note, the best selling games of January were Call of Duty: Ghosts, NBA 2K14, Battlefield 4, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, and Grand Theft Auto V, respectively.

It’s hard to determine the status of the game industry in 2014 compared to last year, especially with these new consoles just now saturating homes. We’ll be able to provide more accurate analytics down the road – but rest assured, people are still playing games, and more than ever at that.


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