Xbox 360 continues to lead console sales as Wii U reportedly struggles

Nintendo's pain is Microsoft's gain

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Microsoft tops the video game console sales charts yet again in the NPD Group's January video game sales report.

While the NPD Group doesn't include exact console sales numbers in its report, Microsoft decided to be more open and disclose that 281,000 Xbox 360 consoles were sold last month.

Along with being the best selling game console for 25 months in a row, Microsoft says Xbox 360 also earned the most of any console in January with users spending US$338 million on the system between hardware, accessories, and software.

The NPD Group also announced the 10 best-selling games for January with Halo 4 on Xbox 360 coming in at No. 7, and representing the only game from the list released exclusively on one system.

The top 10 selling games in January consisted of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Far Cry 3, Just Dance 4, NBA 2K13, Madden NFL 13, DmC: Devil May Cry, Halo 4, Assassin's Creed 3, Skylanders Giants, and FIFA Soccer 13.

Nintendo in trouble

On the other side of the sales spectrum is Nintendo, with Wii U sales that are reportedly far below expectations.

A source with access to the NPD data told Gamasutra that the Wii U sold "well under" 100,000 units during the month of January, with estimates in the range of between 45,000 and 59,000 systems sold during the month.

The Wii U was already suffering from selling fewer consoles than expected, as Nintendo lowered its fiscal year sales expectations from 5.5 million to 4 million units.

Typically the two ways for a game console to recoup from low sales are to release more games or roll out a price cut. However, Nintendo has already taken a firm stance against dropping the Wii U's price any time soon.

The alternative is to offer more new games to attract players. Nintendo does seem willing to pick up the pace publishing a handful of games, including the greatly anticipated Pikmin 3 before the summer.

Most of Nintendo's new Wii U games are set to arrive in the second half of the year though, which may be too little too late as both Microsoft and Sony gear up for their own presumed new console releases, the Xbox 720 and PS4.

Via Gamasutra