John Madden helped Microsoft out in its battle against Sony.
In August, Xbox One sales were up 14 percent month-over-month to approximately 150,000 in the U.S., according to Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter. Nintendo’s Wii U saw massive growth of 111 percent year-over-year to 65,000 during the month. Sony’s PlayStation 4, meanwhile, actually sold worse in August than in July, but that doesn’t mean Microsoft’s console beat it.
“We expect PS4’s [August] sales to again exceed those of the Xbox One,” wrote Pachter.
Sony sold approximately 175,000 PS4s in the U.S. last month. That’s a 14 percent drop from the previous month.
“[PS4 still outsold Xbox One] despite the June introduction of a $400 Xbox One without Kinect and the August release of a $400 Madden NFL 15 bundle that includes a download code [for Madden], essentially bundling the game for free,” wrote Pachter.
Wedbush, which gathers its data by reaching out to retailers and content producers, estimates that Microsoft sold around 50,000 Madden NFL 15 bundles. That powered much of the system’s growth. As for Nintendo, Mario Kart 8, the racing game that has players driving around as Donkey Kong, Bowser, and other characters, is continuing to drive Wii U sales.
“Looking ahead, Xbox One hardware sales should see a meaningful lift in September driven by a one-week free-game promotion for Xbox One purchases,” wrote the Wedbush analyst.
He’s referring to Microsoft’s plan to give away a free game to anyone who buys its hardware. For example, you could buy the Microsoft console from a participating retailer (Target, GameStop, and more), and you’ll get a code to download any digital title worth $60 or less. The deal even works with bundles, so if you get the Xbox One with Madden NFL 15 packed with it, you’ll get two games and the system for $400. That promotion started today, and it should benefit the Xbox One’s September sales.
Microsoft is likely hoping that this deal will push Xbox One over PS4, which has outsold the Xbox One every month since their November launches.