By Jonathan Charles | Sep 07, 2012 01:16 PM EDT
Microsoft's Xbox 360 console took almost half of the console marked during August, becoming the top-selling console in the U.S. for the 20th consecutive month.
Microsoft shipped 193,000 units and took 48 percent of the console market during August, according to the latest NPD numbers. The number may not be a surprise to consumers, considering the impending launch of Nintendo's next-generation Wii console and the fact that PlayStation 3 regularly falls behind Microsoft's Xbox 360.
Nintendo announced that 3DS sales grew 38 percent last month compared to July. The Nintendo 3DS XL launched in August, perhaps boosting the handheld system's sales and continuing the momentum Nintendo started with the launch of Super Mario 3D Land and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D.
"The 3DS XL launched on 8/19 and represented 44 percent of total 3DS unit sales, which is noteworthy given the fact that only seven days of 3DS sales are captured in this report," NPD analyst Anita Frazier revealed.
"The current hardware systems are showing their age, so it goes without saying that it would be great to have new systems breath new life into traditional retail industry sales. I am anxious to learn more about about the Wii U launch later this month. And with any luck we'll hear news about other systems on the horizon," Frazier said. While it is unlikely that Microsoft and/or Sony will reveal next-generation consoles at Nintendo's Sept. 13 event in New York City, Nintendo is expected to announce a price and launch date. The console probably will not "launch" in September; a November release date is rumored in the United States, and the console may arrive as late as December in Australia.
Nintendo is also expected to show off launch titles for the console that are playable for media. Nintendo showed a mixture of first-part content and third-party ports of existing games to Wii U, like Mass Effect 3. Considering games like Mass Effect 3 release in 2011 consumers will be lookling for original content, like Pikmin 3 and Platinum Games' P-100.
Wii U's release date is to be announced.