First week sales figures provided by Microsoft, courtesy of unnamed retailers, put sales of Grand Theft Auto IV at 60% for the Xbox 360 version, 40% for the PlayStation 3 version. A win, undoubtedly, for Microsoft. N'Gai Croal of Level Up got his hands on some GameStop-only sales data, which puts the percentage more accurately at 64% on the Microsoft side, 36% on the Sony side.
Argh! Not accurate enough, for our tastes! Fortunately, we'll be able to more obsessively split hairs on the matter later this week, when NPD data is revealed, but for now we have some expertly sculpted spin to enjoy!
First up, the clear winner, Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg. He says, in part, "These sales results add GTA IV to a long list of franchises that have switched over from Playstation to find a new home on Xbox 360 similar to what happened last year with titles like Madden and Guitar Hero." Greenberg, who seems pleased, tells Level Up that it's a trend he expects to continue.
Peter Dille, senior VP of marketing at Sony Computer Entertainment, responds in kind. "If I had an installed base advantage of 3-1," he says "I wouldn't be crowing too much about a 60-40 sales advantage." Touche! Dille says that 60-40 split isn't such a big deal. Actually, it's a testament to PlayStation brand loyalty, Peter says, in a roundabout way! Regardless of the hard numbers, Dille manages to seem pleased too.
Mr. Croal breaks it down further, with some pre-April console install base numbers, for those interested. We expect better sales insight due Thursday, at which point there will be much slap fighting done across message boards and commenting threads. Don't miss it!