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Xbox 360 beaten out by PS3 thanks to GTA V

Thanks to Grand Theft Auto 5, Sony's PlayStation 3 was the top-selling video game console in September, unseating Microsoft Xbox 360 after 32 months at the top, according to data from The NPD Group.

The PS3's success last month was largely driven by sales of the PS3 Super Slim 500 GB Grand Theft Auto 5 bundle, indicating that the immensely popular open world action-adventure game had an impact on hardware as well as software, NPD's Liam Callahan said in a statement. The Xbox 360 previously held top billing from January 2011 to August 2013.

"The launch of Grand Theft Auto V this September was a much needed shot in the arm for the industry," Callahan said. "Overall retail sales across hardware, software and accessories were up 27 per cent versus September 2012, lifted by software sales of Grand Theft Auto V."

Overall gaming industry sales totalled $1.08 billion (£667.85 million) in September, up from $848 million (£524.4 million) a year ago. However, these figures only represent new physical retail sales, which account for roughly half of the total consumer spend on games for the month. The NPD Group estimated that used and rental sales totaled $196 million (£121.2 million) while digital format sales brought in $645 million (£398.86 million), bringing total U.S. video game sales to "just under" $1.9 billion (£11.75 billion) in September.

Software sales jumped 52 per cent year over year to $754.3 million (£466.5 million) thanks to GTA 5, which was the top-selling game of the month and the highest-selling title launched in any September since NPD began tracking the industry in 1995.

"Grand Theft Auto represented over 50 per cent of dollar sales in September, and had the highest first month sales than any other previous launch in the Grand Theft Auto franchise," Callahan said. The game has also broken seven Guinness World Records, including the highest revenue generated by an entertainment product in 24 hours.

Madden NFL 25 was the second best-selling game of the month, followed by NBA 2K14, Diablo III, and FIFA 14. Rounding out the top ten were Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX, Disney Infinity, NHL 14, Minecraft, and Saints Row IV.

Meanwhile, on the hardware side, sales dropped 13 per cent year over year to $183.2 million (£113.3 million) as gamers patiently waited for next-generation consoles to hit the market next month. The Nintendo 3DS secured the top hardware spot for a fifth consecutive month.

Image: Rockstar North