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PS3 Leapfrogs Rivals as Beatles Best ‘Guitar Hero’

Price cut pushes Sony game machine past Xbox 360, Wii.

Sony’s PlayStation 3 game console defeated the Xbox360 and Wii in September, thanks to a price cut and the introduction of a new slimmer model.

Meanwhile, "The Beatles: Rock Band" game came together with the Xbox 360 for a strong fifth-place finish in software sales (254,000 units), easily beating No. 9 "Guitar Hero 5." MTV’s Fab Four game also took the No. 10 spot with its software for the Wii console.

The NPD Group, which tracks the industry, reported that the PS3 sold 491,800 units for the month, while the Wii franchise moved 462,800 machines. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 sold 352,600 consoles.

For the video game industry overall, sales were up by 1% to $1.28 billion.

NPD Analyst Anita Frazier said: "The industry managed a modest increase over September 2008, and generated the second-best-selling September on record after 2007 when "Halo 3" (was) released. … The increase in revenues is driven by a rise in average retail prices in all categories with the exception of console hardware in which the average retail price decreased 8% from last September."

Sony lowered the price of its PS3 console to $299 to bring the unit more in line with its gaming and Blu-ray competitors. The PS3 also features a Blu-ray player, making the console an attractive option for HD player shoppers.

Nintendo cut the price of the Wii console to $199 in late September. The Xbox 360’s latest price cuts came in late August, with the 60GB Pro version going for $250 and the flagship Elite priced at $299.