*drop

Microsoft Vs Sony Vs Nintendo.  

Sony might have been bottom of the pile for US sales throughout June - and forced to praise monthly year-on-year sales growth again - but that hasn't dampened the company's expectations of the "big impact" PlayStation 3 will have this holiday.

"Videogames are fuelling new innovation for the entire consumer entertainment category, and today's numbers are a testament to the big impact we'll play this holiday," said Sony America's Patrick Seybold.

"With a healthy flow of PS3s back in the channel, and 11 months of PS3's consecutive growth behind us, we're confident the PS3 will become the main entertainment hub for many new consumers this year and provide countless reasons to congregate in the living room."

All of which will be helped by the "groundbreaking" PlayStation Move, he added.

Sony's now sold 13m PlayStation 3s in the US and 17m PlayStation Portables.

Microsoft focused, unsurprisingly, on the chart-topping success of the new "whisper quiet" Xbox 360. And signs of slowdown, we're assured, are not on the horizon.

"Retail demand for the new Xbox 360 250GB console remains high, and retailers continue to order as many units as Microsoft is able to supply," said the company in a statement.

Red Dead Redemption finished top of the software pile on Xbox 360, and sales of hardware, software and accessories combined to earn $333m. Not content, Microsoft also looked ahead, and it too claimed to be in the best position for the holiday bonanza.

"Collectively, Microsoft has also heard from retailers around the US that Kinect and its related games are a top priority this holiday," Ballmer's bunch added.

Microsoft has shifted 1,924,900 Xbox 360 units this year. The US total stands at 20,555,886.

Finally, Nintendo - for whom the birds sing - saw the Wii and DS account for half of June's hardware sales. On top of that, six of the top 10 games were on Nintendo platforms.

"Consumers continue to look to Nintendo for exceptional value and one-of-a-kind gaming experiences," said Nintendo of America's Cammie Dunaway. "Between games like Super Mario Galaxy 2, the pioneering motion controls of the Wii system and the portable fun of Nintendo DS systems, Nintendo offers something for everyone."

She, too, had a message for the autumn: "As we prepare to launch a remarkable line-up of new games in the second half of the year, we are grateful that consumers are supporting Nintendo consoles to continue their run as the nation's most popular game systems."

The DS added half-a-million sales in June to its regional total of nearly 42m. The Wii put over 400,000 sales towards its ever-closed 30m US landmark (currently 29,540,081).

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Dan Pearson

Dan Pearson

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