For the first time in this game-console generation, console manufacturers have the choice whether console-sales numbers are revealed or not, as NPD has decided to cripple the publicly available data of video-game sales and deny public access to hardware sales numbers entirely. NPD argues that it should be up to the console makers to release the numbers. Sony (NYSE: SNE) ignores requests for the data, while Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) brags.

Microsoft said that about 484,400 Xbox 360 consoles were sold in the U.S. in September, up from 357,600 in September of last year, with support from the launch of Halo: Reach, which Microsoft said sold 3.3 million copies. Microsoft has now sold more than 22 million Xbox 360 consoles in the U.S. since the system's launch in 2005.

Nintendo and Sony did not provide numbers. An industry source told us that Nintendo's Wii sales were 254,000 units, but there is silence in Sony's camp. Common sense would suggest that Sony would jump on this opportunity and reveal PS3 sales that may have been higher than Wii sales because of the launch of the Move controller system. Perhaps they weren't higher and Sony had a catastrophic launch for Move.

A source, which asked me not to be revealed, said that Sony asked NPD not to make the numbers public anymore, which may not be such a bad idea for NPD, as it does not have to give away free data anymore and maintain a reason to ask for money in exchange for the information. However, I was told that there was concern about the sales numbers and the possible media fallout that could affect the Christmas season.

We could not verify this information, and needless to say, Sony declined to comment. But we do wonder how bad Move sales really were. Had they been as successful as anticipated, there would have been a great opportunity to drum up the excitement for the technology. It seems that Move could be a flop. However, the guys over at VGChartz estimated that a total of 600,000 controllers were sold to 470,000 customers worldwide in the first four weeks after launch.


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Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Nintendo is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft. The Fool owns shares of Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. True to its name, The Motley Fool is made up of a motley assortment of writers and analysts, each with a unique perspective; sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, but we all believe in the power of learning from each other through our Foolish community. This article has been lightly edited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.