Sony's North American PS3 holiday sales hit 1.2 million

LAS VEGAS, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Sony Corp  said on Sunday it sold 1.2 million PlayStation 3 video game consoles in North America over the holiday season, two-thirds as much as it sold in the whole rest of the year.

The company also said it sold 1.4 million of its handheld PSP devices and 1.3 million units of the older PlayStation 2. The sales figures covered the period from Nov. 23 to Dec. 31.

"Consumers are clearly responding to the expanding multimedia capabilities and a great lineup of over 200 games," Jack Tretton, president of Sony Computer Entertainment America, said in a statement.

Sales of Sony's PS3 have trailed those of Microsoft Corp's ( Xbox 360 and Nintendo Co Ltd's  Wii consoles due to what analysts say is its relatively high price and lack of must-have games.

According to market research firm NPD, Sony sold 1.76 million PS3 units in the United States in the first 11 months, most of that coming after a midyear price cut and launch of several acclaimed titles such as "Uncharted" and "Ratchet and Clank Future".

Microsoft said last week it had sold 4.3 million Xbox 360 units in the last three months of the year. Nintendo has not released holiday sales figures, but had sold nearly 5 million Wii consoles through November, according to NPD. (Reporting by Scott Hillis, editing by Phil Berlowitz)