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For Honor and Resident Evil 7 top US charts in February

17 Mar

For Honor came out on top during February in the US, despite having been out for only 12 days.

for_honor_gamescom_2016_screen_1

The NPD Group has published its full report for February 2017, covering the US retail (and some digital stores) gaming business. Last week, we learned that PS4 came out on top during the month.

Now, we get to take a look at the software side of the business. The report shows data tracked until February 25.

Overall, all segments tracked showed a decline. $724 million in revenues were generated by the industry in the period, a 21% drop year-over-year from $918.7 million. Console software generated $344.2 million, thanks to new releases, but it wasn’t enough to beat the $402 million from the same period last year.

For Honor was the best selling game of the month, despite having only been out for 12 days before the report’s cutoff date. The game topped the list for both consoles, too.

Nioh was the other new entry on the list, landing at no.9. Halo Wars 2 did not manage to break the top ten, but it did earn the no.6 spot on the Xbox One’s best selling list.

Here’s the top ten overall that month:

  • For Honor
  • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
  • Grand Theft Auto 5
  • NBA 2K17
  • Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
  • Rainbow Six: Siege
  • Madden NFL 17
  • Battlefield 1
  • Nioh
  • Overwatch

Top ten PS4 games

  • For Honor
  • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
  • Grand Theft Auto 5
  • Nioh
  • NBA 2K17
  • Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
  • Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue
  • Battlefield 1
  • Madden NFL 17
  • Rainbow Six: Siege

Top ten Xbox One games

  • For Honor
  • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
  • Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
  • Grand Theft Auto 5
  • NBA 2K17
  • Halo Wars 2
  • Rainbow Six: Siege
  • Battlefield 1
  • Madden NFL 17
  • Overwatch

Horizon: Zero Dawn is not on the list because it released after the report’s data was collected, but will no doubt show up next month. We’re also expecting some data on how the Switch launch went in the US in March’s report.

PS4 tops February NPD as we all hunker down ahead of Switch launch shake up

10 Mar

Oh boy oh boy, next month’s NPD headline might be something different.

ps4_neo_3

The PS4 has once again proved to be the bestselling hardware in the NPD’s monthly US retail chart.

This situation has been the norm ever since this generation of consoles debuted, and it’s getting a bit dull. We’re all pretty excited for next months’ report, where hopefully we’ll see some change up thanks to the Switch’s launch.

In the meantime, though, Sony’s success is not surprising – especially given the release of Horizon Zero Dawn right at the end of February and Nioh earlier in the month. Not to mention Resident Evil 7’s platform-exclusive VR mode from the end of January.

Xbox only had Halo Wars 2 to fire back with, but it still managed to dig up some positive news in its NPD response statement. According to Microsoft, the hours played on Xbox One in February jumped 11% year-on-year, while unique users increased by 35% year-on-year. So while Xbox may be behind PS4, it’s still growing nicely, and that’s what’s important to Microsoft.

Interestingly though, Xbox said GTA 4 going backwards-compatible helped drive engagement during February. Detractors may scoff, and access to the back catalogue of the Xbox 360 does not make up for a lack of exclusives, but backwards compatibility is a great feature that clearly gets a lot of use.

Anyway, the NPD group will be back next week with a full report on hardware, software and accessories, so stay tuned.

Resident Evil 7 was the best-selling game of January 2017, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, other heavy-hitters play musical chairs

17 Feb

The NPD group has released hardware and software figures for January 2017 and it should come as no surprise that PlayStation 4 and Resident Evil 7 topped the respective sectors.

resident_evil_7_main_site

videogames

January 2017 NPD at a glance

Resident Evil 7 tops software charts

PS4 was best-selling console

PC software spend declined 12% year-over-year

All categories – accessories, hardware, software – down 4% year-over-year

Compare month-on-month: December 2016

Compare year-over-year: January 2016

While hardware sales declined, software was up 14% to $313 million. NPD attributed the increase to Resident Evil 7’s release, especially when comparing the year-over-year (yoy) release slates.

It’s also worth noting Resident Evil 7 was only on the market for five days when the NPD reporting period ended.

“With only five days in the market, Resident Evil 7 was the best-selling game in January,” said NPD analyst Sam Naji. “The last time Capcom had the best-selling game of the month (in dollar sales) was in March 2009 with Resident Evil 5.”

First-person shooters Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Battlefield 1 were still two of the best-selling games for the month, and neither title has fallen off the chart since release in fall 2016.

Overwatch also returned after dropping off the NPD software list in October.

The rise in sales could possibly be attributed to various discount offers or the Overwatch Year of the Rooster event; however, that’s just conjecture on our part as NPD didn’t elaborate on why Overwatch was once again charting. It was, however, one of the best-selling games of 2016 per NPD’s yearly report in January.

Action titles Grand Theft Auto 5 and Watch Dogs 2 also remained on the chart, while sports titles Madden NFL 17 and FIFA 17 remained popular with US consumers as well.

PC software came in at $16 million, a 12% decline yoy from $18 million.

PS4_console_big

NPD Software Top Ten January 2017

You’ll notice not much changed on the chart since December 2016, as the heavy hitters played musical chairs and that’s about it.

The biggest changes were the entry of new releases Resident Evil 7 and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue – the second best-selling PS4 title for the month.

Pokemon Sun and Moon and Final Fantasy 15 fell off the chart, and again, Overwatch reentered it.

The full NPD software chart is below, but keep in mind not all digital stores report sales data. Some publishers who sell through the PlayStation and Xbox Stores report data, but others do not. For example: Microsoft, Sony and Blizzard (Battle.net) do not report first-party sales.

  1. Resident Evil 7 (PS4, Xbox One)
  2. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
  3. Grand Theft Auto 5 (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  4. Battlefield 1 (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
  5. NBA 2K17 (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  6. Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue (PS4)
  7. Madden NFL 17 (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  8. Watch Dogs 2 (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
  9. Overwatch (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
  10. FIFA 17 (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)

This month, NPD also started reporting catalog sales of titles from the first six months of availability – starting with month seven (thanks, MCV). The winning publisher in the category for January 2017 was Take-Two and it was also the top publisher for 2016. NPD attributed this to continued sales of GTA 5.

NPD Hardware January 2017

Last week, the initial NPD report had PS4 topping hardware followed by Xbox One – which according to Microsoft enjoyed year-over-year (yoy) growth compared to January 2016.

PS4 sold the most units, with Xbox One coming in second place, and Nintendo’s Nintendo Classic Mini: NES in third.

“The PlayStation 4 was the best-selling hardware (in units sold) during January 2017,” said NPD analyst Sam Naji. “And for the fourth consecutive month, PlayStation 4 Slim System 500GB Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End Bundle was the top-selling PS4 sku in terms of units sold.”

For the month of January 2017, hardware totaled $127 million, a decline of 19% yoy compared to $157 million in 2016.

Accessories declined 17% yoy to $155, with toys-to-life skus (ex: Skylanders, amiibo, Lego Dimensions) showing the biggest decline.

Total spent in the US on accessories, hardware and software for the month January hit $611 million. While that’s indeed as large figure, it’s 4% less compared to $637 million spent in 2016.

NPD said the lower figure was due to a decline in hardware sales and general lack of growth.

PS4 tops January NPD, but Xbox One had a record month and was the only new console to show growth

10 Feb

PS4 vs Xbox One: good news from both sides of the console war.

ps4_vs_xbox_one

PS4 topped us retail charts in the US in January, according to the NPD Group. The full monthly report drops next week, but both Sony and Microsoft have released statements on their initial performance.

Microsoft said the Xbox One had its best January to date, and was the only console in this generation to enjoy year-on-year growth during the month. Time spent playing Xbox One games grew a tasty 21% year-on-year.

Not a bad result for Microsoft given there were no big Xbox One exclusives in January; the biggest new release was the multiplatform Resident Evil 7. The PS4 version of Resident Evil 7 has PlayStationVR support and a long period of demo exclusivity in its favour, but the Xbox One build has cross-buy with Windows 10 PC through Play Anywhere, which is pretty nice.

The PS4 was the best-selling console of the month, and Sony told Gamespot that four of the five bestselling games of January were PS4 releases.

Since the Xbox One had no new or even especially notable recent exclusives, and the only PS4 exclusives released in January were Gravity Rush 2 and Yakuza 0, Sony is probably referring to a single-format chart, where the PS4 and Xbox One SKUs of a game are tallied separately.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare was the best-selling game of 2016 despite all your protests – but Battlefield 1 was hot on its heels

20 Jan

Call of Duty won the year. Again.

call_of_duty_infinite_warfare_reviews

December and full-year 2016 NPD at a glance

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare tops both software charts.

PS4 dominates hardware in December.

Year total PC software spend grew 5%.

All other categories down year-on-year for both December and 2016 as a whole.

Compare month-on-month: November 2016

Compare year-on-year: December 2015

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare predictably topped both the December 2016 and 2016 full year charts in the latest edition of NPD Group’s monthly report, which tracks new sales in the US only.

The NPD’s Mat Piscatella said this is the ninth consecutive year Call of Duty has topped the all-formats December sales chart.

Battlefield 1 came in second place, and actually generated 10% more dollar revenue than Star Wars Battlefront in December 2015 – a pretty amazing feat given the latter’s brand recognition.

Looking at individual platform charts, however, Final Fantasy 15 was the best-selling game on PS4, and enjoyed the “best console launch month in the history of the franchise” with 19% more new physical units sold than Final Fantasy 13, and 54% more in total dollar revenue including digital.

In portables, the winner was, of course, Pokemon Sun and Moon. The NPD said the twin games have sold over 4.21 million units life to date, which is the best the franchise has done since 2007’s Pokemon Diamond and Pearl combined with 4.25 million units. Let’s see if Sun and Moon can overtake it.

NPD software top ten December 2016

Here’s the NPD’s chart for the month of December 2016. It’s worth noting that Pokemon Sun and Moon both charted individually rather than as a combined title, and that the NPD doesn’t have access to digital sales data on Nintendo titles. The RPG may well have been an even bigger deal than the chart suggests, then.

You’ll notice Watch Dogs 2 held its place in the chart despite a lot of murmuring about its performance after its November release. It didn’t turn up in the full-year chart but it’s certainly not a non-entity.

  1. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
  2. Final Fantasy 15 (PS4, Xbox One)
  3. Battlefield 1 (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
  4. Madden NFL 17 (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  5. NBA 2K17 (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  6. Watch Dogs 2 (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
  7. Grand Theft Auto 5 (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  8. Pokemon Sun (3DS)
  9. FIFA 17 (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  10. Pokemon Moon (3DS)

NPD software top ten full year 2016

This chart is for 2016 as a whole. As usual, sports games and shooters dominated the full-year charts, and Grand Theft Auto 5 refuses to give up its hold. The long sales tail on Call of Duty each year means Black Ops 3 inevitably made an appearance.

Don’t be too concerned for Final Fantasy 15 in last place; it released very late in the year, and did so well on the December chart, that it’s probably doing just fine as its sales tail extends through January and beyond.

Again, the NPD doesn’t have digital sales info for Battle.net titles, so Overwatch may rank much more highly than the chart suggests.

  1. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
  2. Battlefield 1 (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
  3. The Division (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
  4. NBA 2K17 (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  5. Madden NFL 17 (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  6. Grand Theft Auto 5 (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  7. Overwatch (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
  8. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  9. FIFA 17 (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  10. Final Fantasy 15 (PS4, Xbox One)

ps4_pro_vs_xbox_one_s

PS4 dominates hardware in 2016

As previously reported, the PS4 outsold the Xbox One in December 2016.

The NPD said the PS4 Slim 500GB Uncharted 4 bundle was the best-selling console of the month with 1.2 million sales, while the PS4 Pro accounted for 18% of all November and December PS4 sales.

Meanwhile, the Xbox One enjoyed a good month with a 10% unit sales increase, and Nintendo shifted “an additional 4% of 3DS systems thanks to the heightened demand for Pokemon”.

Unfortunately, this did not translate to dollar growth as the lower prices of hardware a few years on can’t stack up with figures generated closer to launch.

“Although the combined ARP for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 systems decreased by 15%, consumers bought 7% fewer units,” Piscatella said.

As a result, overall hardware sales for the month fell 20% year-on-year, while hardware sales for the full year fell 24% on 2015’s figures.

General figures

Total industry spend for the month of December fell 15% year-on-year to $2.78 billion.

Console and portable software fell 12% to $1.19 billion, while PC software fell 13% to $45.3 million. Hardware fell 20% to $994.9 million, and accessories dropped 15% to $547.6 million.

For the year total, industry spend spend fell 12% from 2015’s figures, to $12.1 billion.

Console and portable software fell 6% to $5.79 billion, while PC software grew 5% to $333.8 million. Hardware fell 24% to 3.68 billion, and accessories dropped 6% to $2.35 billion.

Just to touch on accessories, the NPD said the toys-to-life category saw a whopping 50% decline which was largely responsible for the overall category drop. Only LEGO Dimensions saw growth, with Skylanders, Disney Infinity and Amiibo all drying up. Trend over?

As ever, bear in mind that these figures are missing stacks of revenue sources for the games industry as a whole – many digital sources, used game sales, rentals and more – so they don’t paint as grim a picture as all the declines suggest.

PS4 won the December NPD, but Xbox One had its biggest month yet and Microsoft says Sony saw no year-on-year growth

13 Jan

PS4 vs Xbox One is finally turning into a battle worth watching as opposed to a one-sided steamroll.

ps4_pro_vs_xbox_one_s

PS4 was the best-selling console in the US in December 2016, according to the NPD group’s data.

Sony confirmed the news with VentureBeat ahead of the December 2016 report’s general release, but didn’t have any further comment; the platform holder has retired into dignified silence regarding NPD reports ever since its lead over Xbox was firmly established.

Microsoft, on the other hand, puts out a statement nearly every month, and this one’s a doozy: Xbox One was more popular in December 2016 than it was in its launch month or at any time since.

“December was the biggest month ever for Xbox One sales in the US, and Xbox One was the only [current-generation] console with year-over-year growth, according to NPD,” a Microsoft spokesperson said.

“In addition, Xbox One was the top-selling console over the second half of 2016, following the announcement of Xbox One S at E3.”

We already knew Sony had had a pretty big December, as PS4 recently hit 53.4 million global sales. That was off the back off a strong November for PS4 in which it hit 50 million sales, too.

I’m not pointing this out to diminish or detract from Microsoft’s performance, but to highlight it: if Sony had such a tremendous holiday season and Xbox still managed to shift more units over the second half of 2016, the Xbox One must really have kicked butt in those four months it topped the NPD charts last year.

Of course, Microsoft here seems to be talking about the US only, and PlayStation has traditionally been much stronger than Xbox in Europe and especially Japan. But it’s still clear that Microsoft’s hard work in turning the Xbox One around over the past few years is really paying off.

Now if Microsoft would only release solid sales figures we could get an idea of the gap between the two platforms. Not that it really matters; you probably remember the PS3 and Xbox 360 ended up neck and neck despite Sony trailing for several years early in the generation.

The full NPD report with software charts and terrifying numbers should drop sometime next week.

Pokemon Sun & Moon combined outsold Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare in November NPD

16 Dec

Call of Duty outsold in its launch month. Get the president on the phone.

pokemon_sun_&_moon

November NPD 2016 at a glance

Total spend down 24% with drops in hardware, software and accessories.

Pokemon Sun & Moon combined top software chart.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare tops individual SKUs software chart.

PS4 back on top of Xbox One thanks to PS4 Pro, Black Friday.

Compare month-on-month: October 2016

Compare year-on-year: November 2015

Pokemon Sun & Moon dominated new game sales in the US in November, according to the NPD Group’s latest monthly report.

Even though the NPD was not provided with digital sales data for Pokemon Sun & Moon, it confirmed that the two SKUs combined outsold everything else on the software chart this month.

Whether you think it’s fair to count Pokemon Sun & Moon as one game when plotting the software chart, there’s no denying it was a huge launch. The NPD’s Sam Naji said Pokemon Sun & Moon had the “strongest launch in the history of the franchise” with 8% more unit sales than Pokemon Black & White, the previous record holder, even though it was on sale for 19 fewer days in the charting period.

As a result, “Nintendo 3DS experienced its highest monthly physical software spending in the history of the platform”, at 1% higher than the December 2014 record.

Here’s the full November 2016 NPD software top ten chart, looking at individual SKUs:

NPD November 2016 top ten software chart

  1. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
  2. Battlefield 1
  3. Pokémon Sun (no digital sales included)
  4. Pokémon Moon (no digital sales included)
  5. Titanfall 2
  6. NBA 2K17
  7. Madden NFL 17
  8. Watch Dogs 2
  9. The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim (no digital sales included)
  10. FIFA 17

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare came in first for individual SKUs despite a nasty drop-off in retail sales from Black Ops 3, and you’ll notice Battlefield 1 is still right up there having topped the October NPD charts. That’s some solid sales from the big shooters, but it was’t enough to prevent a 19% year-on-year decline in software sales compared to November 2015.

“The decline can be fully attributed to the top three selling games which, combined, sold 43% less than the top three games from last November,” Naji said.

“Combined spending across all other titles grew 12% in November compared with a year ago.”

So blockbusters down, everything else up. To be fair, November 2015’s top three titles were Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, Fallout 4 and Star Wars Battlefront 2015 – a pretty tough line up.

“The year-on-year software revenue decline was driven by the strong comparison to last November’s top 3 titles – Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, Fallout 4, and Star Wars: Battlefront, which were all full-priced console new releases,” Naji said.

“This month’s top three games were Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Battlefield 1, and Pokemon Sun. Battlefield 1 launched in October, and Pokemon: Sun launched at a lower [price] than last November’s console games. As all titles outside of the top three grew a combined 12% vs year ago, it is the top three title grouping that drove the year-on-year decline.”

Disappointingly for Ubisoft Watch Dogs 2 limped in at seventh, putting it well behind Titanfall 2, which is now in its second month and looking to have a decent sales tail.

ps4_pro_vs_xbox_one_s

PS4 back on top in NPD November hardware data

As previously reported, PS4 outsold Xbox One, breaking its four month streak.

Like Xbox One S, PS4 Pro is partially responsible for new interest in the platform – but actually, it was the PS4 Slim System 500GB Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End Bundle that sold best of all hardware SKUs, accounting for a whopping 30% of all hardware units sold in December.

Unit sales of 3DS grew 59% year-on-year, giving it six consecutive months of year-on-year growth – an amazing performance. The NES Classic Edition also sold 196,000 units in its debut month.

Overall, hardware sales fell 35% year-on-year despite growth in portable sales – mostly because the PS4 and Xbox One are cheaper now.

NPD November 2016 general

Overall, total new industry spend in the US in the month of November 2016 clocked in at $1.97 billion, a 24% year-on-year decline from $2.6 billion..

Software took the blame for the drop-off – console software sales fell 18% year-on-year to $955.2 million, while PC software fell 28% year-on-year to $27.5 million. Declines in the top three bestsellers were responsible, as discussed above.

Hardware fell 35% to $723.8 million, while accessories fell 6% year-on-year to $259.8 million. The NPD said lower hardware pricing is the reason for the drop-off there, while accessories have been gutted by the collapse of the toys-to-life category.

Battlefield 1 was the best-selling game in a month with a 36% year-on-year software spike – October NPD

21 Nov

Battlefield 1 leads the pack this month, helping deliver a rosy result for the US games market.

battlefield 1 concept art (13)

October NPD 2016 at a glance

Total spend up 6%, largely thanks to 36% increase in software sales.

Console and PC software both up year-on-year.

Hardware and accessories down year-on-year.

Battlefield 1 topped software charts.

Xbox One was best-selling hardware.

Compare month-on-month: September 2016 NPD

Compare year-on-year: October 2015 NPD

Battlefield 1 was the best-selling game in the US last month, according to the October NPD report, contributing to a 36% year-on-year increase in software sales for the month.

Battlefield 1’s chart-topping performance didn’t include PC digital sales, so it’s likely done even better than the NPD believes.

NPD analyst Sam Naji name-dropped Battlefield 1, Mafia 3 and Gears of War 4, saying popular titles like these “helped to increase software spending by one-third” to offset declines in other categories.

This is a really nice reversal of fortunes as we had declines in software sales in June, July and September this year, with only August’s sports game bonanza interrupting the trend till now.

Although Battlefield 1 topped the charts you shouldn’t overlook Gears of War 4 in third; the NPD’s figures for Gears of War 4 don’t include any digital sales at all. It may not strictly be a platform exclusive, but any time a game skips over either PS4 or Xbox One and still charts highly, it’s a big deal.

Check the full software chart below.

Top ten software October NPD

  1. Battlefield 1
  2. Mafia 3
  3. Gears of War 4
  4. FIFA 17
  5. NBA 2K17
  6. The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim
  7. WWE 2K17
  8. Civilization 6
  9. Titanfall 2
  10. Madden NFL 17

Xbox One tops October NPD

As previously reported, the Xbox One was the best-selling console in the US in October 2016, bring it to a consecutive four months in the top slot.

Gears of War 4, the new Xbox One S and the lingering effects of price cuts on older models are the likely drivers of this success. The true test for the platform’s continued triumph is the launch of Sony’s PS4 Pro launching earlier this month; the November NPD may bring an end to Microsoft’s streak.

The NPD said that Xbox’s unit sales grew by 8% year-on-year, but that Microsoft’s not necessarily making a wad of cash from it due to a 17% decline in the average price of Xbox hardware thanks to a new 500GB Xbox One S Minecraft bundle (which, incidentally, is probably why Minecraft has fallen out of the software charts).

Although Xbox topped, oOther platforms are also enjoying a good month despite an overall 20% year-on-year decline in hardware sales, which the NPD attributes more to lower prices than falling unit sales.

For example, while the PS4 didn’t top overall, Sony’s 500GB PS4 Slim Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End bundle was the top-selling individual hardware SKU, accounting for a whopping 17% of all hardware unit sales.

The 3DS logged its fifth consecutive month of year-on-year growth, with unit and dollar sales both up 12% despite no change in average pricing. The Pokemon effect, no doubt, and likely to be even more impressive in next month’s report, which will include Pokemon Sun & Moon.

October 2016 NPD overview

Total industry spend for October 2016 came in at $875.7 million, up 6% year-on-year from $827.7 million.

Console software grew 31% year-on-year to $505.7 million. PC software grew 172% year-on-year to $33.8 million.

Hardware fell 20% year-on-year to $215.2 million. Accessories fell 24% year-on-year to $121 million, probably due to Disney Infinity bowing out and Nintendo putting the brakes on Amiibo.

Just as a reminder, the NPD’s monthly reports track new sales in the US only, so this data doesn’t include revenue from used games, rentals, DLC, subscriptions and microtransactions. Although it does track some digital sales, it has gaps including Origin, Microsoft and Bethesda’s digital sales data.

First month of Xbox One S availability sees Microsoft top the NPD sales chart

8 Sep

Xbox is back on top. We can hear Microsoft purring from here.

xbox one s

August NPD

Xbox One was the best-selling console of August 2016 at US retail.

We’re waiting on the full report from the NPD Group.

Compare month-on-month: July 2016

Compare year-on-year: August 2015

First details of the NPD’s monthly sales report have begun to filter out, starting with a delighted announcement from Microsoft.

The platform holder confirmed that the Xbox One was the best-selling console in the US for the month of August, giving it two consecutive months in the top slot. This is a really big deal; Xbox One has out-performed PS4 less than ten times over the 33 months since both consoles launched.

The Xbox One S launched in August, kicking off with a 2TB launch edition on August 2 and following up with more affordable 500GB and 1TB versions a couple of weeks later. It’s not clear whether this was the motivation for the increased Xbox One sales, or whether it was a continuation of last month’s trend of users picking up bog-standard Xbox One consoles on the cheap following a price cut.

Cheekily riffing off yesterday’s announcement of the PS4 Pro’s November launch, Microsoft said the Xbox One S is the the only console available this holiday with built-in UHD 4K Blu-ray, 4K video streaming and HDR for video and gaming.

The company also pointed out that total global gaming hours on Xbox One consoles increased 42% percent year-over-year, and that the Xbox Design Lab has generated “hundreds of thousands of designs” – no mention of sales, though.

We’ll have full details of the NPD’s report for August 2016 as soon as possible; the organisation dragged the chain a bit last month.

Call of Duty tops November NPD chart, new-gen consoles hit new sales records

11 Dec

Call of Duty is back on top of the charts, consoles are selling like hotcakes, and all is right with the world.

black_ops_3_art_1

November 2015 NPD at a glance

Total industry spend up 2% year-on-year.

Hardware and accessories up, software down.

New-gen hardware going gangbusters, but last-gen and portable dropping fast.

Call of Duty tops charts, with Fallout 4 in second place.

Compare year-on-year: November 2014

Compare month-on-month: October 2015

The NPD Group has released its November 2015 report on games industry spend in the US and the news is pleasing indeed. The PS4, Xbox One and Wii U combined had an especially good month, driving new-gen hardware sales to multiple new record highs with 3 million sales over the course of the month. The PS4 and Xbox One accounted for 2.8 million of these sales.

“November 2015 marked the best month ever in total unit sales for 8th generation consoles (Xbox One, PS4, and Wii U), surpassing sales of December 2014 (now second-highest), and November 2014 (now third-highest),” the NPD’s Liam Callahan said.

“8th generation console sales rose by 22% in dollars. 7th generation sales dropped by 76% in dollars, which is sharper than the year-to-date decline of 57%.”

New-generation hardware currently holds a 93% share in all hardware sales, up 9% on November 2014.

“After 25 months, the combined sales for the PS4 and the Xbox One are 47% higher than the combined sales for 25 months of PS3 and Xbox 360 hardware sales.”

ps4_vs_xbox_one

Console Wars

The PS4 outsold the Xbox One in November, which took us by surprise; last year, Xbox triumphed over both holiday sales months, since consumers tend to take advantage of sales to pick up the runner-up console. But this year, Sony and Microsoft’s price wars didn’t affect the PS4’s momentum.

Sony highlighted the win in a press release, repeating its recent 30.2 million PS4 sales milestone and strongest every Black Friday.

“We are also pleased to announce November was the biggest month ever for PlayStation Store indicating a strong digital marketplace complementing healthy retail sales,” Sony marketing SVP Eric Lempel said.

Microsoft responded by saying Xbox One had its biggest November in the US, with a 72% increase in first-party game sales.

Nintendo has not released a statement.

fallout4_guide_x01_rooftop

Software

Despite the growth in hardware and multiple new releases, retail software sales actually dipped during November. This isn’t much of a surprise; in general, retail software sales track downwards as digital absorbs more and more industry spend. November is an especially good time to purchase games from the comfort of your own home rather than in the Black Friday horror spaces, too.

Overall software sales fell 7%, to $1.02 billion which portable software dropping sharply by 66% and console holding pretty steady with a 1% decline. However, new-gen software sales increased 37%, only offset by the 60% decline in last-gen software sales.

The NPD highlighted Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, which outpaced sales of 2014 release Advanced Warfare. Fallout 4 also outsold its precusor, with 70% more units sold than Fallout: New Vegas and 9% more than Fallout 3; Callahan said figures are better compared to Skyrim, which as we all know sold gangbusters. Battlefront also had a good month, with the best first month sales for any Star Wars game.

Software Top 10

  1. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
  2. Fallout 4 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
  3. Star Wars Battlefront 2015 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
  4. Madden NFL 16 (PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3)
  5. NBA 2K16 (PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3)
  6. FIFA 16 (PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3)
  7. Need For Speed 2015 (PS4, Xbox One)
  8. Halo 5: Guardians (Xbox One)
  9. Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
  10. Just Dance 2016 (Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4, PS3)

General

Total industry spend for November 2015 reached $2.47 billion, an 2% year-on-year increase on November 2014’s $2.42 billion.

Hardware grew 11% from $1.02 billion to $1.12 billion. Software fell 7% from $1.09 billion to $1.02 billion. Accessories grew 6% from $336 million o $357 million.

As ever, bear in mind that these figures include new, physical retail sales only; they don’t reflect the increasingly weighty proportion of industry spend made through digital channels – which means things are even better than they look.

Metal Gear Solid couldn’t beat sports games last month

19 Oct

Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain was not the bestselling game of September in the US, according to the NPD.

metal-gear-solid-5-phantom-pain

September NPD at a glance

Total industry spend down 9% YoY, with major dip in hardware.

PS4 led hardware sales, again.

NBA 2K16 was the bestselling game.

Compare year-on-year: September 2014

Compare month-on-month: August 2015

Metal Gear Solid 5 dominated gaming conversations last month as seemingly everyone spent some quality time with D Dog, Quiet and pals. As such, it may come as a surprise to see that it was only the third bestselling game of the month at US retail; it was topped by juggernaut sports titles NBA 2K16 and Madden 16.

Part of the explanation for this is that core gamers – those of us who hang out on video game websites and keep track of all the new releases – are vastly outnumbered by the millions who pick up a couple of tentpole releases each year. These gamers love to drop into retailers and pick up a copy of the latest sports games or Call of Duty, and that’s likely what we see reflected in the NPD’s charts, which track new, physical retail only. It also keeps us all solvent, so more power to them. Thank you, our semi-core friends.

Hardware: PlayStation wins again

Otherwise there’s little to shock in this month’s report. The PS4 was the best-selling console, as it has been for all but one month this year, and almost every month since it and the Xbox One launched in November 2013. The PS4’s recent price cut may keep it ahead of its rival through November and December, although the Xbox One has so far done pretty well over holiday periods.

The NPD noted that the PS4 was the bestselling platform for NBA 2K16, Madden 16, Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain and FIFA 16, but Sony said PS4 was also the bestselling platform for Destiny: The Taken King when you include hardware bundles, which the NPD doesn’t.

It was something of a hollow victory for Sony, as in general hardware sales dropped off considerably year-on-year. But the NPD’s Liam Callahan said this is because Destiny spiked hardware sales last year, and in general hardware is on track.

“After 23 months on the market, combined PS4 and Xbox One sales are 40% higher than the combined 23 month totals for PS3 and 360,” he said.

Hardware sales are trending upwards from August, too, so it sounds like momentum is building ahead of the holidays.

Software

One inetresting note for software this month is that Sony revealed September was the highest-grossing month in the history of the PlayStation Store. Something to think about before you get depressed about downwards trends in these retail-only reports.

  1. NBA 2K16 (PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3)
  2. Madden NFL 16 (PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3)
  3. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain (PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360)
  4. FIFA 16 (PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3)
  5. Destiny: The Taken King (Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3)
  6. Super Mario Maker (Wii U)
  7. Disney Infinity 3.0 (Xbox 360, Wii U, Xbox One, PS4, PS3)
  8. Mad Max (PS4, Xbox One)
  9. NHL 16 (Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3)
  10. Minecraft (Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4)

General

Total industry spend came in at $1.01 billion, a 9% year-on-year drop on September 2014.

Software fell 3% year-on-year from $480.6 million to $465.6 million, while hardware fell a painful 27% $431.2 million to $313.5 million. Accessories grew 20% year-on-year, likely thanks to toys-to-life games, including Amiibo.

Year-to-date, total spend across all categories is almost flat; we’re likely to see spikes over the holidays, so we may be in for overall growth this year.

Destiny sales not enough to stop September slump, says analyst

14 Oct

Destiny sold well, but not well enough to challenge GTA 5 and keep September sales from falling off sharply year-over-year, according to Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter.

destiny_2

Destiny sold an estimated 2.75 million in September, the analyst said in a note to investors ahead of the NPD Group’s monthly report.

“That’s well below Grand Theft Auto 5’s roughly 7 million unites last year,” he said, as reported by VentureBeat.

“Last September, Take-Two announced worldwide retail sell-through for [GTA V] of over $800 million on day one and over $1 billion for the first three days. Both industry records. This September’s biggest release, Activision Blizzard’s Destiny, had day one sell-in to retailers of over $500 million, a record for a new franchise, with sell-through to consumers of over $325 million in its first five days.”

As a result of this, and NBA 2K15′s later than usual October release, Pachter expects the NPD Group’s September report to show a sharp year-on-year decrease in software sales. He predicted a 42% drop to $435 million.

Pachter did go on to say that Destiny’s sales figures are strong, and that its failure to meet GTA 5′s performance has more to do with what a juggernaut Grand Theft Auto is than anything else – although Destiny’s mixed reviews didn’t help, and the Bungie shooter had more new releases to compete with than GTA 5 did.

Half of all PC gamers wait for a game to go on sale before buying – report

10 Sep

Sales may be killing developers’ chances of getting gamers to pay full price for new releases.

steam_summer_sale_final_day_fi

Half of all PC gamers in the US wait for a game’s price to drop before buying it.

That’s according to a report by the NPD Group, via GamesIndustry.

The report, which draws on a June survey of 6,255 individuals, said 46% of respondents who game on PC bought a title digitally in the last year, but those who download games rather than visit the shops are “far less likely” to pay full price.

“Consumers’ expectations may be the greatest barrier to maximizing spending in the PC gaming space,” NPD analyst Liam Callahan said.

“Since half of PC gamers who play digital and/or physical games on the computer are expecting there to always be a sale right around the corner, publishers and retailers alike need to better manage these expectations.”

As a consumer, you may be thinking something along the lines of “half of all PC gamers are very sensible, then”, but some developers – particularly indies – have strong concerns about the effect of sales on the games industry.

Democracy creator Cliff Harris wrote a rousing condemnation of sales, and The Castle Doctrine developer Jason Rohrer argued that sales have negative consequences for the consumer as well as creators.

The 3DS is going great guns at the moment

14 Aug

Nintendo has released updates sales figures for its best 3DS games ahead of the NPD’s July release – and it’s all good news.

tomodachi_collection_new_life

Nine 3DS titles have cracked the million unit sales milestone in the US to date, the company said, drawing on NPD data:

  • Mario Kart 7: 3.48 million
  • Super Mario 3D Land: 3.09 million
  • New Super Mario Bros. 2: 2.28 million
  • Pokemon X: 2.10 million
  • Pokemon Y: 2.01 million
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D: 1.39 million
  • Animal Crossing: New Leaf: 1.36 million
  • Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon: 1.33 million
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds: 1.09 million

In fact, Nintendo said, four of the best-selling software SKUs in the NPD’s July charts are 3DS games – Tomodachi Life is in at fifth, Pokemon X is in an eighth, Pokemon Y just behind it an ninth, and Mario Kart 7 sneaking in at tenth.

Take that with a grain of salt, though, because when cross-platform SKUs (ie, practically everything else) are included, the chart will look very, very different. Stay tuned for the NPD release late today.

Nintendo also announced that Mario Kart 8 is the second Wii U title to pass the million unit sales milestone in the US. Worldwide, it hit that milestone in June, and we’re pretty sure it’s actually sold over 2 million globally.

I guess the point of that highlight was that it’s the second Wii U game to do so, after New Super Mario Bros. U, and that Wii U sales are on the upswing. Nintendo said that Wii U hardware sales have increased 60% and software sales have jumped over 135% in the first seven months of 2014.

Note: The sales figures in this article apply to the US only, and are drawn from NPD data. This was not sufficiently clear in our original article, which has since been updated.

The PS4 has been the US’s top-selling console for six months straight

17 Jul

The Xbox One’s $100 price cut may have doubled its sales, but the PS4 is still leading the pack.

ps4_vs_xbox_one

NPD June 2014

Hardware and total spend up.

Software down, accessories flat.

Watch Dogs top of the charts. Very strong performance from Mario Kart 8.

NPD May 2014.

NPD June 2013.

The NPD Group’s monthly US retail sales report for June confirms Sony’s announcement that the PS4 outsold the Xbox One yet again, giving it six consecutive months ahead of the Xbox One.

The report comes just one day after Microsoft announced that dropping both the Kinect and the price more than doubled Xbox One sales month-over-month.

Let’s just pause and think about that for a second. For about three weeks in June, Xbox One sales were more than double what they were in May – and the PS4 still sold more than the Xbox One. This is a strange new future indeed.

Actually, hardware is doing well across the board, jumping 106% year-on-year to $292.7 million.

Despite a 3% year-on-year dip in software sales to $286.8 million, and flat accessories at $156.9 million, the spike in hardware drove total industry spend to climb 24% year-on-year to $736.4 million.

“The 106% increase in hardware sales (vs. June 2013) was lifted entirely by console hardware sales, which were up by over 200 percent. The strong sales performance of console hardware helped to offset the declines seen in portable hardware,” NPD analyst Liam Callahan said.

“Combined sales of Xbox One and PS4 are over 80% higher than the combined totals for Xbox 360 and PS3 – an indication of the strength of the start of this new console generation.”

Interestingly, while a couple of big new releases dominated the charts, the NPD said that new releases in June sold 67% less year-on-year, but games released across the whole of the quarter sold 47% more strongly. So in general game sales were strong, but Watch Dogs and Mario Kart 8 didn’t capture audiences the way The Last of Us, Animal CrossingL New Leaf and Minecraft Xbox 360 did in June 2013.

In a press release which followed the PND’s report, Nintendo said Mario Kart sold 885,000 copies in its first five weeks.

Here’s the full top ten software chart.

  1. Watch Dogs (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  2. Mario Kart 8 (Wii U)
  3. Minecraft (PS3, Xbox 360)
  4. EA Sports UFC (PS4, Xbox One)
  5. FIFA 14 (PS3, PS4, Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  6. NBA 2K14 (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  7. Wolfenstein: The New Order (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  8. Call of Duty: Ghosts (PC, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  9. Tomodachi Life (3DS)
  10. Grand Theft Auto 5 (PS3, Xbox 360)

Note that the NPD’s data does not include digital and other non-traditional game purchasing, so dips or soft growth in software and total industry spend are often less dire than they appear.

34 million US gamers play for 22 hours per week – NPD report

14 May

How many hours do you spend gaming each week? Over 20? According to the NPD Group, you’re definitely not alone.

hardcore_gamers

According to a new report, via GameInformer, the NPD estimates there are 34 million gamers who average 22 hours per week – in the US alone.

This number doesn’t include people only playing on their phones and whatnot; it derives from the NPD’s core gamer survey. This means they only spoke to people above the age of nine who play at least five hours per week on a PC or console in their homes, and played at least one traditional game – action, adventure, fighting, flight, MMOs, racing, RTS, RPG, shooter, or sports. That said, of the group surveyed, two-thirds also play on mobile devices.

Other interesting snippets from the report include word that 74% of core gamers perfer physical media over digital, although that figure is changing, down 5% from last year. Almost 70% play multiplayer games regularly or occasionally.

The report was drawn from a survey of 7,927 respondents.

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NPD December: 3DS bestselling hardware of 2013, GTA 5 top game

17 Jan

Xbox One was the best-selling console of its generation in the US in December 2013, but the 3DS won the year overall.

NPD December

3DS best-selling hardware of December and 2013 as a whole.

Xbox One outsold PS4 in December 2013, but PS4 still “cumulative leader”.

Grand Theft Auto 5 the best-selling game of 2013.

Call of Duty: Ghosts the best-selling game of December 2013.

Total industry spend, hardware and accessories saw year-on-year growth in December 2013, but software fell dramatically.

Hardware and accessories spend increased in 2013 as a whole, but total spend dipped and software spend dived.

November 2013′s figures.

December 2012′s figures.

Although the last few months of 2013 were dominated by the battle between Microsoft and Sony, Nintendo had a pair of quiet but not insignificant victories. According to the NPD’s latest report, which covers US retail for both December 2013 and 2013 in total, the 3DS was the best-selling bit of hardware for December, and for the year as a whole.

Nevertheless, Microsoft actually had two wins in December, as Xbox 360 and Xbox One both topped their generations in hardware sales, with 643,000 and 908,000 units sold respectively. Xbox’s Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb revealed the sales figures on Twitter, but they originate with the NPD Group’s monthly report.

Xbox One’s dominance of the important holiday month is a feather in Microsoft’s cap – although it’s always enjoyed greater success in North America than other territories. In a press release, Microsoft said the Xbox 360 and Xbox One held a combined total of 46% of the hardware market, a 10% year-on-year increase for the Xbox brand since December 2012.

Total combined retail spend on the Xbox platform reached $1.39 billion, 50% of total combined software, hardware and accessories spend.

Six of the top ten best-selling games were available on Xbox One, and Microsoft’s internal data suggests Xbox One owners have purchased an average of 2.9 games since launch.

With all that in mind, and with congratulations to Microsoft, Sony believes it still has the advantage.

“PlayStation 4 remains the cumulative leader for next gen console sales in the U.S. since the launch on November 15,” SCEA’s Dan Race said in a statement issued to Joystiq.

“We sold every PS4 available at retail in the US and were out of stock in December due to overwhelming consumer demand.”

In November, the month both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One launched, the PS4 outsold the Xbox One – but it had a week’s lead. At last tally, Sony’s console remained in front with 4.2 million global sales as of January 7, while Xbox One had sold 3 million by the end of 2013.

Full NPD report

During December 2013, the US saw total industry spend of $3.28 billion, up 2% on December 2012 – perhaps not as significant a jump as a new generation might have been expected to produce. Although hardware grew 28% to $1.37 billion, and accessories were up 17% to $1.28 billion, next-gen early adopters didn’t buy enough games, as software fell 17% to $1.28 billion.

As for 2013 as a whole, industry spend fell 2% on 2012′s figures to $12.97 billion. Hardware sales were up 5% to $4.26 billion, and accessories jumped 3% to $2.6 billion, but software fell 9% percent to $6.12 billion.

After reporting two significant slumps in software, it’s worthwhile issuing a reminder that the NPD charts traditional retail sales only – the entire digital realm is outside the scope of this particular report.

Software

As noted above, retail software sales slumped both for December 2013 and 2013 overall. Commenting on the PND’s findings, Joost van Dreunan of analyst group Superdata said major releases peaked in the build up to the holiday season, and consumer spend was inhibited by the next-gen transition.

“In December we recorded an increase in digital game spending, driven by the bundled offerings and Black Friday packages, especially on last gen consoles,” he added, though, so presumably some traditional retaiul spend is being redirected to digital channels.

Grand Theft Auto 5 slipped down the December charts, replaced by that perennial stocking stuffer Call of Duty, but it still managed to nab top spot as best-selling game of 2013.

Although there are few surprises in either of the blockbuster-ridden charts there are a couple of things worth noting. First, the 3DS is barely visible, despite its strong hardware performance, which isn’t a good sign given next-gen hardware hasn’t sparked a significant upswing in software which would account for it dominating the charts.

Secondly, note that Minecraft, a platform exclusive retail release of a game available for literal years on other platforms, as well as on the same platform but digitally, was one of the best-selling games of 2013. That’s amazing.

Disney announced in the wake of the NPD figures that its Infinity franchise has sold 3 million starter packs worldwide since August. It moved 551,000 units in December, according to The New York Times.

Skylanders SWAP Force sold 597,000 units during December, making it the 10th best-selling game of the month per NPD.

Activision commented on Call of Duty: Ghosts being the number one best-selling title overall in December, stating it was the overall best-selling next-gen title of 2013 on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Call of Duty was the number one franchise for the fifth year in a row in both software units and dollars in the US, according NPD figures cited by Activision, and Skylanders SWAP Force was the number two best-selling title overall in December; Skylanders was the number one best-selling kids video game franchise of 2013 in the US for the second consecutive year, and the number three video game franchise overall for the year in the US, according to the NPD Group and including toys and accessories.

Full charts for both the month of December and 2013 in total are below.

Top ten games – December 2013

  1. Call of Duty: Ghosts (PC, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  2. Battlefield 4 (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  3. Just Dance 2014 (PS3, Wii, Wii U, Xbox One)
  4. Madden NFL 25 (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  5. NBA 2K14 (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  6. Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag (PC, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  7. Grand Theft Auto 5 (PS3, Xbox 360)
  8. Lego Marvel Super Heroes (3DS, PC, PS3, PS4, Vita, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  9. FIFA 14 (PS3, PS4, Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  10. Skylanders Swap Force (PS3, PS4, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One) – 597,000 units

Top ten games – 2013

  1. Grand Theft Auto 5 (PS3, Xbox 360)
  2. Call of Duty: Ghosts (PC, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  3. Madden NFL 25 (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  4. Battlefield 4 (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  5. Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag (PC, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  6. NBA 2K14 (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  7. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (PC, PS3, Wii U, Xbox 360)
  8. Just Dance 2014 (PS3, Wii, Wii U, Xbox One)
  9. Minecraft (Xbox 360)
  10. Disney Infinity (3DS, PS3, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360) – 551,000 units sold in December 2013

NPD November: PS4 takes top hardware, software honours

12 Dec

PlayStation 4 was the best-selling console of November 2013 at US retail, although the Xbox One had the honour of fastest-selling.

NPD November 2013

Hardware, accessories and total spend up year-on-year, but software significantly down.

Best month for hardware sales on record.

PS4 best-selling hardware and software of November.

Xbox One fastest-selling console of November with 909,132 units sold.

November NPD sales are regularly inflated by Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. This year is particularly rich thanks to the launch of two new consoles.

October’s figures.

November 2012′s figures.

Next-gen console wars
As expected, the NPD’s November report showed the PS4 on top as the best-selling console of the month; it launched in North America on November 15, giving it a full week’s advantage over the Xbox One, which went on sale on November 22.

Sony also took out best-selling platform on the software side.

“PlayStation 4 sales in North America and worldwide have been incredibly strong since launch, culminating in PS4 being recognized as the largest console launch in history. In North America alone, more than one million PS4 units were sold in only 24 hours and we’re pleased NPD has reported that PS4 was the top selling next gen platform for both hardware and software in November,” SCE America CEO Jack Tretton said in a press release.

“We are humbled by the passion and excitement demonstrated by gamers for PS4. Demand continues to overwhelm supply, but we’re working hard to get PS4 units into the hands of customers throughout the holiday season.”

At last count, the PS4 had sold 2.1 million units in total. Sony released the video below to thank gamers for the successful launch.

Microsoft responded with word of its own “record-breaking sales” of the Xbox One, which has sold through more than 2 million units worldwide to date.

909,132 Xbox One units were sold in the US during November – the console’s first nine days on sale – which Microsoft claims makes it the fastest selling console on the market in the US. With an average of more than 101,000 consoles per day, the Xbox One ‘significantly outpaced the nearest competitor’; the PS4, as mentioned above, had an extra week on sale to reach its own sales totals.

The Xbox One sold almost three times as many units as the Xbox 360 during its own launch month, Microsoft added, and Xbox One owners picked up on average 2.1 games each.

The company said total Xbox One and Xbox 360 platform spend – hardware, software and accessories – reached $1.21 billion, the most for any console. The two platforms combined held five of the top ten spots on the console software charts

The Xbox 360 remained the king of the previous generation with 674,000 sales.

Retail software sales in decline despite next-gen, holiday sales
Unfortunately, it’s not all good news. Although hardware spiked massively, and the total industry spend increased, software sales did not see a significant uptick in November despite two hardware launches and the free-for-all of the Thanksgiving holiday sales days.

Total spend increase 7% year-on-year to $2.74 billion. Hardware increase 57% year-on-year to $1.327 billion. Accessories jumped 17% year-on-year to $327.4 million. Software, meanwhile, was down 24% year-on-year to $1.1 billion – even including PC and portable sales.

The 3DS was the only platform to note significant software sales increases, with a 15% year-on-year increase thanks to The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds and other recent successes.

NPD analyst Liam Callahan said November 2013 was the best month on record for hardware sales in the US.

Software
Here’s the full top ten software chart for US retail in the month of November.

  1. Call of Duty: Ghosts (PC, PS3, PS4, Wii U, X360, XBO)
  2. Battlefield 4 (PC, PS#, PS4, X360, XBO)
  3. Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag (PC, PS3, PS4, Wii U, X360, XBO)
  4. Madden NFL 25 (PS3, PS4, X360, XBO)
  5. Grand Theft Auto 5 (PS3, X360)
  6. NBA 2K14 (PC, PS3, PS4, X360, XBO)
  7. Skylanders Swap Force (3DS, PS3, PS3, Wii, Wii U, X360, XBO)
  8. Just Dance 2014 (PS3, PS4, Wii, Wii U, X360, XBO)
  9. Disney Infinity (3DS, PS3, Wii, Wii U, X360)
  10. FIFA 14 (PS3, PS4, Vita, X360, XBO)

As ever, remember that the NPD Group’s reports cover traditional retail only, and do not account for digital sales, many online retailers, used game sales, mobile, DLC or microtransactions, all of which represent an increasingly significant proportion of the industry’s total revenue.

NPD November: PS4 takes top hardware, software honours

12 Dec

PlayStation 4 was the best-selling console of November 2013 at US retail, although the Xbox One had the honour of fastest-selling.

NPD November 2013

Hardware, accessories and total spend up year-on-year, but software significantly down.

Best month for hardware sales on record.

PS4 best-selling hardware and software of November.

Xbox One fastest-selling console of November with 909,132 units sold.

Wii U sales increased by over 340% thanks to Super Mario 3D World.

3DS sold 770,000 units for the month, bringing its lifetime to nearly 10.5 million units.

November NPD sales are regularly inflated by Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. This year is particularly rich thanks to the launch of two new consoles.

October’s figures.

November 2012′s figures.

Next-gen console wars
As expected, the NPD’s November report showed the PS4 on top as the best-selling console of the month; it launched in North America on November 15, giving it a full week’s advantage over the Xbox One, which went on sale on November 22.

Sony also took out best-selling platform on the software side.

“PlayStation 4 sales in North America and worldwide have been incredibly strong since launch, culminating in PS4 being recognized as the largest console launch in history. In North America alone, more than one million PS4 units were sold in only 24 hours and we’re pleased NPD has reported that PS4 was the top selling next gen platform for both hardware and software in November,” SCE America CEO Jack Tretton said in a press release.

“We are humbled by the passion and excitement demonstrated by gamers for PS4. Demand continues to overwhelm supply, but we’re working hard to get PS4 units into the hands of customers throughout the holiday season.”

At last count, the PS4 had sold 2.1 million units in total. Sony released the video below to thank gamers for the successful launch.

Microsoft responded with word of its own “record-breaking sales” of the Xbox One, which has sold through more than 2 million units worldwide to date.

909,132 Xbox One units were sold in the US during November – the console’s first nine days on sale – which Microsoft claims makes it the fastest selling console on the market in the US. With an average of more than 101,000 consoles per day, the Xbox One ‘significantly outpaced the nearest competitor’; the PS4, as mentioned above, had an extra week on sale to reach its own sales totals.

The Xbox One sold almost three times as many units as the Xbox 360 during its own launch month, Microsoft added, and Xbox One owners picked up on average 2.1 games each.

The company said total Xbox One and Xbox 360 platform spend – hardware, software and accessories – reached $1.21 billion, the most for any console. The two platforms combined held five of the top ten spots on the console software charts

The Xbox 360 remained the king of the previous generation with 674,000 sales.

Nintendo hardware system sales for November increased by 100% over the month prior, with 770,000 units the 3DS family sold, driving the lifetime total past 10 million to nearly 10.5 million units.

Wii U sales increased by more than 340% over sales in October, thanks to sales of Super Mario 3D World.

Retail software sales in decline despite next-gen, holiday sales

Unfortunately, it’s not all good news. Although hardware spiked massively, and the total industry spend increased, software sales did not see a significant uptick in November despite two hardware launches and the free-for-all of the Thanksgiving holiday sales days.

Total spend increase 7% year-on-year to $2.74 billion. Hardware increase 57% year-on-year to $1.327 billion. Accessories jumped 17% year-on-year to $327.4 million. Software, meanwhile, was down 24% year-on-year to $1.1 billion – even including PC and portable sales.

The 3DS was the only platform to note significant software sales increases, with a 15% year-on-year increase thanks to The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds – which sold over 280,000 combined digital and physical units (405,000 units when including the Zelda-themed 3DS XL) – and other recent successes.

According to Nintendo, Pokémon X and Pokémon Y each sold more than 225,000 combined digital and physical units in during November, bringing the combined life-to-date total to more than 2.35 million units.

Nintendo said that a handful of its first-party 3DS titles saw “triple-digit sales percentage increases in November over sales in October,” including: Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D in its seventh month on market -140% increase; and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon in its ninth month with a 105% increase.

Legacy titles such as Paper Mario: Sticker Star, in its 13th month saw a 280% increase; Mario Kart 7 in its 23rd month saw a 130% increase; and Nintendo noted a 253% increase in sales of Super Mario 3D Land, now in its 24th month of availability.

NPD analyst Liam Callahan said November 2013 was the best month on record for hardware sales in the US.

Software

Here’s the full top ten software chart for US retail in the month of November.

  1. Call of Duty: Ghosts (PC, PS3, PS4, Wii U, X360, XBO)
  2. Battlefield 4 (PC, PS#, PS4, X360, XBO)
  3. Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag (PC, PS3, PS4, Wii U, X360, XBO)
  4. Madden NFL 25 (PS3, PS4, X360, XBO)
  5. Grand Theft Auto 5 (PS3, X360)
  6. NBA 2K14 (PC, PS3, PS4, X360, XBO)
  7. Skylanders Swap Force (3DS, PS3, PS3, Wii, Wii U, X360, XBO)
  8. Just Dance 2014 (PS3, PS4, Wii, Wii U, X360, XBO)
  9. Disney Infinity (3DS, PS3, Wii, Wii U, X360)
  10. FIFA 14 (PS3, PS4, Vita, X360, XBO)

As ever, remember that the NPD Group’s reports cover traditional retail only, and do not account for digital sales, many online retailers, used game sales, mobile, DLC or microtransactions, all of which represent an increasingly significant proportion of the industry’s total revenue.

NPD September: GTA 5 drives retail to first spike since January

17 Oct

GTA 5 ensured retail sales in the US trended upwards for the first time in nine months, according to the latest report from the NPD Group.

NPD SEPTEMBER 2013

First year-on-year increase in nine months thanks to the release of GTA 5.

Software and accessories both up, but hardware down thanks to looming next-gen launches.

Last month’s NPD report.

September 2012′s report.

3DS top-selling platform for the month.

PS3 best-selling console for the month, ending Xbox 360′s 32 month streak.

Total industry spend climbed 27% year-on-year to $1.079 billion, the first time retail has seen an uptick in sales since January this year.

Sector by sector, software sales increased by 40% year-on-year if you include PC, and looking at console and portable software only, jumped a whopping 52% year-on-year to over $754 million.

Accessories also hiked slightly by 2%; given the launch of Disney Infinity, we expected something a little more dramatic, but perhaps we’ll see more of an upswing in next month’s report when the new Skylanders game comes into play

Hardware dropped 13% to $183.2 million, but that’s to be expected so close to a generational transition. It’s worth noting that Nintendo saw a huge increase in Wii U sales, and that the 3DS topped hardware for the fifth consecutive month as the best-selling platform.

The PlayStation 3 outsold the Xbox 360 and Wii U to become the best-selling home console of September, ending the Xbox 360′s 32 month winning streak. Sony is yet to issue press releases on the matter, the the GTA 5 PS3 bundle is likely to have been a contributing factor.

Microsoft confirmed the Xbox 360 reached 80 million console sold worldwide, and said it maintains its lead as the best-selling console in the US in 2013 with 1.6 million units sold. September saw total Xbox 360 software sales reach a record-breaking high of $401.2 million – outselling rival platforms with five of the top ten software chart positions.

Software:

It’s no surprise that Grand Theft Auto 5 took top slot given its record-breaking sales performance, but sales of the game also accounted for 50% of total spend during the month. Although GTA 5 broke the franchise’s records for opening month sales, the NPD didn’t say it took out a record for highest opening month, suggesting Activision’s Call of Duty series still holds sway in this regard.

Both PS3 and Xbox 360 charted one exclusive, with Minecraft’s tenacious sales quite the phenomenon in itself. Sports games are clearly the flavour of the month, but Diablo 3 certainly isn’t doing badly, and Saints Row 4 managed to hold on even with the release of its Rockstar rival.

Here’s the full software chart:

  1. Grand Theft Auto 5 (PS3, Xbox 360)
  2. Madden 25 (PS3, Xbox 360)
  3. NBA 2K14 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
  4. Diablo 3 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
  5. FIFA 14 (PS3, Vita Xbox 360)
  6. Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX (PS3)
  7. Disney Infinity (3DS, PS3, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360)
  8. NHL 14 (PS3, Xbox 360)
  9. Minecraft (Xbox 360)
  10. Saints Row 4 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

The NPD Group tracks only new retail sales, and as such does not account for sectors like digital distribution, DLC, online retailers, used game sales and microtransactions, all of which account for an increasingly significant swathe of the games industry’s total revenue.