According to NPD, the four weeks of July saw American physical sales fall 26 percent year-over-year to $707.7 million, making it the worst month recorded in the past five years.
July NPD at a Glance
Industry fell 26% year-over-year to $707.7 million.
Hardware sales were down 29% to $229 million.
Software sales fell 17% to $336.2 million.
Worst month on record since October 2006.
Worst month since October 2006
“There is no getting around the fact that videogame sales in the new physical retail channel suffered its lowest month since October 2006,” said NPD’s Anita Frazier.
“Despite the very rough month, new physical retail sales are down just 4 percent year-to-date and based on seasonality trends observed over the last 10 years, which have been remarkably stable year-in, year-out, industry sales in this particular channel are poised to land in the flat to negative 2 percent range once the total year is completed.”
According to Frazier, the end of the year should show strong growth despite the slump, considering new hardware, software and accessories accounted for 69 percent of total consumer spend during Q1, along with the growth in digital titles, add-ons, mobile, and social gaming.
“Growth in these areas, combined with a flat to modest decline in new physical sales should result in 2011 showing growth over 2010,” added Frazier.
Hardware down 29%, Xbox 360 moves 277,000 units
Total hardware sales for the period were down 29 percent to $229 million, with Xbox 360 leading the US console market for the fifth straight month, despite a year-over-year decline – a first since 2009.
The console has sold more units than any other console in the US for 13 of the past 14 months, despite a slowing of console and software sales across the industry.
Xbox 360 held a 45 percent share of the overall current-generation console market, with 277,000 units sold, compared to 443,500 units sold during the same period last year.
Xbox 360 moved 277,000 units, down 39.1% year-over-year.
For the fifth straight month 360 was the best-selling next-gen machine, holding more than a 40% market share.
360 has “sold more units in US than any other console for 13 of the past 14 months.”
Nintendo DS systems were the best-selling overall in July.
However, it must be noted that July 2011 was the largest sales month ever for the console outside of the holidays – November and December – and that the Kinect SKU drove these sales.
Last month also marked the fifth month in a row 360 held more than 40 percent of the console market share, and total retail spend on Xbox 360 platform in July reached $250 million, the most for any console in the US for the period, according to NPD.
Microsoft responded to the NPD figures by stating that Kinect Fun Labs garnered more than 1 million downloads in only two months, and reiterated that the size of its Kinect games portfolio will triple by the end of the year thanks to partnerships with the likes of UFC and Disney.
“With Gears of War 3 launching next month and more major launches to follow during the holiday, we expect Xbox 360 to maintain its lead throughout the year, ending 2011 as the number one console worldwide,” said the firm.
Nintendo said its family of DS systems was the best-selling overall in July.
Software fumbles while NCAA 12 scores
Software sales fell 17 percent to $336.2 million, which NPD attributed to the lack of new releases for the month. In July 2010, 29 games were released compared to 17 released last month. According to Frazier, only eight games sold more than 100,000 units in July, compared to 19 games moving 100,000 units just a year ago.
The firm attributed the decline to the lack of new releases for the month.
New retail sales declined 10% year-over-year.
NCAA Football 12 top seller, up 15% year-over-year.
Just Dance 2 becomes part of NOA’s 5 million club, moving 120,000 units in July.
Eight of the top 10 titles were available on 360 and PS3; seven were on Nintendo systems.
NCAA 12 sales were up 15 percent year-over-year compared to NCAA 11, which NPD attributed to the wait on Madden NFL 12.
Nintendo reported that Just Dance 2 from Ubisoft has sold 5.09 million units on Wii, giving the console its eighth 5-million seller in the US, which the firm said was “twice as many as competing current-generation consoles combined.”
In the month of July, seven of the top 10 and 15 of the top 25 best-selling software SKUs were available on Nintendo platforms. Just Dance 2 sold more than 120,000 units to finish in fifth for the month.
“By crossing the 5 million sales mark, Just Dance 2 joins one of the most exclusive clubs in the world of video games,” said Scott Moffitt, NOA’s EVP of sales and marketing.
“Nintendo systems have games for every type of player. We’re poised for a great holiday season, thanks to tremendous value across all our platforms and fan-favorite franchises delivering fun new surprises.”
Just Dance joins the following in the US over 5 million club: Wii Play (13.04 million), Mario Kart Wii (10.64 million), New Super Mario Bros. Wii (8.36 million), Wii Fit (8.17 million), Wii Fit Plus (7.06 million), Wii Sports Resort (6.45 million), and Super Smash Bros. Brawl (5.28 million).
NPD Software Top 10
- NCAA Football 12 (360, PS3)
- Cars 2 (NDS, Wii, 360, PS3, PC)
- Call of Duty: Black Ops (360, PS3, NDS, Wii, PC)
- Lego Pirates of the Caribbean (Wii, NDS, 360, PS3, 3DS, PSP, PC)
- Just Dance 2 (Wii) (120,000 – per Nintendo)
- Major League Baseball 2K11 (360, Wii NDS, PS3, PS2, PSP, PC)
- Zumba Fitness (Wii, 360, PS3)
- Fallout: New Vegas (360, PS3, PC)
- New Super Mario Bros DS (NDS)
- Mortal Kombat 2011 (360, PS3)
PlayStation accessories up
Accessories sales fell 8 percent to $127.8 million, which is unusual considering the sector usually always bests hardware and software in a bad month. According to NPD, PlayStation peripheral sales increased by 18 percent year-over-year, demonstrating consumer interest in Move and the Sharp Shooter.