NPD November: PS4 takes top hardware, software honours

Thursday, 12 December 2013 23:21 GMT By Brenna Hillier

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.

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

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.

“According to November 2013 NPD Data, NBA 2K14 was the best-selling sports video game on next generation consoles, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and was the number four best-selling next-gen game overall,” said NPD analyst Liam Callahan.


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.