NPD November 2010: Industry up 8% as DS leads hardware, Black Ops moves 8.4 million units

By Stephany Nunneley, Friday, 10 December 2010 02:14 GMT


NPD has released the retail results for software  and hardware during the month of November, and it shows the industry as a whole up 8 percent compared to November 2009.


This is the first time in seven months the NPD has reported a revenue without a decline, with $2.99 billion in revenue, compared to $2.76 billion year-over-year and as a whole is only behind 2009’s sales by 5 percent.

Despite the good news, Frazier expects 2010 to be flat at year-end compared to 2009.

Accessories, though, saw a massive boost in sales thanks to Move and Kinect. Sales for peripherals were up a whopping 69 percent year-over-year with $413.3 million. Tonight’s data backs up Microsoft’s recent announcement of 2.5 million Kinect’s sold worldwide in its first 25 days on the market. MS expects Kinect to sell 5 million units by the end of the year

“November sales represent the best November on record in terms of new physical retail sales,” said It bests November 2008 by roughly $30 million, and that time frame was at the height of the music/dance genre sales,” NPD’s Anita Frazier in her statement.  “All categories were up over last year with the exception of portable hardware and software.

“The 360 platform accounted for over 40 percent of total industry sales driven by the successful launch of Microsoft’s Kinect. Xbox 360 accessories accounted for 60 percent of that categories’ dollar sales this month.

“Based on typical seasonality trends, new physical retail sales should come in between $18.8 billion and $19.6 billion. The higher end of that range would essentially be flat to last year. Gains in November offset a good portion of the year-to-date declines.

” In the first half of 2010, new physical retail sales at the total industry level accounted for approximately 70 percent of the total consumer spend against the industry, and while that is likely to change when full year results are tabulated, it gives some context with which to evaluate the portion that new physical retail sales represents.”


Since NPD doesn’t provide numbers for public consumption any longer, the big three console manufacturers were a bit more open with figures this month, with only Sony yet to announced unit sales.

Sales of new hardware was up 2 percent year-over-year to $1.08 billion, but revenue is still 11 percent behind the year prior.

“The Xbox 360 was the best-selling console hardware system for the month, realizing an incredible 68 percent increase over last November,” said Frazier. “The best-selling system overall was the Nintendo DS. It was a high/low story for the DS this month with the new red SKU providing the most sales and the white, lower-priced SKU being second.

“It appears the DS attracted two pockets of consumers:those looking for a unique limited-edition product and those looking for value.”

“We expect a big jump in sales in November due to seasonality and the influence of holiday, but the change this November over October is bigger across most platforms than it was last November,” ahw added. “This could point to the impact of aggressive retail promotions during the critical Black Friday week.”

DS was, indeed, the clear hardware winner for the month, with Nintendo reporting 1.5 million units sold for the family of DS handhelds. Wii moved a little over 1.27 million units, with 600K of those sold during the Thanksgiving shopping weekend – which is 100K more than the same period in the year prior.

“According to our internal numbers, Nintendo sold 600,000 Wii systems during Thanksgiving Week alone, an increase of 50,000 over 2009,” said Charlie Scibetta, NOA’s senior director of corporate communications. “Holiday shoppers are obviously responding well to the great value Nintendo products offer, from our special bundles to the social fun of our games.”

Microsoft’s statement said it sold 1.37 million units for the month, making it the top-selling console for the month. Sales of Xbox 360 are up 68 percent year-over-year. November marks the sixth consecutive month of “leading sales” with “double digit year-to-date growth at 42 percent”, said the statement, adding that Xbox 360 garnered “50 percent of consumer spending” at retail last month.

Sony has yet to reveal November sales figures for any of it’s hardware offerings. However, it say in a statement that PS3 hardware sales continued to increase month over month and were up 112 percent
with a 5 percent increase in year-to-date sales for PS3 during November. However, according to Bloomberg, PS3 sales were down 25 percent year-over-year to 530K units – as the firm cut the price of PS3 in time for holiday shopping last year.

Still Sony was optimistic in its statement, citing high consumer demand for its products due to current SKUs “in short supply and on allocation”..

“I think we will continue to see a steady surge of positive growth for our home entertainment offerings simply because customers looking for strong product value, quality entertainment offerings, depth in gaming and content will choose PlayStation,” said Patrick Seybold, SDCC at SCEA.


Software was up 3 percent over the year prior to $1.5 billion, but sales are still behind 2009 by 4 percent.

Call Of Duty: Black Ops was the clear winner moving 8.4 million units, which according to NPD accounting for 25 percent of games sold in the US during November and the game is now the seventh best-selling title of all time, life-to-date.

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood came in second with Just Dance 2 coming in third. Donkey Kong Country Returns debuted on the chart at number six, and Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit debuted in seventh place with Gran Turismo 5 following at number eight.

“The Music/Dance genre increased 38 percent in unit sales over last November fueled by Just Dance 2 and Dance Central,” said Frazier. “We are now reporting sales at the total platform level instead of the SKU level but if we were reporting the top 10 SKU’s, Halo: Reach would have been number 10 this month.”

According to NPD, Just Dance was eleventh in overall sales for the month and the top-selling Kinect as a separate SKU. Kinect Adventures, bundled with the peripheral, sold over 2.5 million units globally during November – but again, because it was bundled (via Joystiq).

Here’s the top 10 with combined SKUs:

  1. Call of Duty: Black Ops – Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PC, DS; 8.4 million
  2. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood – Xbox 360, PS3
  3. Just Dance 2 – Wii
  4. Madden NFL 11 – Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP
  5. Fable III -Xbox 360
  6. Donkey Kong Country Returns -Wii
  7. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit -PS3, 360, Wii, PC (417K units)
  8. Gran Turismo 5 – PS3
  9. NBA 2K11 – Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP,PC
  10. Wii Fit Plus – Wii

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