NPD: US sales fall 23 percent yoy, Deus Ex tops charts

By Stephany Nunneley
9 September 2011 00:36 GMT

According to NPD, the month of August saw American physical sales up 3 percent over the month prior, but sales were still down 23 percent year-over-year to $669.9 million.

August NPD at a Glance

Industry fell 23% year-over-year to $669.9 million.

Hardware sales were down 12% to $249.4 million.

Software sales fell 34% to $264.8 million.

Deux Ex: Human Revolution tops software chart.

All is not so glum, after all

According to NPD’s Anita Frazier, the decline isn’t as bad as it looks, as August is generally a slow month, and EA Sport’s annual Madden title wasn’t released on schedule. The firm fully expects better figures for September, and while year to date performance of new physical entries were down 5 percent, “more than half of industry sales in this channel are still to be realized in the back four months of the year.”

“Given the strong release schedule in the coming months, new physical retail sales could still be flat to slightly up once full year sales are tallied,” she said. “Games fans have a huge variety to choose from in September, especially for fans of games in the sports genre.

“Those interested in more core gaming experiences have both Resistance 3 and Gears of War 3, among others, to look forward to. Yes, some of these are already out in the market but we’ll get our first picture of their combined sales performance in the new physical retail channel when we release those figures on October 13.”

Hardware down 12 percent, Xbox 360 moves 308,000 units

Hardware sales for the month of August 2011 were down 12 percent to $249.4 million, with Xbox 360 once leading the US console market for the sixth straight month.

August Hardware

Xbox 360 moves 308,000 units, and for the sixth straight month held more than a 40% market share.

The price cut helped create strong PS3 sales despite “inventory constraints at retail.”

3DS moved 235,000 units during August, a 260% increase over July.

For the month of August, Xbox 360 maintained its lead over other current-generation consoles for 14 of the past 15 months by moving 308,000 units. Microsoft attributed its continuing streak on sustained consumer demand. The console holds a 43 percent share of the overall console market, making it the top-selling console for the sixth month of 2011, and holds a 40 percent market share over Wii and PS3.

Total retail spend on 360 in August hit $232 million, the most for any console in the US, according to NPD.

Despite “inventory constraints at retail,” during the first half of August, Sony said PS3 hardware sales were “very strong the last two weeks of the month,” and were attributed to the $50 price cut and the inFamous 2 bundle. Sony expects the new price point, combined with Move and exclusives such as Uncharted 3 and Everybody Dance, will provide an “amazing holiday season.”

NPD’s Anita Frazier said portable sales were up thanks to the 3DS price cut, and sales for 3DS and DS combined increased year-over-year.

“The 3DS price cut drove portable hardware sales into positive territory, to a year-over-year increase in both unit and dollar sales,” she said.

Nintendo reported that 235,000 units were moved for 3DS during the month, and that the system finished as the second best-selling dedicated game system for the month. After the handheld’s price reduction on August 12, approximately 185,000 units were sold, according to the firm, which is an increase of more than 260 percent during the comparable 19-day time period in July.

Total hardware units sold by Nintendo reached 590,000 units in August, with Wii moving 190,000 units and NDS moving 165,000 units.

A month without Madden

August Software

New retail down 34 percent to $264.8 million.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution top title after 5 days on shelves.

Over 50 million units of software have been sold for Nintendo platforms in 2011.

Eight of the top 10 titles were on Nintendo systems; seven on PS3; six on 360.

Staying true to form, and then some, sales for the month of August were down 34 percent to $264.8 million.

During the month of August, the top console game was Deus Ex: Human Revolution, which was only out for the last five days of the month.

Coming in second was NCAA Football 12, which fans hungry for Madden 12 continued to purchase as an appeasement. The title moved more units during its second month at retail than its predecessor did in August 2010.

Madden NFL is usually the one bright spot for August, as the month is well-know for showing slow software sales, but due to issues with the NFL, the game wasn’t released until last week.

Nintendo responded to the NPDs by stating that 540 million units of software have been sold for the Wii system and Nintendo DS family combined lifetime, and during the month of August, 15 of the top 20 software titles were available for Nintendo systems. So far in 2011, more than 50 million units of software have been sold for Nintendo platforms, according to the firm.

NPD’s Anita Frazier said digital sales were positive thanks to the launch of Fruit Ninja Kinect and the new map pack for Black Ops.

NPD Software Top 10

  1. Deus Ex: Human Revolution (360, PS3, PC)
  2. NCAA Football 12 (360, PS3)
  3. Call of Duty: Black Ops (360, PS3, NDS, Wii, PC)
  4. Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd (NDS, Wii, PS3)
  5. Cars 2 (NDS, Wii, 360, PS3, PC)
  6. Just Dance Summer Party (Wii)
  7. Just Dance 2 (Wii)
  8. Lego Pirates of the Caribbean (Wii, 360, NDS, PS3, 3DS, PSP, PC)
  9. The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D (3DS)
  10. Zumba Fitness: Join the Party (Wii, 360, PS3)

Accessories climbing back

Accessories sales, after falling 8 percent in July to $127.8 million, were only down 1 percent in August to $134.7 million.

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