Switched topped the NPD hardware charts again last month, Middle-earth: Shadow of War tops all-format software

By Brenna Hillier, Thursday, 16 November 2017 23:59 GMT

The Switch is a flexible console but lately it has definitely favoured topping the charts.

October 2017 NPD at a glance

Total spend down 11% YoY.

Hardware up 10% YoY. Software and accessories both down.

Switch top-selling hardware.

Middle Earth: Shadow of War top-selling multiplatform software.

Compare month-on-month: September 2017

Compare year-on-year: October 2016

Switch outsold PS4 and Xbox One in the US in October, and the SNES Classic Mini took second spot on the charts.

Nintendo said that its hardware – Switch, 3DS, SNES Classic Mini – accounted for “two-thirds of all video game hardware sold in the United States for the second month in a row”.

It gets better, though: the total number of monthly hardware unit sales in the US was over 1 million, the first time October has hit that milestone since 2011. Total monthly hardware sales grew 10% year-on-year from October 2016 to $238 million, thanks to Switch and SNES Classic Mini.

Nintendo, like most companies, rarely offers hard numbers, but we’re clearly looking at well over 600,000 Nintendo hardware sales.

The NPD Group said that the PS4 remains the best-selling hardware of the year to date. Speaking of year to date, hardware sales are up 19% on 2016, to $2.3 billion.

Although we don’t expect any decline in momentum for Switch and SNES Classic Mini next month, Nintendo may be challenged in November by a Black Friday sales surge on PS4 and Xbox One, and perhaps by the Xbox One X.

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Software

We previously reported that Super Mario Odyssey was the best-selling game of October 2017, but pointed out that the claim came from Nintendo, which may have been considering single SKU products only.

That seems to have been correct, as the NPD Group put Middle-earth: Shadow of War as the best-selling game of the month. Its release month sales were up 20% compared to Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor.

Assassin’s Creed Origins came in second place. You may have expected it at the top of the charts, but remember that it was only available for four days in October, as opposed to Middle-earth: Shadow of War’s 17.

Also on sale for just four days of October, Super Mario Odyssey did even more impressively to come in at third despite releasing on just one, very new platform. Presumably, Super Mario Odyssey sales outdid and one platform’s worth of sales of Middle-earth: Shadow of War and Assassin’s Creed Origins. This probably goes some way towards explaining Nintendo’s claim to have the best-selling individual game (SKU) of the month – as does the fact that the NPD Group is missing Nintendo’s digital sales data.

The NPD said Super Mario Odyssey had the third-highest release month sales for any Mario action adventure title, behind New Super Mario Bros Wii and Super Mario Galaxy. Both of those games had a lot more than four days in their release months, too!

Dollar sales of console, portable and PC software hit $474 million for the month, which is actually down 20% on October 2016. Battlefield 1 is to blame for that, as it had an absolutely killer release month – and most of October 2017’s blockbusters releases at the very end of the month.

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NPD October 2017 software charts

Here are the NPD Group’s software charts for October 2017. Titles marked with an asterisk are missing digital sales data, which is significant especially with those Bethesda titles given the publisher’s traditional PC leanings, and for Nintendo as its single platform titles are already impressive. Double asterisks mean Battle.net digital sales data is missing.

    October 2017 all platforms top 20

  1. Middle Earth: Shadow of War (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
  2. Assassin’s Creed: Origins (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
  3. Super Mario Odyssey* (Switch)
  4. South Park: The Fractured But Whole (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
  5. NBA 2K18 (PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  6. FIFA 18 (PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  7. WWE 2K18 (PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One)
  8. Madden NFL 18 (PS4, Xbox One)
  9. Destiny 2** (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
  10. Forza Motorsport 7 (Xbox One)
  11. Gran Turismo Sport (PS4)
  12. Grand Theft Auto 5 (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  13. The Evil Within 2* (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
  14. Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus* (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
  15. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild* (Switch)
  16. Mario Kart 8* (Switch)
  17. Fire Emblem: Warriors* (Switch)
  18. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
  19. NHL 18 (PS4, Xbox One)
  20. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege (PC, PS4, Xbox One)

    PS4 top ten

  1. Middle Earth: Shadow of War
  2. Assassin’s Creed: Origins
  3. South Park: The Fractured But Whole
  4. NBA 2K18
  5. FIFA 18
  6. Gran Turismo Sport
  7. WWE 2K18
  8. Madden NFL 18
  9. Destiny 2
  10. The Evil Within 2*

    Xbox One top ten

  1. Middle Earth: Shadow of War
  2. Assassin’s Creed: Origins
  3. Forza Motorsport 7
  4. South Park: The Fractured But Whole
  5. NBA 2K18
  6. FIFA 18
  7. Destiny 2
  8. WWE 2K18
  9. Madden NFL 18
  10. Grand Theft Auto 5

    Switch top ten

  1. Super Mario Odyssey
  2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  3. Mario Kart 8
  4. Fire Emblem: Warriors
  5. Pokken Tournament DX
  6. Splatoon 2
  7. Mario & Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
  8. FIFA 18
  9. NBA 2K18
  10. Dragon Ball: Xenoverse 2

    3DS top ten

  1. Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions
  2. Metroid: Samus Returns
  3. Miitopia
  4. Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth
  5. Pokemon: Sun
  6. Fire Emblem: Warriors
  7. Super Smash Bros.
  8. Mario Kart 7
  9. Super Mario Maker
  10. Layton’s Mystery Journey Katrielle and the Millionaire’s Conspiracy

    All platforms year to date top ten

  1. Destiny 2**
  2. NBA 2K18
  3. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands
  4. Madden NFL 18
  5. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
  6. Grand Theft Auto 5
  7. For Honor
  8. Horizon Zero Dawn
  9. Injustice 2
  10. Mario Kart 8

    All platforms 12 months ending October 31 2017 top 10

  1. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
  2. Destiny 2**
  3. Battlefield 1
  4. Grand Theft Auto 5
  5. NBA 2K18
  6. NBA 2K17
  7. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands
  8. Madden NFL 18
  9. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
  10. Final Fantasy 15

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General

Total industry spend fell 11% year-on-year to $825 million.

As noted above, hardware grew 10% year-on-year to $238 million, thanks to Switch and SNES Classic Mini.

Software fell 20% year-on-year to $474 million in October 2017, but again as noted above, the NPD blames Battlefield 1’s tremendous October 2016 performance for that. Year to date, it said, consumer spend on software has risen 3% on 2016.

Total spend on accessories including points cards fell 7% year-on-year. The NPD didn’t offer an explanation, but I suspect we’re seeing the effects of comparing with the last gasps of the toys to life trend last year. Apparently steering wheel sales are well up thanks to Forza 7 and GT Sport.

As ever, bear in mind that the NPD covers new physical retail sales in the US only. As well as noted missing digital sales data, it does not cover subscriptions, microtransactions, add-ons and other revenue sources, so is not indicative of broader industry health and trends.

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