NPD's industry report has been released for November 2011, and despite a month filled with new releases and holiday price cuts, industry sales were flat at $3 billion compared to $2.99 billion year-over-year.
"Overall, the new physical portion of industry sales was essentially flat versus last November, noted NPD's Anita Frazier. "While content sales grew substantially thanks to a great slate of new content, a decline in average retail price in all categories with the exception of portable hardware resulted in flat dollar sales even though unit sales grew for console hardware, as well as console, portable, and PC software.>"
360 sales up 23% year-over-year
Black Friday sales from the three hardware manufacturers weren't enough for the sector to see a boon, as hardware fell 9% year-over-year to $982.4 million.
Xbox maintained its lead moving 1.7 million units, making it the fourth consecutive month the firm was tops across all platforms, including handhelds. According to NPD's Anita Frazier, the gap between Xbox 360 sales and those of the next best-selling platform was "the largest we’ve seen since December 2008 when the Nintendo DS was the top selling system.”
Still, hardware sales were in line with the range NPD typically observes going into November, and hardware performed in typical fashion to "seasonality trends.”
During Black Friday week, Xbox 360 recorded its largest seven-day sales period in the product’s history, moving 960,000 units - 800,000 of which were sold within a period of 24 hours. The console now holds a 49% share of the overall current-gen console market, with November being the ninth consecutive month 360 has had more than 40% of the market share. It is also the eleventh straight month the system was the top selling home console in the US.
Xbox 360 unit sales grew 23% year-over-year, and total retail spend on the the platform in November reached $1.4 billion.
Nintendo said Black Friday sales pushed Wii's US installed base to 37.7 million units and once again mentioned that 3DS surpassed the first-year totals of the DS system after only eight months on the market.
The firm moved a combined 2 million hardware units in November, which equals out to 860,000 Wii systems, over 795,000 3DS units and more than 350,000 units of older DS systems.
3DS sales increased 215% during the period compared to the prior month, and has now moved closed to 2.5 million units since launch. Wii's Black Friday figures were highlighted once more, with the firm noting it moved 520,000 units total, and that full-month sales increased by more than 245% over the prior month.
Sony responded to tonight's figures, stating the Black Friday sales period for PS3 was the "best in the console's five-year history" and noted a 70% increase in PS3 sales year-over-year. The firm also said it has seen a "very strong" demand for its holiday bundles.
Accessories fell 34% year-over-year to $273.8 million, but the sector had a tough act to follow: Kinect was released during this period in 2010. Despite this, Kinect managed to move over 750,000 sensors in the US during Black Friday week.
Best November on record since 2008
Software sales were up 16% to $1.74 billion, up 15% to $1.67 billion when non-PC software is figured in. NPD's Anita Frazier commented: "This November marks the best November on record for sales of new physical content. November 2008 was previously the best November on record.”
The upswing in software was attributed to sales of Modern Warfare 3 and Skyrim, which landed in first and second place, respectively, on the sales chart. Frazier said MW3 sales surpassed first-month sales of 2010's Black Ops by 7%, and sales for November sit at around the 9 million unit mark. NPD also noted that Skyrim is 500,000 units short of matching lifetime sales of Oblivion, and the game's "first month performance was a five-fold increase over Oblivion's first month sales."
October's number one, Battlefield 3 took third, and Assassin's Creed: Revelations took fourth. NPD noted that for its second month on the chart, Batman: Arkham City is "now just shy of Batman: Arkham Asylum’s lifetime unit sales."
Nintendo noted in its response to the figures, that Super Mario 3D Land has now sold over 625,000 units and is the fastest-selling portable Super Mario title in US history. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword also had the biggest first day in franchise's history, selling over 600,000 units in its first week. These figures from Nintendo have been announced previously.
Sony noted it saw a 30% increase in software sales for the month year-over-year.
NPD Software Top 10
- Modern Warfare 3 (360, PS3, PC)
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (360, PS3, PC)
- Battlefield 3(360, PS3,PC)
- Assassin's Creed: Revelations (360, PS3, PC)
- Just Dance 3 (Wii, 360)
- Madden NFL 12 (360, PS3, Wii, PSP, PS2)
- Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (PS3)
- Saints Row: The Third (360, PS3, PC)
- The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii)
- Batman: Arkham City (360, PS3, PC)