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Warner Bros., PS4 make out like bandits in July NPD

PS4 continues to trample the opposition and Warner Bros. has so much money it has to buy a bigger piggy bank.


There's plenty of good news in this month's NPD report on US retail, especially when it comes to hardware, which is up 6% on July 2014 to $202.1 million.

That's not a big jump but it's impressive given the dieback on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. NPD analyst Liam Callahan said the slowdown on seventh-generation software depressed hardware sales figures 56%, but that newer consoles are out-performing their older brethren.

"After 21 months, combined Xbox One and PS4 hardware unit sales are close to 50% higher than the combined sales of Xbox 360 and PS3 after 21 months on the market," he said.

The PS4 led hardware sales, with Sony highlighting the performance of the Batman: Arkham Knight bundle. Microsoft wasn't gloomy, though; it may be in second place, but Xbox One sales increased 44% year-on-year and active global Xbox Live users jumped 22%.

Nintendo's statement highlighted a 10% increase in year-to-date Wii U hardware sales and a 35% increase in year-to-date 3DS hardware sales compared to the same period in 2014. Good things all round for the big three.


Although overall software sales didn't grow by even 1% at $178.5 million, eighth generation software - that's PS4 and Xbox One - grew 63% year-on-year, which is good news.

Seventh generation software continued to fall off a cliff, except that Xbox 360 was the second-highest selling platform for new physical software after the PS4 - presumably thanks to the backwards compatibility announced at E3 2015. "Consumers may have felt safer buying 360 games knowing that they will be able to play them on Xbox One if they choose to upgrade," Callahan said.

As you'll see in the charts below, Warner Bros. is minting it hand-over-fist; although Batman: Arkham Knight fell to second place in the charts, the NPD said that if it included hardware bundles it would have been the top seller. Plus, the number one slot - LEGO: Jurassic World - is also a Warner Bros. game, and the publisher has a third chart entry with Mortal Kombat X.

"Warner Bros. Interactive is the top publisher year-to-date with an increase of over 200% in dollar sales," Callahan said.

Although it didn't chart, Nintendo said Splatoon continues to sell well, with 85,000 total units in its third month. Its lifetime US sales now stand at "nearly 540,000" units, and it had shipped 1.6 million units worldwide as of June 30.

NPD Software chart July 2015

  1. LEGO: Jurassic World (Xbox 360, 3DS, PS3, Xbox One, Wii U, PS4, Vita)
  2. Batman: Arkham Knight (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
  3. Minecraft (Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4)
  4. Grand Theft Auto 5 (PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
  5. Rory Mcilroy PGA Tour (PS4, Xbox One)
  6. The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited (Xbox One, PS4, PC)
  7. Destiny (Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3)
  8. Mortal Kombat X (PS4, Xbox One)
  9. FIFA 15 (PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, Wii, Vita, 3DS)
  10. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, PC)


For those who just like the numbers, total industry spend rose 6% to $541.9 million from $513.3 million in July 2014.

Hardware was up 2% to $202.1 million, while software was steady at $178.5 million. Accessories grew 17% year-on-year to $161.3 million.

As ever, please remember that the NPD tracks only new physical sales with this report, and as such these figures are not representative of the broader US market.

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About the Author
Brenna Hillier avatar

Brenna Hillier


Based in Australia and having come from a lengthy career in the Aussie games media, Brenna worked as VG247's remote Deputy Editor for several years, covering news and events from the other side of the planet to the rest of the team. After leaving VG247, Brenna retired from games media and crossed over to development, working as a writer on several video games.