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NPD August: Darksiders 2, Xbox 360 dominate

Darksiders 2 was the best-selling game at US retail during the month of August.

The NPD Group's month report on US retail spend shows a continuation of a downward trend for the ninth consecutive month.

Total retail spend on hardware, software and accessories reached $515.6 million. That's a 20% decline from 2011's $647.2 million. Even accessories, which have been up since the launch of Skylanders: Spyro's Adventures, noted a 7% decline this month, to $127.3 million.

"These sales figures represent new physical retail sales of hardware, software and accessories, which account for roughly 50% of the total consumer spend on games," the NPD's Anita Frazier said.

"When you consider our preliminary estimate for other physical format sales in August such as used and rentals at $104MM, and our estimate for digital format sales including full game and add-on content downloads including microtransactions, subscriptions, mobile apps and the consumer spend on social network games at $391MM, we would estimate the total consumer spend in August to be $989MM."

Hardware dipped 39% to $150.6 million, from $248.4 million.

"Of the platforms that were on the market last August, none realized a year-over-year sales increase. However, compared to July 2012, the 3DS and the PS3 both experienced unit sales increases in August," Frazier noted.

Xbox 360 once again dominated US retail during August, according to data released by Microsoft in a separate press briefing. The platform holder claims to have sold 193,000 Xbox 360 consoles during August, taking it to its 20th consecutive month as the US's best-selling console.

The Xbox 360 held 48% of console sales; again, this gives Microsoft a new record to boast of, with 18 months in a row with over 40% of US market share. Total retail spend on Xbox 360 hardware, software and accessories reached $196 million, which Microsoft says is more than consumers shelled out on PlayStation 3 and Wii products combined.

As usual, the company predicts a big holiday season for itself, noting first-party titles like Halo 4, Forza Horizon, and Fable: The Journey, as well as Kinect exclusive Dance Central 3, Xbox for Windows 8 and Xbox SmartGlass.

Software maxed out at $237.7 million, a 9% year-on-year decrease from $261.8 million a year ago.

As ever, these numbers come with a caveat; namely that the NPD is as yet unable to give full and accurate reports on non-traditional spend - digital sales, microtransactions and subscriptions, for example.

"One factor contributing to the softness we have seen in retail content sales so far in 2012 has been the decline in the sheer number of new titles. This, however, was not the case in August because there were more new titles when compared to last year; titles with sales that were significantly better than last year’s launches. So, what we’re seeing impact August results is the domino effect of the light release schedule from earlier in the year. That lack of new releases has had a significant impact on subsequent month’s sales," Frazier noted.

Responding to the NPD's report, Nintendo revealed that New Super Mario Bros. 2 sold over 240,000 copies at retail during August, although it did not priovde sales figures for the day-and-date digital release.

As another 3DS title took third spot, the big N also gave its sale figures: Kingdom Hearts 3DS: Dream Drop Distance shifted over 180,000 copies.

Top-selling software August 2012
Darksiders 2 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
New Super Mario Bros. 2 (3DS)
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream, Drop Distance (3DS)
NCAA Football 13 (PS3, Xbox 360)
Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (3DS, DS, PC, PS3, Vita, Wii, Xbox 360)
Sleeping Dogs (PS3, Xbox 360)
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron (PS3, Xbox 360)
Batman: Arkham City (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
Call of Duty: Black Ops (DS, PC, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360)
The Amazing Spider-Man (3DS, DS, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360)

About the Author
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Brenna Hillier


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