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Retail

Titanfall tops chart, but PS4 leads hardware again in March - NPD

Titanfall tops chart, but PS4 leads hardware again in March - NPD

Thu 17 Apr 2014 10:30pm GMT / 6:30pm EDT / 3:30pm PDT
RetailHardware

While the Xbox One shooter fared well, Sony's PS4 led hardware sales for the third consecutive month in the US, NPD said

The NPD Group has issued its March video game sales report, revealing a 28 percent drop in software sales (including PC) to $432 million. Hardware, however, soared 78 percent on the strength of the new consoles, totaling $395 million. Accessories were also up 4 percent to $224 million. Overall, total industry sales increased 3 percent to $1.03 billion.

“Software declines in March 2014 stemmed from poor comparisons to new launches from last March. Collectively, March 2014 launches sold 42 percent less than March 2013 launches," explained NPD analyst Liam Callahan.

"Last March we saw eight of the top ten games were new launches with games like Bioshock Infinite, Tomb Raider, Gears of War: Judgment, God of War: Ascension. This March saw six of the top ten games as new launches with Titanfall, inFAMOUS Second Son, South Park: The Stick Of Truth, and Dark Souls II.”

NPD noted that Sony's PlayStation 4 led hardware sales (for the third month in a row) despite the Xbox One console exclusive Titanfall topping the games chart. Globally, Sony announced recently that PS4 had surpassed 7 million units sold.

Hardware in general put in a robust performance during the last month, boosting the industry year-over-year. "PS4 and Xbox One continue to see success with cumulative sales of the two consoles through the first five months currently totaling more than double that of their predecessors, the PS3 and Xbox 360," added Callahan.

Check out the top 10 chart below.

1

16 Comments

Nick Wofford Hobbyist

180 190 1.1
And Titanfall took first without counting any of the bundled or downloaded units. That's pretty good for a new IP in a new generation. These numbers are great for the console gaming space. Hopefully it keeps snowballing into E3.

Posted:6 months ago

#1

Paul Jace Merchandiser

942 1,428 1.5
It's nice that both next gen systems are still selling well(anyone else wonder why we never hear mention of the Wii U during these NPD reports anymore?) but this news has to be bittersweet for Microsoft.

On one hand Titanfall outsold Second Son despite the PS4 having sold many more systems than the XBO here. The PC version may have helped alittle but I don't think it contributed that much. And since next months total will include the 360 version I can see Titanfall staying in the top 10(or atleast the top 20) for the remainder of the year.

On the other hand, the PS4 once again outsold the XBO. Normally this wouldn't be a big deal, even with the launch of Titanfall. But what alot of people don't know(James Brightman knows because I sent him the news tip last month) is that the XBO has been selling for $450 since the beginning of March. And that includes both the Titanfall bundle and the Forza 5 bundle. So despite the system only being $50 more than the PS4 and including your choice of game it was still outsold. Why? Because apparently Microsoft has some policy where, even though retailers are allowed to lower the price of the XBO they weren't legally allowed to advertise it in any of their weekly circulars. You only found out the price online once you put the XBO in your cart. This started at Walmart and Best Buy(both online and in store) and eventually spread to Amazon, Target and Microsoft's own online store. So great price but not fully marketed to be properly exploited.

The good news is that I don't think that Best Buy or Target will ever raise their respective XBO prices back to $500(it's now been a month and a half and all their systems in store and online are still $450). Walmart absolutely won't raise the price. Furthermore, this week Walmart finally advertised the XBO's lower price via rollback announcement but still direct customers to their store or online site for the actual price.

So it looks like the retail stores are picking up the slack due to the overstock of unsold XBO systems they were acquiring And I'm sure that they'd all sell alot more if they were allowed to post the lower prices in their circulars and online sites. As for Microsoft, they must be wondering how much better the XBO would be selling today had they not stumbled so badly out of the gate with their reveal policy blunders. They practically owned the US console marketplace during the last 3 plus years and now they seemingly handed it to Sony on a silver platter. But atleast they have no where else to go but up from this point.

Posted:6 months ago

#2

Yiannis Koumoutzelis Founder & Creative Director, Neriad Games

363 207 0.6
It would be interesting to know,
How many PS4 in March Vs how many XboxOne in the same market space?
If I am not mistaken Xbox One availability is still very limited (was less than 15) while PS4 is in 72 countries!

Posted:6 months ago

#3

Neow Shau Jin Studying Bachelor in Computer Science, Universiti Sains Malaysia

52 81 1.6
@Yiannis

These numbers are from the same market space, NPD only accounts for US numbers

Posted:6 months ago

#4

Nick Wofford Hobbyist

180 190 1.1
@Paul
I don't think MS is that worried. They ran out of the rabid fans a bit earlier than they wanted, but I have no doubt that 5M units is a great number for them at this point. It's really not much different than the PS3; does anyone ever remember that launch price? Sony doesn't. Because they caught up in the end.

MS is only behind 2M units; that's chump change over the next 5 years, and like Yiannis mentioned, the X1 is only available in a handful of territories. They'll ride a wave in the summer when they expand to even more turf (including China apparently) and that should then lead into a holiday price drop. Golden rule of gaming consoles: always fleece the early adopters. Because they'll pay anything, so you might as well make it a lot.

Posted:6 months ago

#5

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,593 1,448 0.9
Something to bear in mind is the pretty hefty number of price-cuts that retailers have put on the XOne/Titanfall bundle. I believe, for instance, that at one point Amazon had the Titanfall bundle for the same price as a PS4 (no game). If it's as many retailer-led cuts as I think it is, then the picture it paints for MS is far far less rosey than the one being painted by the NPD numbers above/MS PR. Perhaps GIBiz could do a March-April post-mortem that collated all the cuts?

Edit:

Also, I would be remiss if I didn't help-out by adding an important word in this sentence:
despite the Xbox One console exclusive Titanfall topping the games chart.
Retail numbers for the PC version of Titanfall are probably low, but let's not assume that all Titanfall's sales are gravy for the XOne. :)

Edited 5 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 18th April 2014 8:10am

Posted:6 months ago

#6

Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd

1,020 1,467 1.4
Vita sold 10-11K, Wii U somewhere around 70K. Certainly not all good news here. Vita will likely be pulled from retail shelves this year. Retailers can't afford to stock something that's selling 2,000 units a week nationwide.

Posted:6 months ago

#7

Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd

1,020 1,467 1.4
@ Christian You certainly could be right, and time will tell, but I find it incredibly unlikely that that's the case. I also expect very little on the quality side for Boderlands 2 on Vita. The Vita is just drying up. As someone who hasn't bought anything for my Vita since Tearaway and sees literally zero major titles on the horizon I can't blame the market for showing zero interest, and 10-11K is less than 1/3rd of the worst month the Wii U ever had in the US.

Posted:6 months ago

#8

Neow Shau Jin Studying Bachelor in Computer Science, Universiti Sains Malaysia

52 81 1.6
@Nicholas

I'm not sure any major video game retailers will pull Vita off their shelves, they kept supporting the PSP until Sony stop it's production for United States, even at the times where a single console dominates the market, other consoles are still being kept on shelves by retailers.

Posted:6 months ago

#9

Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd

1,020 1,467 1.4
@ Neow If you extrapolate those VIta sales into the retailers that carry the Vita in the US (Target, Walmart, Gamestop, Toys R Us, Best Buy, etc.) there would be more than 20,000 stores stocking a Vita which sells 10,000 units per month, meaning the average store is moving 1 Vita every 2 months (some are obviously moving less and some, like Gamestop, moving more). Regardless, that's insanely unsustainable for a retailer who's on the hook for $200 for each system they stock (profit margins are tiny on video game hardware).

Furthermore that's all valuable shelf and display space, which could be used for systems that are moving hardware and software like the PS4, 3DS, etc. So yeah, even Gamestop may consider pulling the Vita. 10K is well below the PSP's worst month in its history on NPD. It's close to what the PSP Go was selling, which you may remember Gamestop dropped in less than 6 months.

@ Christian I will be picking up Danganronpa soon, and I do hope more Japanese and indie games continue to come to VIta (obviously we won't be getting more Sony and 3rd party publisher games on it). I'll also try out PS Now for Vita when that launches, and I enjoy it as an extra controller and second screen for my PS4, so I won't be selling it. I just don't see a future for it on Western shelves. Hopefully its ultimate discontinuation doesn't stop those games from being localized.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Nicholas Pantazis on 18th April 2014 9:55pm

Posted:6 months ago

#10

Donald Dalley Freelance writer

52 38 0.7
So none of those 7 million PS4 owners are doing remote gaming through their VITA handheld?

Ooops!

Posted:6 months ago

#11

Paul Jace Merchandiser

942 1,428 1.5
Something to bear in mind is the pretty hefty number of price-cuts that retailers have put on the XOne/Titanfall bundle. I believe, for instance, that at one point Amazon had the Titanfall bundle for the same price as a PS4 (no game). If it's as many retailer-led cuts as I think it is, then the picture it paints for MS is far far less rosey than the one being painted by the NPD numbers above/MS PR.
I actually covered all of the price cuts/discounts in my post alittle above yours. And as originally noted, it wasn't just the Titanfall bundle that was discounted to $450, it was also the standard console(with no game) and the new Forza 5 bundle. As of this writing the only major retail stores I noticed that didn't discount their XBO systems are Toys R Us, Gamestop, Sears and HH Gregg. But that doesn't matter much when Walmart, Target, Best Buy and Amazon are still selling them discounted.

And you were correct about Amazon selling the XBO bundles for $399, although that was more of a glitch that lasted less than 24 hours. By the time people reported on it the price had went back up to $450. Right now Target seems to have the best deal though. $450 gets you a Forza 5 bundle and a free year of Xbox Live. And although the deals are nice they didn't seem to help Microsoft nearly as much as they would have liked them to.

@Nick Wofford--I agree with you that they aren't behind by alot and that theres plenty of years left in this gen but I disagree with you that Microsoft aren't worried. If they weren't worried they wouldn't have made the biggest exclusive release of this generation(which would have sold on that notion alone) a free pack in bundle game. Yes I relize they did it to move systems but they could have easily done that during this holiday season, not when the game first launches. After all, have they ever made a Halo or Gears of War game a console pack-in when it launched? Of course not and it's the same deal here. They did this because they were worried about Sony's early lead starting to build up faster than they anticipated.

Posted:6 months ago

#12

Nick Wofford Hobbyist

180 190 1.1
@Paul
I would distinguish their behavior from worried, as I think it's just a reaction to the market. Worry, to me, implies something pretty drastic. And if I'm remembering correctly, both Halo 4 and Gears 3 were released as pack-ins to special edition 360s. Titanfall was included to push consoles, but that's not a sign of something drastic. They're behind in the console race, so they're pushing harder.

@Nicholas
Agreed on the Vita. Those numbers are too low to continue stocking it, especially for any retailer that sells more than games. Only GameStop will have it in the end, and that support will dry up to if the sales look this way. The PS4 will take that retail space in a much better fashion.

Posted:6 months ago

#13

Yiannis Koumoutzelis Founder & Creative Director, Neriad Games

363 207 0.6
@Neow Shau Jin

I am ofc aware that NPD is reporting US only, however, the 7 million units number is Global. Not US only. NPD commented on the situation in US. Not about that specific number which was announced by Sony. Not NPD.
Globally, Sony announced recently that PS4 had surpassed 7 million units sold.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Yiannis Koumoutzelis on 21st April 2014 2:04pm

Posted:6 months ago

#14

Paul Murphy Editor-in-Chief, The Vita Lounge

8 4 0.5
Whilst no sane person in the world could declare the Vita's situation as healthy, it really isn't as dire as many are making out.

Yes, it sold shockingly in March in the United States, but seriously. There is a redesign about the be released imminently and apparently production ceased earlier this year on the 1000. This was bound to happen at some point.

Sony's attempts to market the device in NA have been lacklustre at best, and non-existent at worst and many don't know what the system is, or what it's strongest points are. And for the record, just because something doesn't appeal to you doesn't mean it won't for others.

Borderlands 2 looks to be compromised somewhat, but the Vita isn't a PS3. Most Wanted also took this hit somewhat and was still a very enjoyable experience. Sly collection, Soul Sacrifice Delta and God of War collection to give some immediate fan service and respite alongside Borderlands and the titles already out. Many more interesting (whilst not big name) games are inbound and that's before Minecraft is mentioned.

Mojang recently announced sales in excess of 20m for the portable version. If the Vita version truly is on a level to the PS3/360 versions and is marketed properly you have a system seller right there. It won't be enough to recover the flagging fortunes, but seriously. They aren't going to take it off the shelves completely this year.

But whoever is in charge of marketing needs to apply some of that budget towards the Vita instead of predominantly at the PS4, or at least sort out a PS4/Vita bundle. The Vita price model is wrong and the 2000 doesn't look to be fixing that anytime soon. It really needs to be on the same level as the 3DS XL, or lower. I did think that was supposed to be the point of the redesign and loss of the OLED.

Posted:6 months ago

#15

Paul Jace Merchandiser

942 1,428 1.5
@Nick--I forgot that those limited systems launched with Gears 3 and Halo 4 respectively. Still, I'll be watching what Microsoft does in the coming months to see how well they adjust from this months US numbers.

Posted:6 months ago

#16

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