NPD results show 8% decline in September

UPDATE: Hardware unit sales revealed; software sales for Wii dropped 38 per cent year-on-year

The NPD Group has released details of physical sales in the US for the month of September, showing an overall decline in sales of packaged goods, hardware and accessories of 8 per cent over the same month in 2009.

That's despite the high profile launches of Halo: Reach and Dead Rising 2 - which claimed first and third places in the month's sales chart, while Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock missed out on a top ten spot.

Total US sales hit $1.22 billion, down from $1.32 billion last year, while hardware was particularly weak, showing a 19 per cent fall from $472 million to $383 million.

The Xbox 360 was the only console to buck that trend, seeing its best month for unit sales so far, up 34 per cent on last year - although Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg later Tweeted the figure as 37 per cent, and detailing total units sold as 483,989.

In a note to investors, analyst firm Wedbush Morgan revealed that sales of Nintendo's Wii were down 45 per cent year-on-year with 254,000 units sold, while Sony shifted 312,000 PlayStation 3 units, down 37 per cent.

It also added that Xbox 360 software sales were up 33 per cent to $85 million off the back of Halo: Reach, while Wii software sales fell 38 per cent to $55 million and PlayStation 3 sales dropped 14 per cent to $17 million. DS games sales were down 37 per cent to $31 million and PSP sales down 2 per cent.

Accessories was the only segment to show any growth - thanks to the release of PlayStation Move and the continuing popularity of Xbox Live and PlayStation Network points cards. Sales rose by 13 per cent to $180 million.

Halo: Reach

Halo: Reach topped software sales for the month, selling 3.3. million units.

Software accounted for $655 million, down 5 per cent year-on-year, with Microsoft's Halo title selling 3.3 million - although with NPD changing its media release patterns there's no way to tell how the rest of the top ten fared.

"While industry sales of new physical retail sales show a decline versus year ago, it's important to remember that there is a growing volume of content being sold digitally, or otherwise outside the traditional retail channel," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier. "These numbers reflect the largest channel for hardware, software and accessories sales, but there are content sales happening elsewhere."

Meanwhile Microsoft confirmed reports that Kinect was selling-out at retailers nationwide ahead of its November 4 launch.

The software all-formats top ten was as follows:

  • 1. Halo: Reach (360) - Microsoft
  • 2. Madden NFL 11 (360, PS3, PS2, Wii, PSP) - Electronic Arts
  • 3. Dead Rising 2 (360, PS3, PC) - Capcom
  • 4. NHL 11 (360, PS3) - Electronic Arts
  • 5. FIFA Soccer 11 (360, PS3, PS2, PSP, NDS) - Electronic Arts
  • 6. Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep (PSP) - Square Enix
  • 7. Mafia II (360, PS3, PC) - Take-Two Interactive
  • 8. Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions (PS3, 360, NDS, Wii) - Activision Blizzard
  • 9. Metroid: Other M (Wii) - Nintendo
  • 10. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (360, PS3, PC) - Activision Blizzard

Update: Added NPD hardware sales numbers as released by Wedbush Morgan, and percentage change year-on-year for software sales, in paragraphs five and six.

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Latest comments (2)

Terence Gage Freelance writer 8 years ago
"That's despite the high profile launches of Halo: Reach and Dead Rising 2 - which claimed the top two places in the month's sales chart


1. Halo: Reach (360) - Microsoft
2. Madden NFL 11 (360, PS3, PS2, Wii, PSP) - Electronic Arts
3. Dead Rising 2 (360, PS3, PC) - Capcom"


Amazing sales figures for the 360 with nearly half a million sold; I expect with a mass of marketing and Kinect's launch in the next couple of months, it's going to do some serious numbers.

I would also be interested to see how well PlayStation Move sold over there, relative to Europe's apparent 1.5 million sales (and I'm aware this data could be skewed, as it could be combined units of PS Eyes, Movemotes and Subcons for all we know!). It would be an interesting gauge to see how Kinect might be received, as the 360's more popular in the US but Move is far cheaper.
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James Ingrams Writer 8 years ago
The 360 gets more releases because of it's PC architecture. If it wasn't for the 360, PC gaming would be dead or dying. In any event, it not about digital downloading of modern games, it's about digital downloading of retro PS1, PS2, X-Box and PC games, via X-Box Live, Sony Arcade or Steam and for PC. It's easy to see, on PC for example, through the success of GOG and looking at Steam, D2D and Impulse, how these services sell mostly 3+ year old titles more than games from this or even last year. finally, again on PC, we have the 5 million plus DOSBox utility downloads.

99% of AAA console games still sell through retail, where they are still on the shelves, unlike PC games. So when we see declines despite the Halo Reaches of this world, we can see that the decline is real, and not about digital taking over.

A revolution is taking place in gaming, and barely anyone sees it, rather believing in piracy/digital sales to cover up the reality.
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