Nintendo 3DS tops systems as June game retail sales drop 15% in US - NPD

Nintendo 3DS sold another 225,000 units while Animal Crossing finished second only to Sony's The Last of Us

Video game retail continues to see declines. The NPD Group's June report for the US shows total industry sales dropping 15 percent to $593.3 million, as total software (including PC) fell 14 percent to $313.8 million and hardware plummeted 30 percent to $142 million. Sales on the hardware side were led by Nintendo 3DS. A Nintendo spokesperson told GamesIndustry International that another 225,000 3DS units were sold during the month, making the 3DS the top selling game system for the period, as its sales jumped 40 percent year-over-year.

[Update: In a separate note to media, Nintendo revealed further data. 3DS software sales were up 105 percent over last year, and through June, nearly 3.6 million combined physical and digital units of first-party Nintendo 3DS software have been sold, representing an increase of more than 85 percent over the same time frame last year. Animal Crossing: New Leaf sold through 505,000 copies with 20 percent of sales coming digitally. Additionally, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D sold over 108,000 combined units in its second month and Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon added nearly 115,000 combined units in its fourth month on the market, bringing its lifetime total to more than 750,000 combined units.]

Xbox 360 came in second to 3DS with another 140,000 units sold. This was the second consecutive month that Nintendo 3DS bested Xbox 360.

“To quote Nintendo during E3, 'software sells hardware', which is evident in this month's 3DS results. Strong double-digit increases in the 3DS hardware sales were coupled with triple-digit digit increases in software for June sales. 3DS software sales momentum is building due to a steady flow of content over the past few months, leading to positive year-to-date sales results,” NPD analyst Liam Callahan said. “Animal Crossing: New Leaf also sold well in the context of first-party games for the 3DS, having the third highest first-month sales next to two launches from holiday 2011: Mario Kart 7, and Super Mario 3D Land.”

Nintendo declined to comment on Wii U sales, but the company is expecting Wii U to ramp up with Pikmin 3's launch soon.

One new piece of hardware NPD started tracking this past month was Ouya. It's been a slow uptake, however. "June 2012 was the first month of retail sales for Ouya (not counting direct sales through and were relatively light for a new console," Callahan added. "This may be due to the lack of a major marquee title driving consumers to seek out the console, low awareness due to Ouya being a new brand, or low inventory volume due to manufacturing constraints.”

Callahan also put some context around Naughty Dog's hit, The Last of Us: “The Last of Us was the top selling game at retail in the month of June. To put this in context, it had the second highest first-month sales of a PS3 first-party game, after God of War 3 in March 2010. The Last of Us was also the third highest game to launch during the month of June since NPD began tracking sales in 1995.”

Here's the NPD's top 10 games chart for June:

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Latest comments (2)

Keldon Alleyne Strategic keyboard basher, Avasopht Ltd5 years ago

Just examine that chart for a hot minute. Below is video game revenue over a ten year period (adjusted for inflation):

2011 $66Bn
2010 $65Bn
2009 $64Bn
2008 $57Bn
2007 $46Bn
2006 $35Bn
2005 $34Bn
2004 $30Bn
2003 $29Bn
2002 $34Bn
2001 $25Bn
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Keldon Alleyne Strategic keyboard basher, Avasopht Ltd5 years ago
$31 billion in 1982 includes arcade sales (the graph explains this). The $66 billion is ALL video games revenue worldwide, which includes social, mobile and MMO. Retail revenue accounts for something like $33 billion.

The graph is for the US, which I put up to show you have console/PC revenue has risen and fallen over a longer period of time. I tend to produce my own graphs that give more telling results - for example, what happens when you eliminate handheld sales as I am sure they don't have much effect (if any) on PC/console sales.

What happens when you remove Wii sales? as that (for a majority of its sales) went for a completely different market of casual gamers. And if you wanted to calculate how many gamers were casual you can examine the relation between the sales of certain franchises and its relation to consoles sales of the SNES, N64 and GameCube. Then use that data to make an estimation of how many of those game consumers account for Wii hardware and software sales.

One you eliminate the casual Wii-sports gamers you will have a much better picture of the video game market.

Though the main point is to compare the current retail revenue with the entire history of video games, since we seem to be doing a great deal better than the last generation, especially when you account for the sales curves of the generation.
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