Xbox One, PS4 drive US retail sales up 9% in February - NPD

Xbox One and PS4 were neck and neck for the month, helping to boost overall hardware sales by 42%

The NPD Group has released its US retail game sales report for February and the signs are encouraging. Total industry sales grew nine percent to $887 million, largely boosted by a 42 percent climb in hardware ($347 million). Software sales (including PC games) actually declined 11 percent to $328 million, while accessories grew three percent to $221 million.

NPD noted the continued strong sales of both new consoles. While PS4 did lead Xbox One in sales for the month, it was actually pretty close. "PS4 led hardware sales in February 2014, but by a narrow margin with Xbox One selling over 90 percent of what the PS4 sold in terms of unit sales," said NPD analyst Liam Callahan. "However, with Xbox One's higher price point it led hardware sales on a dollar basis."

Microsoft said in a separate media alert that Xbox One sold 258,000 units for the month (ahead of Xbox 360 by 61 percent at the same point in its cycle). Based on Callahan's 90 percent data point, we can estimate that the PS4 sold around 286,000 units (plus or minus) during February. All in all, console hardware specifically was up 60 percent for the month, NPD noted.

That, in turn, has had a positive effect on next-gen software. "PS4 and Xbox One software sales are off to a great start through February 2014. When compared to the combined first four month sales for the Xbox 360 and the PS3, software sales for the Xbox One and PS4 thorough month 4 are up 80 percent," Callahan said. "Despite positive performance of PS4 and Xbox One, the majority of software losses stemmed from declines for seventh generation consoles (Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii), which is expected as we transition from one console generation to another."

The good news on the software front is that year-over-year sales are holding up. Callahan explained: "Unlike the last few months where declines stemmed from the performance of new launches relative to last year, February 2014 launches were on par with those launching in February 2013 on a unit basis with only 1 percent fewer sales. Due to lower average selling prices of games like The Lego Movie Videogame, and Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare, dollar sales of new launches decreased by 15 percent versus the performance of February launches."

Leading the charts in February were last holiday's Call of Duty: Ghosts, followed by The Lego Movie Videogame. The complete chart is below.

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Latest comments (8)

Sergiu Badau Wittenberger QA Tester 8 years ago
NPD is for retail only, right? How is that market relevant if most of the PC games are bought online? I can't remember the day I went to a store and bought a game. You might see a decline in retail sales, but most certainly PC leads by a big margine in online sales. Too bad the companies like Valve/EA(origin)/the rest don't always share the sales numbers.
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Antony Carter Senior Programmer, Epic Games8 years ago
Console gamers are also going a lot more digital these days, i know 3 people that will only buy digital on console in this new generation, as they want immediate access to all there content. I would as well if the pricing was better.

It is a genuine problem that these sales counters are painting a terrible picture of software sales as there data becomes more irrelevant each year, they need to work out a way to get on board with platform holders to track digital sales as well.
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James Brightman Editor, North America, GamesIndustry.biz8 years ago
NPD (in partnership with EEDAR) is working on putting out digital sales tracking. It's coming slower than we'd all like but it's happening:
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 8 years ago
Related to PC retail and sales figures:

The local HMV (Sheffield Fargate) has moved things about in the gaming department. They no longer sell PC games. Even the 4ft x 5ft display unit that contains nothing but Battlefield 4 is missing the PC version. Presumably this is a company-wide policy (considering the Sheffield store has plenty of room). It's not going to affect PC sales figures that much (it's not like they sold that many before), but still...

Digital sales tracking can't come soon enough.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 14th March 2014 2:01pm

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Anastasios Hatzis Community Manager 8 years ago
I wonder what possibly would explain, that the sales figures of XBox One got closer to those of PS4 (*). Back in February there was no Titanfall hype, but how inferior the XBox One ports are compared to PS4. Any idea?

(*) Well, I assume NPD Group is talking about units sold to consumers, not "shipped to stores"
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Nick Parker Consultant 8 years ago
NPD is only consumer sales (sell-through). Christian is right, PS4 was supply constrained and one of the reasons cited is that Sony diverted stock to Japan for PS4 launch. I heard that the consumer sales for PS4 were 269k for February in USA.

As for PC, one of the reasons why PC games are still sold as packaged goods at retail is because of publisher marketing strategy. Retail still provides a significant opportunity for mass market eyeballs and we have seen online games such as Eve Online suddenly appear at retail years after launch of downloadable version to increase consumer interface.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Nick Parker on 14th March 2014 11:16pm

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Why no more mention of Nintendo Wii-U? Let's be honest with ourselves guys!
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Alan Resnin Journalist 8 years ago
Nintendo did fantastically well.
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