|Xbox 360 and Halo 3 Blow Away the Competition as Industry Sales Skyrocket 74% - NPD |
Wow, what a month - total sales hit $1.36 billion as Master Chief led the charge. The Xbox 360 managed to top all, but the Wii still had its second best month ever and the DS and Zelda also fared quite well. NPD analyst Anita Frazier remains very bullish on 2007 and she thinks Xbox 360 will carry its momentum throughout the holidays.
|GameDaily BIZ has received the September sales data from The NPD Group, and the impact from Halo 3 could probably be felt around the world. Total video game sales rose to $1.36 billion for the month (a 74 percent increase), led largely by a dominating performance from Halo 3 sales and Xbox 360 hardware sales. |
The three SKUs of Halo 3 (standard, limited edition, legendary edition) combined to sell 3.3 million units during the NPD reporting period. This had a great effect on Xbox 360 hardware adoption as sales for Microsoft's console topped all platforms at 527.8K units.
Nintendo's Wii, despite not really having any significant new software releases, was close behind with 501K units sold. The DS handheld also did quite well, selling another 495.8K. Looking at Sony's platforms, the PS3 sold just 119.4K units, while the surging PSP sold 284.5K and the PS2 maintained healthy sales at 215K. At the bottom of the pack, the old GBA sold 75K units.
Although Halo 3 almost single-handedly raised the console software sales total 64 percent to $550.5 million, console hardware sales saw the most growth, rising 188 percent to $418.6 million. Furthermore, year-to-date console hardware is tracking ahead 118 percent. On the portable side, portable software sales declined six percent to $103.1 million, while portable hardware climbed 28 percent to $126.25 million. Finally, video game accessories saw some nice growth, rising 76 percent to $157 million.
All in all, total video game industry sales now stand at $9.37 billion (up 47 percent), and 2007 will undoubtedly smash all previous records.
Here are the top ten selling games for September (ranked by units):
After receiving the data GameDaily BIZ got in touch with the NPD's industry analyst Anita Frazier.
Frazier confirmed what Microsoft has been saying since the launch of Halo 3: it had a dramatic impact on console sales. "Halo 3 had a very big and significant impact on 360 hardware sales. Consumers always tell us that the availability of the games they want to play is the #1 reason why they purchase any given hardware system, and when you have a game of this magnitude, the effect of compelling content on driving hardware acquisition is evident," she said.
Frazier also thinks that Microsoft will bring this momentum into the all-important holiday season. "We should continue to see strong sales for Halo 3 into the holidays and that will definitely help keep the momentum going for the 360. Not only that, but those new owners are going to be looking for some more content to play so it's a cycle that feeds itself," she explained. "A growing install base is always a good thing for the platform ecosystem. There is so much going right in the industry at the moment that I think we're going to see very strong results from a multitude of platforms."
We were a bit surprised to see the Wii sell as many units as it did given the lack of new software in September, but Frazier thinks that the constrained supply leading up to September had a lot to do with it. "I think we're seeing the results of a backlog in fulfilling demand. Nintendo has said that they're ramping up production but that consumers should act and purchase a Wii when they find them at retail because the demand is still outpacing supply. I think we're seeing this come into play now. So while I wasn't surprised by the number, it's an impressive number nonetheless in the face of all the Halo buzz this past month," she said.
One area of the industry that disappointed some was portable sales. Frazier expects the portable sector to pick up a bit as we head towards the holidays. "I think some will be surprised at the portable software decrease compared against last September but it's still up 2% in unit sales and 23% on a year-to-date basis. I just think the focus was elsewhere this past month and there are sure to be a lot of portable games sold this upcoming holiday - the price of portable games is great for gift-giving," she noted.
She also confirmed that the new PSP slim model helped to boost Sony's portable: "The Daxter bundle was the biggest contributor to overall PSP sales and it will be really interesting to watch how these new PSP programs will ultimately impact the overall sales of the platform."
Last month, Frazier told us that 2007 could see a whopping $18 billion in total industry sales. With September racking up such high numbers, should we expect even better by year's end? "I still think the $18B is a good number looking at where sales are at right now. That would still mean a 45% increase for the industry once full year sales are in, and that is certainly an impressive increase from one year to the next," she said.
In a separate note to media, she added, "Although we've been confident for many months now that the industry was poised to realize it's best year ever in terms of revenue, the results in recent months makes me even more bullish."
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