NPD: Call of Duty, Xbox 360, and Kinect Drive Game Industry Sales Up 8% in November
The November NPD sales report is here, and it's finally revealed a positive month for the U.S. game industry. Total sales came to $2.99 billion, up 8% over last November. Software climbed 4% to $1.46 billion, hardware climbed 2% to $1.08 billion and accessories (which includes Kinect) skyrocketed 69% to $413.13 million. Year-to-date, the industry is now behind 2009's levels by 5%.
"November sales represent the best November on record in terms of new physical retail sales," commented NPD industry analyst Anita Frazier. "It bests November 2008 by roughly $30 million, and that time frame was at the height of the music/dance genre sales."
"All categories were up over last year with the exception of portable hardware and software," she added. "The 360 platform accounted for over 40% of total industry sales driven by the successful launch of Microsoft's Kinect. Xbox 360 accessories accounted for 60% of that categories' dollar sales this month."
Frazier expects the gap with last year's sales to be narrowed a good deal as December comes to a close. "Based on typical seasonality trends, new physical retail sales should come in between $18.8B-$19.6B. The higher end of that range would essentially be flat to last year. Gains in November offset a good portion of the year-to-date declines."
The big boy in software was of course Call of Duty: Black Ops. "Black Ops debuted as the best-selling game in its launch month (in history) with Black Ops selling 8.4 million units at retail in the U.S. With only one month of sales, it has become the 7th best-selling game of all time, life-to-date," Frazier said, adding, "Black Ops accounted for 25% of all video game software units sold in the month of November."
She also noted that the Music/Dance genre increased 38% in unit sales over last November thanks to Ubisoft's Just Dance 2 and Harmonix's Dance Central. Microsoft's Halo: Reach also continues to put up nice numbers. "We are now reporting sales at the total platform level instead of the SKU level but if we were reporting the top 10 SKU's, Halo: Reach would have been #10 this month," she said.
In terms of hardware, Nintendo DS took top honors, but Xbox 360 was the #1 console yet again. "The Xbox 360 was the best-selling console hardware system for the month, realizing an incredible 68% increase over last November," said Frazier. "The best-selling system overall was the Nintendo DS. It was a high/low story for the DS this month with the new red SKU providing the most sales and the white, lower-priced SKU being #2. It appears the DS attracted two pockets of consumers: those looking for a unique limited-edition product and those looking for value."
Frazier added, "We expect a big jump in sales in November due to seasonality and the influence of holiday, but the change this November over October is bigger across most platforms than it was last November. This could point to the impact of aggressive retail promotions during the critical Black Friday week."
Like Sony doesn't even exist...OUCH!
Anyone can guess. It takes no effort to throw out lots of predictions and have some of them be correct. You are not and wiser or better for having your guesses be right. Even a blind man can hit the bullseye.