The figures for US games hardware and software sales for January are in from market research firm NPD, showing a 6% drop-off compared to January last year. Total sales by value for the month were $1.18 billion (£601.6 million).
What should be borne in mind when considering the figures, however, is that a "month" is a slippery beggar in market research; January 2008 comprised four weeks, versus the five week January of last year.
In spite of that, software sales were up 11% to $610.6 million (£311.3 million). NPD's Anita Frazer attributes this to higher prices, however, saying, "Pricing again plays into the great performance of software. The average retail price of games is up 19% from last January and much of that can be attributed to Rock Band
and Guitar Hero
. In fact, 360 Rock Band was the top-selling game in dollar terms, bringing in $30 million in sales for the month."
Overall, hardware sales were down 25% to $377.8 million (£192.6 million), while accessory sales also dropped - by 4% - to $191 million (£97.4 million).
Unsurprisingly, the Wii led the way in console unit sales, chalking up 274,000 sales. The PS3 was next up, with 269,000 sales, getting the edge on the PS2, which sold 264,000 units. The DS only managed to get to Number 4 in the list, with 251,000 sales. It was followed by the PSP and Xbox 360, which tied at 230,000 sales. Microsoft has already offered up an explanation
for this, however, having stated that it suffered from hardware shortages in January.
In terms of software, Activision's Call of Duty 4
on the 360 led the way. CoD 4
also marked the PS3's only entry in the Top 10, placing at Number 8.
You can see the lists for hardware and software in full below.
Nintendo Wii - 274,000
PlayStation 3 - 269,000
PlayStation 2 - 264,000
Nintendo DS - 251,000
Sony PSP - 230,000
Xbox 360 - 230,000
1. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Xbox 360) - 330,900
2. Wii Play with remote (Wii) - 298,100
3. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock with guitar (Wii) - 239,600
4. Rock Band bundle (Xbox 360) - 183,800
5. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock with guitar (Xbox 360) - 182,700
6. Super Mario Galaxy (Wii) - 172,000
7. Burnout Paradise (Xbox 360) - 144,100
8. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (PS3) - 140,000
9. Mario Party (DS) - 138,500
10. Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games (DS) - 133,000