US stats collator, the NPD Group, has released its figures for the video game industry and its November 2009 sales. Despite the month being the second best for revenues in history, sales were down by 7.6% year-on-year.
NPD's Anita Frazier points that "Based on seasonality the industry looks like it will reach $20 billion for the year, which means December would have to be up over last year by 11 percent. Impossible? I don’t think so.
"More positive economic news combined with ‘frugal fatigue’ could positively impact industry sales during these last weeks of the holiday season. Breaking even seems more out of reach."
Frazier also sounded a note of caution for December, "In order to break even to last year, December sales would have to be up 36 percent over December 2008."
In terms of hardware (last month's in brackets):
Wii: 1.26 million (507k)
Xbox 360: 819.5k (250k)
PlayStation 3: 710.4k (321k)
PlayStation 2: 203.1k (118k)
Nintendo DS: 1.70 million (458k)
Sony PSP: 293.9k (175k)
NPD's Anita Frazier commented, "While there has been a lot of focus on Wii sales as compared to last year, the system was still the best-selling console system by a margin of 54%. At this same point in the PS2 lifecycle, the PS2 was down in unit sales by 23 percent over the previous year, but as history has shown, it continues to have a great deal of life left in it. So focusing on a comparison to Wii’s stellar 2008 performance masks the reality of just how well this system is selling.
"The PS3 realized the greatest increase over last year’s November sales and had its third best month in unit sales ever, coming in just under Decembers ‘07 and ‘08."
In terms of software:
1 - Modern Warfare 2 - 360 - 4.20m
2 - Modern Warfare 2 - PS3 - 1.87m
3 - New Super Mario Bros Wii - Wii – 1.39m
4 - Assassin’s Creed II - 360 - 794.7k
5 - Left 4 Dead 2 - 360) -744.0k
6 - Wii Sports Resort - Wii – 720.2k
7 - Wii Fit Plus - Wii – 679.0k
8 - Assassin’s Creed II - PS3 - 448.4k
9 - Dragon Age: Origins - 360 - 362.1k
10 - Mario Kart Wii - Wii - 315.0k
Anita Frazier commented, "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has achieved the top spot for first-month sales of any game at the title level.
"Halo 3 previously held the spot when it sold 3.3 million units in September ‘07 in 12 days at retail. MW2 bested Halo 3’s daily sales rate by 16% in its 19 days at retail in November.
"While this year’s top-selling item bested last year’s by 283 percent, it couldn’t make up for softness elsewhere. The top 50 games this year sold 5 percent less units than did the top 50 last year."