NPD: Halo 3 Drives Xbox 360 Sales Above Wii In September
As widely expected, the results of NPD's North American hardware and software sales charts show Halo 3 selling roughly double the amount of the top ten remainder combined in 12 days, giving the Xbox 360 the edge it needed to rise above Wii and DS sales.
Overall numbers have risen dramatically year over year, with combined hardware and software sales up from $778.7 million in September 2006 to $1.36 billion -- a 74 percent rise. Consoles in particular had an extremely healthy month, rising 188 percent from $145.5 million in 2006 to $418.6 million. Portable hardware rose a healthy 28 percent to $126.25 million.
The year to date totals show a similarly strong surge, with overall sales up 47 percent from this time last year at $9.37 billion thus far, with, again, particularly strong results in console sales -- up 118 percent to $2.69 billion so far this year.
Turning to hardware sales for the month, the top sellers for September 2007 in North America are as follows:
Xbox 360 - 527,800
Wii - 501,000
Nintendo DS - 495,800
PlayStation Portable - 284,500
PlayStation 2 - 215,000
PlayStation 3 - 119,400
All platforms but the PlayStation 3 managed to sell more units in September, despite recent price cuts by Sony. As predicted by Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter the Xbox 360 has finally managed to overtake sales of the Wii aided by the release of Halo 3, and with the latter's still-constrained supply. The PSP saw sales fall just short of doubling with the launch of the Slim model, up from 151,000 units in August.
On hardware sales, NPD's Anita Frazier commented, "We expected software sales to soar due to Halo 3, but hardware sales are impressive this month. The Wii had it's second best month ever as more inventory made its way to stores and into consumers hands, and PSP sales benefitted from the new Daxter bundle. Next month, with the PS3 price reduction, we should see a notable increase in sales of that platform".
Turning to game software, console game sales rose 64 percent over August to $550.5 million -- primarily due to Halo 3 -- and portable software fell slightly from $109.6 million to $103.1 million. The Top 10 best-selling SKUs for the month of September, in descending order follows:
1. Halo 3 - Xbox 360 (Microsoft) - 3.3 million
2. Wii Play - Wii (Nintendo) - 282,000
3. Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass - DS (Nintendo) - 224,000
4. Madden NFL 08 - PS2 (EA) - 205,000
5. Skate - Xbox 360 (EA) - 175,000
6. Madden NFL 08 - Xbox 360 (EA) - 173,000
7. Metroid Prime 3 - Wii (Nintendo) - 167,000
8. BioShock - Xbox 360 (Take 2) - 150,000
9. Brain Age 2 - DS (Nintendo) - 141,000
10. Heavenly Sword - PS3 (Sony) - 139,000
As widely expected, Halo 3 topped the charts, selling roughly double the amount of the other nine games combined. NPD did not provide a breakdown of the three different Halo editions.
Frazier did comment on its sales, though, saying "Halo 3 posted phenomenal results for just 12 days of sales in the month of September. True to it's name, the game rubbed off on hardware sales too - the Xbox 360 realized it's best month ever in unit hardware sales outside last holiday season. If ever there was a doubt that great content drives hardware acquisition, this should put that doubt to rest."
Frazier concluded, "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. I believe the U.S. Video Games industry will realize somewhere in the range of $17 to $18 billion for the year".