November Sees DS, Wii Swell, COD4, Mario, Assassin's Tops Charts
The NPD has released data for November U.S. video game hardware/software sales, showing a tremendous across-the-chart surge in hardware sales including over 1.5 million DSs sold, and Assassin's Creed becoming the fastest selling new IP, just under Call of Duty 4 and Super Mario Galaxy.
Overall, the entire video game market -- both hardware and software -- accounted for $2.63 billion in November, up 52% over to the year previous, with a year to date showing already up 5 percent over the entirety of 2006.
Said NPD's Anita Frazier, "Thanksgiving fell earlier in the reporting month this year than it did last which certainly helped fuel part of the incredible 52% increase over last year."
Hardware numbers were up 47% to $1.1 billion, with the DS and Wii both nearly tripling and doubling the month prior, respectively, followed by similarly impressive jumps for the Xbox 360, PSP, PlayStation 2, and then PlayStation 3. The full charts are as follows:
Nintendo DS - 1.53 million (from 458k)
Wii - 981K (from 519k)
Xbox 360 - 770K (from 366k)
PSP - 567K (from 286k)
PlayStation 2 - 496K (from 184k)
PlayStation 3 - 466K (from 121k)
Frazier noted that both the Wii and PlayStation 3 have the most reason to celebrate, with the PS3 making the biggest month-to-month leap of any console, and the Wii seeing its best-selling month so far, outselling last December by 60%. "Since there is still an evident inventory shortage at retail," she added, "it's difficult to say just how high sales could be if you took that issue out of the equation."
On the software side, sales were up 62% to $1.3 billion, with Activision's Call of Duty 4 and Nintendo's Super Mario Galaxy besting the rest, followed by Assassin's Creed, which beat Gears of War's previous record of the best selling new IP at launch.
The full rundown is as follows:
1. Call of Duty 4 (Xbox 360, Activision) - 1.57 million
2. Super Mario Galaxy (Wii, Nintendo) - 1.12 million
3. Assassin's Creed (Xbox 360, Ubisoft) - 980k
4. Guitar Hero III: Legends Of Rock w/guitar (PlayStation 2, Neversoft/Budcat/Activision) 967k
5. Wii Play w/remote (Wii, Nintendo) - 564k
6. Mass Effect (Xbox 360, Microsoft) - 473k
7. Call of Duty 4 (PS3, Activision) - 444k
8. Guitar Hero III: Legends Of Rock w/guitar (Wii, Neversoft/Vicarious Visions/Activision) - 426k
9. Halo 3 (Xbox 360, Microsoft) - 387k
10. Assassin's Creed (PS3, Ubisoft) - 377k
Frazier noted that "with only one month at retail, [Call of Duty 4] captured the 4th spot for year-to-date software sales behind Halo 3, Wii Play, and Pokemon Diamond." She also said that Guitar Hero III showed a combined 1.9 million units, selling 3.3 million year to date, just ahead of Guitar Hero II at 3.1 million.
"One of the first questions on many industry watchers' lips is: How did Rock Band do," she added. "Rock Band sold 382K units across the 360 and PS3 platforms. While some may view this as disappointing, keep in mind that initial shipments were limited, and this is the kind of title that can easily build momentum in December and beyond as word of mouth spreads."
Finally, NPD showed that game accessories were up 52% to $243 million. Said Frazier, "We get asked a lot about the performance of the 360 HD-DVD add-on. Life-to-date sales of this accessory are 269K units in the U.S., representing a 3.4% attach rate to the 360 install base."
She added, "4 of the 5 best-selling accessories for the month were Wii controllers. The Wii Zapper, which debuted in November, sold 232K units. The second-best selling accessory for the month was the PS3 wireless controller at 282K units."