Though U.S. retail console game software slumped 18% year-on-year in October 2009, Naughty Dog's PlayStation 3 exclusive Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
nonetheless topped the NPD charts, with 537,000 units sold.
Wii Fit Plus
came in second for the month with 441,000 units sold. Roughly half the sales were generated by the bundled SKU of the Nintendo fitness game, which "points to a lot of newcomers to the franchise", according to NPD's Anita Frazier.
Also notable - although Gearbox and 2K's Borderlands
took the third place on the (single SKU-specific) Top 10 chart with 418,000 sales on Xbox 360, the top game for the month across all platforms was 2K's NBA 2K10
, at 575,000 units.
Frazier noted of the licensed basketball title: "It was a great launch for the game, outselling last year's NBA 2K9
by 60% in its launch month. Sales on both the Xbox 360 and PS3 platforms improved substantially over last year."
Also making waves further down the chart was Nintendo's Wii Sports Resort
, with 314,000 MotionPlus-bundled sales, as well as Xbox 360 exclusives Halo 3: ODST
and Forza Motorsport 3
However, notable by their Top 10 absence were any music titles, including DJ Hero
, as Frazier commented: "The music/dance genre saw big declines this month compared to last year. The genre generated $53 million in sales [in October] as compared to $137 million last year. Both Rock Band: The Beatles
, and Guitar Hero 5
have the potential to be good gifting items for the holidays, so we should expect to see an uptick in sales over the next two months."
The full NPD Top 10 for the month is as follows:
1. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
- Sony (PlayStation 3) - 537,000
2. Wii Fit Plus
- Nintendo (Wii) - 441,000
- Take-Two (Xbox 360) - 418,000
4. Wii Sports Resort
- Nintendo (Wii) - 314,000
5. NBA 2K10
- Take-Two (Xbox 360) - 311,000
6. Halo 3: ODST
- Microsoft (Xbox 360) - 271,000
7. NBA 2K10
- Take-Two (PlayStation 3) - 213,000
8. Forza Motorsport 3
- Microsoft (Xbox 360) - 175,000
9. Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
- Square Enix (Nintendo DS) - 169,000
10. FIFA Soccer 10
- Electronic Arts (Xbox 360) - 156,000
Finally, although game sales were down 18% to $572.7 million for the month, NPD analyst Anita Frazier pointed out that sales were only down 11% on a unit basis. The average retail price of software "decreased 8%, which led to the greater dollar sales decline".
Overall for the year, U.S. console game software stands at $5.93 billion, down 12% from $6.77 billion in the same period in 2008, and Gamasutra has covered a similar October game hardware slump
in a separate news story. It appears that both the recession and the increase of digitally distributed online games -- not tracked on this chart by NPD -- may be cutting further into the retail market.