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NPD: Xbox 360 Overtakes PS3 As Industry Revenue Drops 8%
NPD: Xbox 360 Overtakes PS3 As Industry Revenue Drops 8%
December 10, 2009 | By Chris Remo

December 10, 2009 | By Chris Remo
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The U.S. retail console game industry took an overall 7.6 percent year-over-year hit to $2.70 billion this November, analysis firm NPD announced, as software sales declined modestly and hardware revenues fell sharply over last year, in part thanks to widespread price cuts.

Software fell to $1.41 billion, down 3.1 percent from $1.45 billion -- a fairly minor decrease, particularly compared to last year's standout holiday season.

Hardware was down a more considerable 13.4 percent to $1.05 billion from $1.21 billion, as Xbox 360's 819,500 sales edged ahead of PlayStation 3's 710,400, beating its competitor for the first time in three months. Of course, both systems were significantly behind Wii and Nintendo DS, with 1.26 million and 1.70 million units sold respectively.

All told, NPD's Anita Frazier pointed out that month was still the industry's second-best November ever, after last year's. Frazier further emphasized how strong last year was overall, downplaying 2009's woes: "Year to date the industry is still up 7 percent over 2007," she wrote in an analyst note. "I think we all have to realize the incredible year that was 2008."

Hardware Sales

In addition to PS3 and Xbox 360's position swap, Nintendo's two systems changed places, giving the company's handheld system top honors with a considerable lead:

Nintendo DS: 1.70M
Wii: 1.26M
Xbox 360: 819.5K
PlayStation 3: 710.4K
PSP: 293.9K
PlayStation 2: 203.1K

Frazier also took the opportunity to contrast with the recent spate of pessimism about trends in Wii sales, saying the system is still selling extremely well for this point in its life cycle.

"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 percent," she wrote. "At this same point in the PS2 life cycle, the PS2 was down in unit sales by 23% 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."

And SCEA president and CEO Jack Tretton spun the performance of his company's system, comparing it to last year: "In November, PS3 was the only hardware console to see any growth when compared to last November, experiencing an 88 percent lift," he said in a statement.

Software Sales

This month's software chart was dominated by Infinity Ward's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which held the top two chart slots with combined Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 sales of over 6 million units, not counting sales of Microsoft's Xbox 360 console bundled. It is likely that that game alone accounted for over a quarter of industry software revenue this month.

That game's stellar performance still wasn't enough to offset 2009, Frazier pointed out. "While this year's top-selling item bested last year's by 283 percent, it couldn't make up for softness elsewhere," she wrote. "The top 50 games this year sold 5 percent less units than did the top 50 last year."

1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Infinity Ward, Activision), Xbox 360 - 4.20 million
2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Infinity Ward, Activision), PS3 - 1.87 million
3. New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Nintendo), Wii - 1.39 million
4. Assassin's Creed II (Ubisoft Montreal, Ubisoft), Xbox 360 - 794,700
5. Left 4 Dead 2 (Valve, Electronic Arts), Xbox 360 - 744,000
6. Wii Sports Resort (Nintendo), Wii - 720,200
7. Wii Fit Plus (Nintendo), Wii - 697,000
8. Assassin's Creed II (Ubisoft Montreal, Ubisoft), PS3 - 448,400
9. Dragon Age: Origins (BioWare, Electronic Arts), Xbox 360 - 362,100
10. Mario Kart Wii (Nintendo), Wii - 315,000

Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed II made its debut, selling 1.24 million units across Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, while only the Xbox 360 version of BioWare's Dragon Age: Origins made the top ten, selling 362,100 units.

Nintendo was well represented on the chart, holding four of the top ten games, the most of any company on the chart.


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Comments


Kevin Jones
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MW2's November sales on the 360 destroyed Halo 3's 3.3 million one month sales record with room to spare, with a massive 4.20M sold on the 360 alone.

Plus another 1.87M sold on the PS3.

That total of MW2 sales of 6.07 MW2 copies sold in November, totally blew NSMB's 1.39M sales out of the water, by over FOUR TIMES.



Known MW2 versus NSMB(Wii) sales so far.

US NPD

360 : 4.20M

PS3 : 1.87M

Total US 6.07 Million



UK Charttrack

Total UK MW2 4 week sales: 2.36 million



Japan Media Create

Total Japan MW 2 sales : 0



Total US + UK + Japan MW2 sales : 8.43 million



NSMB (Wii) sales:

Japan : 935,000 ( Media Create)

US : 1.39M

UK : 300,000 (at most)

Total US+UK+Japan sales : 2.625 million



MW 2 US + UK + Japan sales = 8.43 million

NSMB(Wii) US + UK + Japan sales = 2.625 million



Difference: MW2 is ahead of NSMB by 5.8 million



And we haven't even added in US MW2 PC sales yet.

Kevin Jones
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NPD November Top 10 Software chart by platform:



XBOX 360 : 4 games.

Wii : 4 games

PS3 : 2 games.





Top 10 by units sold:

XBOX 360 : 6.1008 million

Wii : 3.1227 million

PS3 : 2.3184 million

Tatal units sold in top 10 : 11.5419 Million

(That totally beats November 2008's, top 10 total units sold of 7.26 million.)



The 360 sold more games in the top 10 than the Wii and the PS3 combined, thanks to the huge MW2 sales on the 360.

CoD MW2 360 is, as you'd expect, is the highest one month sales ever by any game in NPD history on a single platform.

Kevin Reese
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6 million+ units sold. Whew. What a blockbuster.

Leo Gura
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Yeah, but that's apples and oranges. What was the 360 install base when Halo 3 launched? I also remember there being a lot of other big titles launching with Halo 3: Bioshock, COD4, and Assassin's Creed. 2007 was a HUGE year!

Ken Masters
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@ Kevin Jones - Keep adding fuel to that fire. It's only gonna make NSMBWii's triumph even more entertaining! Should've learned your lesson with Mario Kart Wii vs. GTAIV - but you wanna learn the hard way I guess... lol!



Anyways, great numbers. I honestly did not expect the 360 to outsell the PS3 this month at all - I'm still a bit surprised by that actually.

Kevin Jones
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@ Ken Masters





"Keep adding fuel to that fire."



Is that what you call the totally massive, insane MW2 sales? Fire?

Hey, maybe you are right. The game is on fire. :)





" It's only gonna make NSMBWii's triumph even more entertaining! "



Dream on!

NSMB is getting totally annihilated but good by MW2. It's not even on the same planet.

The only one enjoying the triumph and validation here is me.





"I honestly did not expect the 360 to outsell the PS3 this month at all - I'm still a bit surprised by that actually. "





360 MW2 bundles, which started pre-orders as far back as September carried the 360 over the PS3.

The week of the MW2 launch had great XBOX 360 sales.



"Should've learned your lesson with Mario Kart Wii vs. GTAIV - but you wanna learn the hard way I guess... lol!





Yeah?



CoD4's sales charting in NPD:

November - 1.57 million (360), 444k (PS3)

December - 1.47 million (360), 500-613k on PS3

January - 330.9k (360), 140k on PS3

February - 296.2k (360), 99.9-161.8k on PS3

March - 237k (360) (first month not in top spot) ~153k on PS3

April - 141k on 360

May - 360 version charted 11th, no number available.



Modern Warfare 2 November sales alone outsold the first SIX MONTHS of sales for CoD4.





April 2008 360 Grand Theft Auto IV - 1.85 million

May 2008 360 Grand Theft Auto IV - 871,300

June - 360 version charted 11th, no number available

Never appeared in the top 20 after that.



Modern Warfare 2 (360) November sales alone outsold the first SIX MONTHS of sales for GTA IV(360) sales.



So good luck with that comparing MW2 to GTA IV thing.

The sales of the two games are not even close.

Kevin Jones
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@ Leo Gura



"What was the 360 install base "



The 360 had an install base of approx 6 million in September 2007. So yeah, the 360 install base today is vastly bigger than it was when Halo 3 was launched(close to 3 times bigger).

The next test in the MW2 versus Halo sales battle will be when Reach launches September next year.





"I also remember there being a lot of other big titles launching with Halo 3: Bioshock, COD4, and Assassin's Creed. 2007 was a HUGE year! "



This year has had ODST and Assassin's Creed 2. So this year is not too shabby either.

Jay Lee
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Well I called it and I called it hard. Stop listening to Pachter, Divinch, Games Daily, Games Industry, DFC et al. PS3 ain't taking over nothing. They just put their best foot forward and again will lose this holiday season.

steve roger
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Yah, but there still aren't any real numbers from Steam and other digital sales. I want to know where MW2 sits in relationship to the other PC games. But I am still only playing L4D2 ATM.

Andrew Heywood
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Christ Kevin, I take it you were a tester on MW2 or something? What's with the constant trolling?

Aaron Knafla
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I'm fairly certain that Kevin and company (you know who you are) belong at IGN.com. It's great little shack for fanboys that play video games--and like to argue about it. Please go there without delay.



This is a great little article for the rest of us. It's refreshing to see some press that looks past the tough '09 to '08 (year-on-year) comparisons.

Adam Bishop
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I was curious how Dragon Age would do in a month with so many other huge releases, I'm glad to see it's selling well. Once PC and PS3 are included, it's probably sold well over half a million units, which is pretty good for a single-player RPG. It's my favourite game of this console generation, I hope it continues to sell well. I wonder if Bioware has kind of shot itself in the foot in terms of potential sales with Mass Effect 2 coming out in only a month, though, rather than spreading out the releases over a longer period.

Marco Devarez
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@ Kevin

The comparison was not MW2 to GTAiv but

(Mario Kart Wii vs GTA iv) vs (NSMB Wii vs MW2)

Kevin Jones
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@ Marco Devarez





"The comparison was not MW2 to GTAiv but

(Mario Kart Wii vs GTA iv) vs (NSMB Wii vs MW2 "



We are talking about MW2 versus NSMB now, as we have for the past 4 weeks.

And MW2 is simply slaughtering NSMN(Wii).

Kevin Jones
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@ Andrew Heywood





" Christ Kevin, I take it you were a tester on MW2 or something? What's with the constant trolling?"



Oh save me your ridiculous "outrage".

It was you Wii fanboys who kept trolling all month that NSMB woild beat MW 2, no?

Now tht MW2 is busy destroying NSMB, you turn round and go crying to mama?

Don't make me laugh.

Kevin Jones
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@ Aaron Knafla



" I'm fairly certain that Kevin and company (you know who you are) belong at IGN.com)"



And you would be totaly wrong.

Wanna try again?





" It's great little shack for fanboys that play video games--and like to argue about it"



The first thing fanboys always do , whenever the Nintendo is getting clobbered by games on other systems, is to quickly try and change the subject, and then try and shut everyone up.



"Please go there without delay. This is a great little article for the rest of us. "



Hey, you know of course than you DON'T have to read anything I post on here don't you?

You can simpy read the above article, and then move on.

Why would you read a post you don't wanna read, then turn round and demand that other posters shouldn't post because you find the truth so painful?

When did you start owning Gamasutra?



"It's refreshing to see some press that looks past the tough '09 to '08 (year-on-year) comparisons."



It's very amusing to see Nintendo fanboys put their heads in the sand, and refuse to face unpleasant reality time after time again.

Kevin Jones
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NPD Hardware figures and factoids YTD/LTD:



November 2008



Wii - 2,040,000

Nintendo DS - 1,570,000

Xbox 360 - 836,000

PSP - 421,000

Playstation 3 - 378,000

Playstation 2 - 206,000



November 2009



Wii - 1,260,000

Nintendo DS - 1,700,000

Xbox 360 - 819,500

PSP - 293,900

PlayStation 3 - 710,400

PlayStation 2 - 203,100





Year to Date (YOY):



WII 5.78 (-27.9%)

360 3.46 ( +5.0%)

PS3 2.97 ( +5.5%)

NDS 7.88 (+14.0%)

PSP 1.84 (-34.5%)

PS2 1.47 (-29.9%)

(In millions.)





November 2008 to November 2009 YOY



PS2: -1%

DS: +8%

PSP: -30%

360: -2%

PS3: +88%

Wii: -38%



October to November month on month.



PlayStation 2 +72.4%

PlayStation 3 +121.6%

PSP +68.3%

Xbox 360 +228%

Wii +148.6%

Nintendo DS +271.5%







YTD



PS2: 1.47

DS: 7.88

PSP: 1.84

360: 3.46

PS3: 2.98

Wii: 5.78

(all in millions)



HD Consoles YTD : 6.44 million

Wii YTD: 5.78 million

Unlke last year, the HD consoles are ahead of the Wii, by 660,000 YTD.





LTD



PS2: 44.98

DS: 35.42

PSP: 16.18

360: 17.32

PS3: 9.77

Wii: 23.32

(all in milliions)



HD Consoles LTD : 27.09 million

Wii LTD : 23.32 million

HD consoles are ahead of the Wii by 3.77 million LTD

Russell Carroll
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I think Kevin the issue is that most people here are game fanboys, not fanboys of a particular system or developer. We work in the industry. We make games for all the consoles. When we get a chance we enjoy playing games. It's useful to have the NPD numbers to think about the industry and where it is going. If MW2 outsells NSMBWii, it's something to think about in game development, if it doesn't, that's something to think about.



The point of Gamasutra is a gathering place of professionals...and sure we have our favorites and sometimes are sad when those games don't get noticed or sell, but your comments here don't really fit in. Trying to pit one game against another as winner/loser isn't the type of discussion that usually happens here, b/c it doesn't really make any sense or have any usefulness to the day to day work that we all do.

Roberto Alfonso
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Well said, Russell. There is a difference between a "consumer" site and an "industrial" site. While I like to poke fun from time to time (like dismissing Rock Band: The Beatles and DJ Hero), I don't think there is a thread with more than 10 replies where almost 50% of them are mine. That is exaggerating.



Regarding the numbers, the DS could surpass the PS2 in a year. It will surely do it, it is just a matter of a few months give or take. And even with the big drop in Wii sales, it also has a chance of doing so.

Aaron Knafla
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Thank you, Russell.



Spoken like a diplomat. =)


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