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NPD: Xbox 360 Leads In Game Card, Online-Capable Game Sales
NPD: Xbox 360 Leads In Game Card, Online-Capable Game Sales
June 27, 2011 | By Kyle Orland

June 27, 2011 | By Kyle Orland
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    3 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



New graphs released today by the NPD group show Microsoft's Xbox 360 leading Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii in retail sales of online-capable games and retail cards for digital currency.

ithout specifying specific sales numbers, the graphs show the Xbox 360 selling significantly more online-capable games as the PS3 in 2010, and both systems selling many more such games as the Wii for the year.

Online-capable game sales for all three consoles increased sharply from 2006 to 2008, according to the data, before largely leveling off through 2010. NPD did not measure how often such games were actually played online.

Retailers also sold significantly more Xbox 360 digital points cards than PS3 cards in 2010, according to NPD's data, and point card sales for both systems easily outpaced those on the Wii for the year. The data doesn't take into account digital currency purchased directly through the systems themselves.

NPD has also begun separating out sales of software compatible with stereoscopic 3D displays, which represented a full 25 percent of all new retail software sales last November before falling off to a level around 10 percent of total sales this April.

The NPD data also unsurprisingly shows sales for motion-controlled games increasing significantly between April 2010 and April 2011, after the release of the PlayStation Move and Xbox 360 Kinect controllers.

Earlier today, NPD announced a new report showing digital gamers purchasing more games overall than so-called "core gamers."

NPD's graphs are viewable below.

[UPDATE: NPD's David Riley has clarified to Gamasutra that the graphs posted below were not to scale, and that the specific ratios cited in our original report were inaccurate.

"When looking at the actual numbers for 2010, Xbox 360 online-playable sales were 40% higher than PS3, not twice as high (or 100% higher)," Riley says. "And in terms of share of unit sales that were online playable in 2010, within the platform's sales, the Xbox 360 and PS3 have basically the same share of online playable sales for the year."]



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Comments


Jamie Mann
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"Online-capable game sales for all three consoles increased sharply from 2006 to 2008, according to the data, before largely leveling off through 2010. NPD did not measure how often such games were actually played online"



A good question would be: what is the definition of an "online-capable" game?



Also, given that online features have effectively become a mandatory checklist item on the PS3 and Xbox 360, common sense dictates that the number of games offering some form of online capabilities is probably getting close to 100% of the market...

Nathan Verbois
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My question is what data supports that customers who make digital purchases are not core gamers? I'm a hardcore gamer, but I make a lot of digital purchases. The only retail copies I tend to buy anymore are collector's editions. If there's no collector's edition and I haven't picked up the game by the time it hits Games on Demand, I have no problem purchasing it.

Andrew Pease
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Okay, this story's bugging me. I distinctly remember PSN cards not being available anywhere on the planet until Spring 2008 and were extremely rare in the U.S. until late Summer 2008; Gamestop didn't carry them until 2009 (they had to upgrade their POS system to activate the cards).



So how did the non-existent PS3 point cards barely outsell the Wii ones between 2006 and the middle of 2008?


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