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NPD: U.S. Game Retail For September Sees Overall Dip As Software Edges Up
NPD: U.S. Game Retail For September Sees Overall Dip As Software Edges Up
October 13, 2011 | By Tom Curtis

Falling in line with analyst expectations, United States video game software sales saw a rare increase this month, rising 3 percent year-over-year for September 2011 to $630.2 million, led by EA's Madden NFL 12.

Overall U.S. video game retail sales, however, were still down year over year, dropping 6 percent to $1.16 billion. With retail PC game sales excluded, this figure falls to $1.13 billion.


Revenue from new console sales dropped 9 percent percent from September 2010 to $349 million, according to figures provided by the group.

Despite weak year-over-year comparisons, combined revenues are up from last month, which saw $249.4M in hardware sales.

It's worth pointing out that September was a five-week month while August had only four, which skews this figure slightly. The weekly sales average, however, still rose between the two months.

In its own announcement, Microsoft said that the Xbox 360 sold 438,000 units in September, marking the seventh month in which the console has held more than 40 percent of the current-generation console market share. Overall, the platform saw $534 million in total retail spend in September.

The NPD group reported that video games accessory sales dropped 14 percent year over year to $154.8 million.

Here are the U.S. video game hardware retail sales for September 2011:

HardwareUnits Sold
PlayStation 3364,000-374,000*
Xbox 360438,000
Nintendo 3DS260,000
Nintendo DS145,000
*Estimation is based on 20 percent rise over last year's sales disclosed by Sony.


Total console and portable retail game sales (PC excluded) saw a boost this month, jumping 3 percent year-over-year to $630.2 million.

The top 10 retail games in the United States for September 2011 are as follows:

Top 10 Games (New Physical Retail only; across all platforms incl. PC)RankPublisher
Madden NFL 12 (360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP)**1Electronic Arts
Gears of War 3 (360)**2Microsoft (Corp)
Dead Island (360, PS3, PC)3Deep Silver
FIFA Soccer 12 (360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP, 3DS)4Electronic Arts
NHL 12 (360, PS3)5Electronic Arts
Deus Ex: Human Revolution (360, PS3, PC)**6Square Enix Inc
Resistance 3 (PS3)7Sony (Corp)
Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars (Wii, NDS, 360, 3DS, PS3, PSP, PC)8LucasArts
Call of Duty: Black Ops (360, PS3, NDS, Wii, PC)**9Activision Blizzard
Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine (360, PS3, PC)10THQ
**NPD's data includes all versions except those included in hardware bundles.

Of all the high-profile titles that debuted during September, the top selling game for the month was EA's Madden NFL 12. Despite launching on August 30, all sales for the title were counted for September 2011. Following Madden was Epic Games' Xbox 360-exclusive Gears of War 3.

In third place was Deep Silver's multiplatform open world title Dead Island, followed by EA sports titles FIFA Soccer 12 and NHL 12.

Last week's top title, Eidos Montreal's Deus Ex: Human Revolution, landed at number six, while Relic's breakout multiplatform shooter , Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, closed out the charts at number 10.

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Isaiah Taylor
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Shame actual sales aren't reported anymore. I'd really like to know how Resistance 3 and Warhammer did.

E Zachary Knight
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Its a shame they combine SKUs too. I really want to see which versions of the cross platform games are doing better than others.

Nathan Verbois
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I believe you can tell how the different SKUs stack up by the order they are listed, either that, or it seems fairly random with the way they are listed after each game.

Isaiah Taylor
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Much like the film industry, back in the day, when numbers were reported there was a huge disparity between the top three and the rest of the list. This list, sans numbers and publisher quotes, tells us that these games sold enough to make it on the list.

Which is great, but not actually giving us more information than that.

Camilo R
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The PS3 saw some increase after the price drop. The 360 has been a selling machine for some time, people thought it was deals like PC sales and such but the trend started before and has continued after such deals. I don't understand the high interest in the 360 at this point since you could assume the market for it has saturated. They could be stealing some of the Wii crowd with Kinect I suppose, we don't discuss it much, but maybe Kinect has had a bigger impact than expected. Nintendo has to get the WiiU out soon as the demand for its system is decreasing.

Jonathan Gilmore
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I think Christian is correct that it isn't really about the Kinect because those titles really aren't selling gangbusters. I looked up Gunstringer on VGCHartz out of curiosity and its numbers were pretty bad, considering it had a decent amount of promotion.

I think Pachter was right that Nintendo waited to long for the Wii U, and the problem with the Wii U is that it's really kind of an intermediate console, like the Dreamcast. It has some pretty novel qualities, like being able to seperate the controller from the console entirely, with a different experience simultaneuosly on both, but I don't know if that will have the same mass appeal as the waggle. The Wii U seems more targeted directly at gamers, which probably isn't the smartest move for Nintendo right now.

Bob Johnson
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360 numbers are good, but are also down 10% YoY. I thought Kinect would die out by summer and while not dead dead it doesn't seem to be really taking off either. Software for it isn't selling which you could see coming from a mile away given that no 3rd party could make a decent Wii game for various reasons.

Still good job 360. PS3 has a good month.

Wii is way down compared to other guys but just below last year's numbers.

I have lost interest in the numbers until next gen and even then not as interested without all the sales numbers.

Wii U is a big question mark as far as its position in the market. Still seems like every other Nintendo console after the SNES. Good for 1st party games. And anything good from 3rd parties should be considered a blessing.

Konrad Kiss
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I think that 360 numbers might get even better with the recent Windows Phone Mango update. With that came the possibility to include new Live marketplaces for both the 360 and WP. It also draws in new developers from previously unsupported countries. I suspect that this will propel sales in the newly added countries where the market is far from saturated but has not previously offered all the bells and whistles that normally came with a US / UK account.