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NPD: Behind the Numbers, December 2008
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NPD: Behind the Numbers, December 2008

January 19, 2009 Article Start Previous Page 2 of 5 Next

Hardware Dollar Sales

According to Sony, over $2.5 billion in PlayStation hardware (PSP, PS2, and PS3) was sold in 2008, or around 32% of all hardware dollars for the year in the U.S..

With the drop in PlayStation 2 hardware sales and a drop in the average sale price (ASP) of PlayStation 3 hardware, it is possible that this dollar figure represents very modest increase from 2007 -- albeit a drop in percentage of marketshare.

By comparison, Nintendo sold nearly $2.5 billion in Wii hardware alone during 2008, with another $1.3 billion coming from the Nintendo DS.

Together, those platforms would account for almost 50% of all dollars spent on hardware for the year. Moreover, Nintendo hardware sales brought in at least $1 billion more in 2008 than in 2007.

As detailed in previous months, cuts in Xbox 360 hardware prices during August have significantly reduced the average sale price for the system.

We still estimate that the Xbox 360 accounted for more than $1.4 billion in hardware sales during 2008, and now averages around $275 at retail.

Given that the average sale price for the Xbox 360, lifetime to date through mid-2008, was over $375, Microsoft appears to have seen higher revenue from hardware in 2007.

Software Unit Sales

According to figures released by Michael Pachter, analyst for Wedbush Morgan Securities, around 268 million units of console and handheld software were sold during 2008, up 15% from the prior year. On average, 8.5 units of software were sold per second in 2008.

Nintendo revealed in a recent press release that 132 million units of software were sold for its systems during the year, or just over 49% of all software units sold in 2008. Of that 132 million, we estimate that over 70 million were for the Nintendo Wii, and most of the remaining 60 million were on the Nintendo DS -- with a million or so on the Game Boy Advance.

The Wii software tie ratio appears to be approaching 6.0 games per system. Incidentally, Mr. Pachter noted that the Wii accounted for 37% of all software dollars in December 2008, surpassing the record set by the PlayStation 2 in December 2003.

Here's a look at the overall game sales by unit totals, split by hardware manufacturer in 2008, as compiled by Gamasutra from the above information:

Software Units Sales in 2008

Interestingly, Microsoft has often touted the Xbox 360 software tie ratio in its press releases, but declined to do so for December 2008.

While it is often logically dubious to base a conclusion on a lack of information, the absence of a comment from Microsoft and the constant 8.1 tie ratio from September through November leads one to suspect that the system's tie ratio may have remained constant or even dropped slightly in December.

Assuming that the tie ratio did remain constant, Microsoft would have sold around 12 million units of software in December, and in the neighborhood of 48-49 million units of Xbox 360 software for all of 2008, up from around 41 million units in 2007.

According to software sales figures from Sony, it appears that more than 27 million PS3 software units were sold in 2008, or more than double the 12.5 million PS3 software units we estimate they sold in 2007.

With approximately 41 million units of software launch-to-date (LTD), an average 6.0 units of software have been sold per PlayStation 3 system. The remaining 57 million units of software are primarily for the PlayStation 2, with some lesser fraction for the PSP.

Article Start Previous Page 2 of 5 Next

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