American videogame sales for February 2011

17 March 2011
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Do you have an Xbox 360 Slim console yet?
February’s American video game sales data from the NPD is in, and it shows the Xbox 360 once again sitting pretty as the king of the month, having the system’s best non-holiday month of all time! Quite the feat.

Total retail industry sales rose 3% to $1.36 billion in February 2011, compared to $1.33 billion last year in February 2010, propelling industry sales to a surprising improvement over this time in the previous year, according to The NPD Group’s monthly sales data. This came as a huge surprise considering that most analysts had predicted a decline for this month!

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  • Combined next generation home console (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii) hardware revenue reached $466.9 million in February 2011, up from $426.4 million seen last year in February 2010.

    “Within the video games industry, the console segment of the market was up 12% in dollar sales across hardware, software, accessories, and game cards while the portable segment of the market declined versus February 2010 by 27%,” says NPD’s Anita Frazier. “We are looking for the portable segment of the market to rebound beginning later this month when the highly anticipated Nintendo 3DS launches in the U.S. on March 27th. Seven days of sales will be included when we release our March sales results on April 14th.”

    Video game hardware overview:

    1. Xbox 360: 535,000 (+27% over January)
    2. Nintendo Wii: 454,000 (+14% over January)
    3. PlayStation 3: 403,000 (+12% over January)
    (No DS & PSP data has been released. DS is typically the second best-selling system of the month and PSP far last.)

    As mentioned above, the Xbox 360 had it’s best non-holiday month ever in terms of sales, thanks to the Kinect, and topping September 2007, when Microsoft sold 528,000 Xbox 360s thanks to the launch of Halo 3. “The 250 GB system bundled with the Kinect sensor was one of the drivers of the increase in average selling price among console hardware.”

    Breaking down the console growth, the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 are up about 25% in sales (dollar value) and the Wii is up 15%, compared to last year, says Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter.

    “The big surprise to me is that hardware ticked up,” Pachter says. “Maybe the recession really is over. People don’t buy software because there is money burning a hole in their pocket. But they actually would buy hardware. Most recent jobs data show a slight uptick in jobs. Maybe consumer confidence is coming back. … It has to be either that there’s a change in NPD methodology or it is a reasonable signal that consumer confidence is back.”

    Video game software overview Top 10, February 2011 (New Physical Retail only):

    01. Call of Duty: Black Ops (360, PS3, WII, NDS, PC) — 790.2K
    02. Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds (Xbox 360, PS3) — 790.2K
    03. Just Dance 2 (Wii) — 554K
    04. NBA 2K11 (Xbox 360, PS3, PSP, Wii, PS2, PC) — 353,000
    05. Dead Space 2 (360, PS3, PC)
    06. Zumba Fitness: Join the Party (Wii, Xbox 360, PS3)
    07. Bulletstorm (Xbox 360, PS3, PC) – 285.6K
    08. Killzone 3 (PS3) – 279.9K
    09. Michael Jackson The Experience (Wii, DS, PSP)
    10. Mario Sports Mix (Wii)
    (*includes CE, GOTY editions, bundles, etc. but not those bundled with hardware)

    On the software side, Call of Duty: Black Ops became the best-selling game in American history, topping Wii Play in terms of sales (generating over $1 billion), says the NPD. I knew Call of Duty was a juggernaut, but HOLY CRAP that is insane. This makes Call of Duty: Black Ops among the most special entertainment products of all time, an elite group that few forms of entertainment in any medium have accomplished.

    “Only Call of Duty: Black Ops and Avatar have ever achieved the billion dollar revenue milestone this quickly,” the says CEO Bobby Kotick of Activision.

    February proved to be a notable month for Nintendo software as well. Not only was Just Dance 2 from Ubisoft the No. 1 best-selling game of the month with more than 554,000 sold, but four Nintendo games reached new sales milestones. Donkey Kong Country Returns for the Wii console, which launched in November 2010, crossed the 2 million mark in February, while New Super Mario Bros. Wii, which launched in November 2009, just crossed the 8 million sales mark.

    On the portable side, the Pokémon SoulSilver Version game for the Nintendo DS family of systems launched in March 2010 and crossed the 2 million sales mark in February ’11, while the New Super Mario Bros. DS game, which launched in May 2006, just passed 9 million in sales. These milestones further demonstrate the “evergreen” nature of games that play on Nintendo systems.

    Meanwhile, Dead Space 2 achieved sales of 311,880 (which is down 31% from last month), Zumba Fitness sold 301k, Mario Sports Mix sold 200k, Dragon Quest VI sold 50k, de Blob 2 sold below 75k, uDraw had sales comparable to last month, and the Kinect outsold the Move by a 5:1 ratio, as has been the trend.

    Overall, 22 games have sold over 100,000 copies this year already, up from 20 last year!

    Data courtesy of the NPD and Wedbush Morgan via Neogaf and VGChartz

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  • About the author

    Josh Romero By Josh Romero: He is a lover of videogames, as well as metal music, Gilmore Girls, chatting, social networking, Phoenix Suns, reading, writing and many other nerdy things. Read his posts here and connect with him on Youtube.


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