November’s NPD Numbers

We have already taken a look at the companies’ own figures for Thanksgiving hardware sales, but now the NPD Group have published their monthly round-up of sales and statistics.  The Thanksgiving figures were characterised by Nintendo selling over half a million more Wiis, a much stronger performance from the PS3 than during previous Thanksgivings and a curious quiet from Microsoft.  We’ll get back to the hardware figures in a minute though as it will help to look at the software chart first.

Software (Total spend $1.406bn, down 3.1% compared to last November)

  1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Xbox 360) 4,200,000
  2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (PS3) 1,870,000
  3. New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii) 1,390,000
  4. Assassin’s Creed II (Xbox 360) 794,700
  5. Left 4 Dead 2 (Xbox 360) 744,000
  6. Wii Sports Resort (Wii) 720,200
  7. Wii Fit Plus (Wii) 679,000
  8. Assassin’s Creed II (PS3) 448,400
  9. Dragon Age: Origins (Xbox 360) 362,100
  10. Mario Kart Wii (Wii) 315,000

Rather than stand their ground and cast Riddikulus at the terror-inducing sales juggernaut that is MW2, most publishers turned tail and fled into the new year giving us a rather crowded first quarter.  That and the fact that it was always going to sell by the bucket load should leave no one surprised at the game occupying the top two slots.

Despite its first week sales success Assassin’s Creed II has failed to beat its predecessor’s sales from 2007 (980,000 on 360 and 377,000 on PS3 for a total 1.36m vs. 1.24m) even though the number of consoles, as we pointed out in our look at ACII’s first week sales, is now much higher with more than twice as many having been sold since the first game’s release.

Hardware (Total spend $1.05bn, down 13.4% compared to last November)

  1. DS, 1,700,000 (+270% compared to October)
  2. Wii, 1,260,000 (+149%)
  3. 360, 819,500 (+228%)
  4. PS3, 710,400 (+122%)
  5. PSP, 293,900 (+68%)
  6. PS2, 203,100 (+72%)

Way to go PS2!  Over two hundred thousand sales in one month for a console that celebrated its ninth anniversary in the US in October is very good going.  But just look at those Nintendo sales.  Almost three million consoles sold in a month!  Whatever your view of Nintendo’s current crop of consoles that is impressive.

Strong sales growth for the 360 see it beat the PS3 in the monthly HD console fight.  Is it any surprise though that America’s favourite HD console sold more in the month that America’s favourite game genre saw the release of a highly anticipated game in the world’s biggest ever entertainment launch?  Proof perhaps that sufficiently big thrid party titles can be system sellers for Sony and Microsoft.  For more proof watch what happens to PS3 sales in Japan when FFXIII hits the shelves.

If the PS3 did sell 440,000 units during Thanksgiving week as Sony claimed it must have seen relatively weak sales throughout the rest of the month.  If Sony are looking to find a little seasonal cheer however, NPD’s Anita Frazier had this to say, “The PS3 realized the greatest increase over last year’s November sales and had its third best month in unit sales ever, coming in just under Decembers ’07 and ’08.”

Data sourced from NPD.