The NPD sales data for January has been released, and video game
sales in the US remain strong. Overall, sales saw a thirteen percent
jump from last year, proving that the gaming industry is one of the
rare strong points in the US economy... even if individual developers are struggling.
While both Nintendo and Microsoft have solid angles to play up this
month, Sony is struggling with a significant drop in year-over-year
sales as well as a lack of software titles in the top ten list.
Nintendo shows no sign of slowing down, selling 679,200 pieces of
Wii hardware in January; the DS wasn't far behind with 510,800 units
sold. Nintendo continues its lead, staying far ahead of its competition
in monthly sales.
Nintendo also continues to own the top ten list for software sales with older titles that refuse to die. Wii Fit sold 777,000 units, Wii Play sold 415,000 units, and Mario Kart sold 292,000 to hold the first three slots on the list, respectively. Guitar Hero World Tour for the Wii took the seventh place with 155,000 units sold, New Super Mario Bros. came in eighth place with 135,000 pieces sold, and Mario Kart DS came in ninth place with 132,000 units sold.
With the number one and two best-selling pieces of hardware, and six
places on the top ten list, Nintendo won't be loosening its
stranglehold on the industry any time soon.
The 360 sold a decent amount in January with 309,000 units moved. Microsoft's system also moved a ton of software with Left 4 Dead, Call of Duty: World at War, and Skate 2 taking the fourth, fifth, and sixth places on the software sales list. Lord of the Rings: Conquest is one of the rare new releases on the list, coming in at tenth place.
This continues the trend we see month after month: Microsoft falls
way behind Nintendo in hardware sales, but the blockbuster console
releases—aimed mostly at the so-called "core gamer"—find a home on the
The PlayStation sold 203,200 units, more than 100,000 less than the
360, and the PSP and PS2 sold 172,300 and 101,200 respectively. Those
are solid numbers, and all told Sony sold a good amount of each of its
hardware in the family, but none of the systems took any kind of
leadership role on the boards. PlayStation 3 sales are also down year
over year—not a good sign for the continued growth of the system,
especially when the Xbox 360 saw solid year-over-year growth from
230,000 to 309,000.
None of the three systems was able to chart a single game on the top ten list. For Sony, once again, there is no balm in Gilead.