PS3 News: December NPD: Sales Fall 21%, Modern Warfare 3 Tops - PS3 News

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December NPD: Sales Fall 21%, Modern Warfare 3 Tops

Well, maybe this is why we need a new console generation.

The December NPD sales numbers are in, and overall, the industry dropped 21%; $3.99 billion down from the $5.07 billion raked in during December 2010.

The biggest culprit was the hardware, as sales plummeted 28% to $1.32 billion, while accessory sales also fell 27% to $628.7 million. Only software sales fared a little better, falling 14% to $2.04 billion.

NPD analyst Anita Frazier dubbed it a "very rough" month for new physical sales of hardware, software and accessories. She added that given the available games, one would've expected a better showing and although the ever-popular Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 led the software charge, it really wasn't enough. Just Dance 3 came in second, while The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Mario Kart 7, and Battlefield 3 rounded out the top five. Here's the monthly statement from SCEA Sr. Director of Corporate Communications, Patrick Seybold:

"According to the December NPD, PlayStation 3 closed out a banner 2011 with a bang, showing increases in hardware, software and peripherals year to date. As we reported earlier this week, consumers flocked to PlayStation consoles and handhelds this holiday season with more than 6.5 million units sold worldwide. With the highly anticipated U.S. launch of PlayStation Vita on February 22, featuring the biggest and best launch lineup across the history of PlayStation platforms,2012 is already shaping up to be another exciting year for PlayStation."

Yes, let's not forget the good news- the PS3 sold 3.9 million units during the November/December period. Not too shabby.

Tags: npd sales, december npd, industry sales, industry numbers

1/12/2012 8:38:55 PM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (10 posts)

Thursday, January 12, 2012 @ 9:34:59 PM

Very interesting statistics. Well the Vita may put in a better showing than we all expect on launch day. It will be very interesting to see figures a month after launch.

What this article tells me though is that Sony hardware is just coming into its stride now; what wonderful sales across the Sony product lines. This is powerful stuff.

With great exclusives to follow let us hope this sales momentum can be sustained...



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Killa Tequilla
Thursday, January 12, 2012 @ 10:54:28 PM

Damn, I hate all this numbers! I don't understand them anyway. Who does?

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Thursday, January 12, 2012 @ 11:37:10 PM

People with just a modicum of patience and an understanding of relatively basic math do. Statistics are important to anyone with an interest in the current and future states of this industry.

Just using the numbers Ben provided (I'm on my phone and don't really feel like pulling up the full report), perhaps the simplest analysis one could provide would be that, with Sony posting increases for the month, both Microsoft and Nintendo would have had to have pulled on abysmal numbers to account for the not insignificant total drop of ~20%.

From there we can make a few reasonable assumptions (in the absence of further data), to make some more qualitative analysis. Assuming that Nintendo only posted a modest drop (using the knowledge that Wii sales have been in a nose dive for quite a while and the fact that the recently released Skyward Sword possibly sold some systems to base that assumption), that leaves us with catastrophic sale drops by XBox. If 360 sales are down by as much as 50% (again, I haven't looked at the full report, I intentionally pulled a ridiculous number out of my ass), then that puts MS into a position of *needing* a new console no later than E3 or it may be lose out on a huge market share for the end of this gen and beginning of the next.

Hopefully this can show why these types of reports can be useful to anyone interested in the what is happening or will happen to this industry.

And one last time, this post was done pretty much just to prove a point. I have not looked at the full report and while I tried my best to follow an internally consistent logic, all numbers, outside of what Ben originally posted, were pulled from thin air.

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Friday, January 13, 2012 @ 12:05:40 AM

It should be pointed out that NPD makes their top ten list by combining platform sales. Thus why many titles that were exclusive to a single console, didn't made the list.

Hardware sales:

Xbox 360: 1.7 Million
Wii: 1.06 Million
PS3: 936K

This was the first holiday that the Wii lost the top spot. Overall, the sales numbers were underwhelming for the big 3.

Analyst Michael Pachter noted:

"(This is) the lowest level since 2005" he said.

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Friday, January 13, 2012 @ 2:54:36 AM

Thank you for posting those numbers. I like sales charts.

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Friday, January 13, 2012 @ 8:39:05 AM

you did make it slightly easier to understand

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Friday, January 13, 2012 @ 9:50:09 AM

Where did you get the actual sales numbers? Last I checked, PS3 and Wii didn't release actual numbers yet, and none of the above have reported world-wide sales, either.

Just curious about where you got them.

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Friday, January 13, 2012 @ 12:30:45 PM

@Underdog15 The numbers are NOT official, sorry about not making that clear in the OP. But they do come from making deductions based on the information already out there. Such as:

Jim Reilly on Twitter: "Xbox 360 sold more than 1.7 million units in December"

Michael Pachter on Twitter: "Wii sales down 55% year-over-year" (Wii sold 2.36 million units in 2010)

From the NPD report: "Despite larger percentage decreases versus last year, the Wii and the PS3 were neck and neck in second place for Annual 2011"

Last edited by Bonampak on 1/13/2012 12:31:16 PM

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Friday, January 13, 2012 @ 9:56:17 AM

Of course the gaming industry is seeing poor numbers, and no, a new console will not change that either.

According to the World Bank, 2011 saw an increase of 15% in it's food prices when compared to 2010. That percentage doesn't even include the prices we are all paying at the pumps and with energy costs.

Video games as an industry might just take a back seat to everyone should the global economy continue to sputter.

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Saturday, January 14, 2012 @ 1:08:04 PM

Gaming really isn't in a bubble from the rest of the world, especially in Australia gaming is priced higher than say in the states. Gaming in the end can't overtake living expenses. It annoys me when these analysts don't take note of anything else beyond the industry.

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