U.S. video game industry sales were down 26% in July compared to the same period last year according to new data published by The NPD Group. Hardware sales were down 29% year-over-year to $223 million, video game software sales dipped 17% to $336.2 million and sales of video game accessories were down 8% to $127.8 million. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 was the best-selling console in the U.S. for the seventh consecutive month with unit sales of 277,000, though July marked the first time the Xbox saw a year-on-year decline since December 2009. “There is no getting around the fact that video game sales in the new physical retail channel suffered its lowest month since October 2006,” NPD analyst Anita Frazier said in a statement. “Despite the very rough month, new physical retail sales are down just 4% year-to-date and based on seasonality trends observed over the last 10 years, which have been remarkably stable year-in, year-out, industry sales in this particular channel are poised to land in the flat to -2% range once the total year is completed.” NPD’s top-10 list of video game software title sales in the month of July follows below. More →
Nintendo announced Wednesday that it will launch a “flame red” version of its Nintendo 3DS on September 9th. The portable gaming system will launch in tandem with the new Star Fox 64 3D game and will be available for the new $169.99 price, which goes into effect on August 12th. “With major upcoming releases in the Star Fox, Pokémon and Mario series, in addition to downloadable offerings from Nintendo eShop, Nintendo Video and Netflix, the system offers new and fun experiences to owners on a daily basis,” Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime said. Nintendo has sold 830,000 3DS units in the U.S. since its March 27th launch. Super Mario Land 3D is expected to hit store shelves in November and Mario Kart 7 will be available in December. Read on for the full press release. More →
Nintendo posted its first quarterly operating loss ever on Thursday in its fiscal first quarter earnings report. The Japanese gaming company recorded a net loss of 25.5 billion Yen ($328 million), which was on a par with the net loss of 25.2 billion Yen ($324 million) the firm reported during the same quarter last year. In addition, it posted a net operating loss of 37.7 billion Yen ($485 million), down from an operating profit of 23.3 billion Yen ($299 million) during the first quarter of 2010. Nintendo also slashed the price of the 3DS to $169.99, down from the portable gaming console’s original $249.99 price point. Nintendo attributed the poor quarter to a lack of Wii and DS sales, as well as a lack of attractive games for the 3DS. More →
Amazon has stopped directly selling the Nintendo 3DS citing customer complaints as the cause of its decision. The portable gaming console currently has 359 reviews and an average of 4/5 stars on Amazon’s website, which suggests customers are happy with the unit itself, but the online retailer has posted a note that states:
While this item is available from other marketplace sellers on this page, it is not currently offered by Amazon.com because customers have told us there may be something wrong with our inventory of the item, the way we are shipping it, or the way it’s described here. (Thanks for the tip!)
We’re working to fix the problem as quickly as possible.
It remains unclear but Amazon could have stopped selling the 3DS because of a mistake in its original listing or due to customer complaints on how the product arrived. Techland is speculating that cause could be the “rubber feet” on the top lid. These feet are supposedly not adequate enough to prevent the screen from rubbing against the keypad while the console is closed. Gamers can still purchase the Nintendo 3DS from third-party retailers on Amazon.com however, and from a number of additional retailers across the country. More →
Sales of video game hardware and software declined 10% in June according to new data reported by industry watcher The NPD Group. Total content sales including home consoles, portable consoles and PC game sales totaled $1.03 billion last month, down 10% from June 2010. Hardware sales declined 9% from $401.7 million in June 2010 to $366.6 million last month, and software sales dropped 12% over the same period to $469.5 million. Video game accessory sales also declined from June of last year, dropping 11% from $177.7 million in 2010 to $158.9 million last month. Game publisher Take 2 Interactive was responsible for the two best-selling games in June, with L.A. Noire occupying the top spot and Duke Nukem Forever coming in at No. 2 despite low ratings from reviewers. Sony’s Infamous 2 was the third best-selling game for the month, while Disney’s Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game and Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D rounded out the top-5. Overall hardware, software and accessory sales in the first half declined 2.4% compared to the first half of 2010. A list of The NPD Group’s top-10 software titles for the month of June follow below. More →
In a recent interview with Forbes, Nintendo of America’s president and chief operating officer Reggie Fils-Aime was asked how his company will market the new Nintendo Wii U console — given that the existing Wii will still be on the market. Fils-Aime responded by noting that the console will not launch until after April 1st of next year — a date we hadn’t heard yet — and that, historically, Nintendo has sold multiple devices side by side. Fils-Aime pointed to the launch of the Nintendo DS alongside the Gameboy Advance, and also said that the Wii was on the market at the same time as the Game Cube. He also discussed cross-platform play, which could allow users to play against one another using different Nintendo machines “We have one key developer with a very strong relationship to Nintendo, the same developer who created Smash Brothers, that is envisioning a Smash Brothers experience that will be cross platform between Wii U and 3DS,” Fils-Aime said. Nintendo took the wraps off of the highly anticipated Wii U during the E3 tradeshow early last month, but has yet to announce a price for the console.
Will Microsoft enter the portable gaming market to compete with Nintendo, Sony, and Apple? According to its chief operating officer, Dennis Durkin, not yet. In an interview with Industry Gamers, Durkin explained that the portable gaming market is too crowded right now and that there’s too much change happening. “I’m not sure I would want to be launching a dedicated portable device right now into that market,” Durkin said. “I think the DS – if you look at the 3DS, certainly versus people’s expectation’s it’s not been as successful as people would have thought. So that’s a very crowded market and a very, very red ocean right now with a lot of change happening. So I’m not sure it’s [a good idea] … You only have a certain number of bets you can make as a company and you have to decide what you want to put your wood behind and I’m just not sure that that’s a place that I would put mine.” Durkin said he sees strength in Microsoft’s Xbox 360 system and is excited about the future of the firm’s future plans for Kinect and Xbox Live. We also imagine Microsoft has its hands full right now with the company’s next-generation Xbox console, which is set to debut at E3 next year. More →
Sales of video game consoles in the U.S. hit a five-year low last month according to new data from research firm NPD Group. “May 2011 was the lowest month of sales for the industry since October 2006,” NPD analyst Anita Frazier said in a statement. “A light slate of new releases is at the heart of this month’s performance.” Combined sales of hardware, software and accessories totalled $743 million according to the firm, representing a 14% decline compared to May 2010. Software sales were down 21% from the same month a year prior to $400 million. Microsoft managed to combat the trend — and keep total console sales in May from sliding to unheard-of lows — having sold 270,000 Xbox 360 consoles, up 39% year-over-year. Take-Two Interactive’s L.A. Noire was the top-selling software title for the month. More →
On Friday Nintendo announced that the much anticipated software update for the 3DS — which will deliver the eShop application store, a web browser, and more — will officially be available on June 6th. Anyone who installs the update before July 7th will also get a free 3D version of the NES game Excitebike. Nintendo also announced that it will deploy new content to the eShop every Thursday including Gameboy, Gameboy Color, and more than 350 Nintendo DSiWare titles. The initial Gameboy titles include Super Mario Land, Alleyway, and Radar Mission. Unfortunately, there was no mention of Netflix support in the update, but we won’t have long to find out if that’s a last-minute addition. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
Consumer electronics tracker NPD Group on Thursday released its tallies for the U.S. gaming industry, revealing continued console sales growth and rebounding software sales. Last month, sales of video game software dipped to $735.4 million from $875.3 million in March 2010. While sales shrank sequentially, as they do in April in many industries, gaming software jumped 26% from $398.5 million in April 2010 to $503.2 million last month. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 was the best-selling console in April, having climbed 60% year-over-year to 297,000 units. Sales of Sony’s PlayStation 3 grew 13% to 204,000 units and Nintendo sold 174,000 Wii consoles, a 37% decline compared to April 2010. Mortal Kombat 2011 was the best-selling software title in April, having sold over 1 million units including standard games and special editions. Portal 2, Lego Star Wars III, Call of Duty: Black Ops, and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters rounded out the top five titles. More →
Nintendo will launch the 3DS web browser and eShop on June 6th during the E3 game tradeshow in Los Angeles. A post on Nintendo’s website confirms: “The Nintendo eShop will be enabled through a system update which has been announced for the evening of June 6, 2011. We’ll have more information for you after this update becomes available.” The eShop should allow 3DS users to download extra game content directly to their devices, although it’s unclear what else will be available at launch. Nintendo has said that a Netflix client is in the works, so our fingers are crossed that it’s part of the package, too. We reviewed the Nintendo 3DS in early April and the lack of an eShop, Netflix, and web browser, were some of our biggest gripes with the device. More →
Speaking during an investor briefing on Tuesday, Nintendo’s president Satoru Iwata said that sales of his firms new 3DS portable gaming system failed to meet expectations. “Sales of the 3DS have been weaker than expected since the second week of launch in the US and Europe,” Iwata said while discussing the device’s launches in Europe, the United States, and in Japan. Nintendo had expected to sell 4 million units last quarter, but sales fell short at 3.61 million units. Iwata said that he hopes sales will increase as much as 40% during the next year, AFP reported. We reviewed the 3DS earlier this month and argue that the gaming system doesn’t offer enough features to justify its $250 price point. More →
On Monday, Nintendo released a statement confirming that it will reveal the successor to the original Wii during the E3 Expo tradeshow in Los Angeles — which takes place June 7-9, 2011. The new console, currently codenamed “Project Cafe,” may feature a new “Screen Stream” controller option that will provide each individual gamer with their own touchscreen display, although Nintendo did not disclose any of the console’s new features in its statement. The Japanese gaming firm also announced its earnings for the fiscal year ending March, 2011. Net sales of ¥1,014 billion ($12.35 billion) were down 29.3% year-over-year and Nintendo’s net income fell 66.1% to ¥77.62 million ($946,110). Hardware and software sales for the United States, Nintendo’s largest market, also fell year-over-year. Nintendo sold 15.08 million Nintendo Wii units, 3.61 million of its new Nintendo 3DS devices, and 17.52 million of its Nintendo DS portable gaming consoles in the States. By contrast, the firm sold 20.5 million Wii units in the U.S. last year. Globally, the firm sold 171.26 million Wii units, 120.98 million DS devices, and 9.43 million Nintendo 3DS units. Hit the jump for Nintendo’s earnings release, as well as its official statement on E3. More →