The video game industry capped off a rough year in the United States with a horrible holiday month that saw sales plummet year-over-year across all categories. Market research firm The NPD Group recently released its sales estimates for December 2011 and the full year, and neither set of figures paints a pretty picture. Last month, total industry sales plummeted to $3.99 billion, down 21% from $5.07 billion in December 2010. Hardware sales dropped 28% to $1.32 billion in December, and software sales were down 14% to $2.08 billion. “December was very rough for new physical sales of video games hardware, software and accessories,” NPD analyst Anita Frazier said in a statement. “Because of the great slate of content that came to market during the fourth quarter, I had expected December sales to represent a larger portion of total year sales than what occurred. This year, December accounted for just 23% of annual sales, while the average for the past ten years has been 28.” For the full year, hardware sales were down 11% to $5.58 billion, software sales dipped 6% to $8.83 billion and total industry sales slid 8% to $17.02 billion. The NPD Group’s full press release follows below along with a list of the top-10 best-selling games of 2011. More →
Acer on Friday drastically lowered its 2011 shipment forecast for tablet PCs, Taiwan Economic News reported. The company now anticipates shipping approximately 2.5 million consumer tablets in 2011, down 50% or more from earlier projections of between 5 and 7 million units. Acer chairman J. T. Wang said at a shareholder meeting that Acer would likely meet its second-quarter shipment goals, which are down 10% sequentially, and that third-quarter shipments could be marginally better. Wang said performance will likely not improve until the company’s planned restructuring is completed in the fourth quarter, however. Company president Jim Wong said the company lowered its tablet shipment forecast due mainly to excessive inventory that has built up at distributor locations. Wong believes end user sales have been lower than expected because of strong competition from competing tablet models. More →
Things have been rough for Sony Ericsson over the past couple of years. Intriguing new gear is on the way from this once-great Swedish joint venture, with a few sexy smartphones like the Xperia arc in the pipeline and the highly anticipated PlayStation Phone, the Xperia Play, finally about to become a reality. Unfortunately, however, none of the company’s forthcoming products could possibly have an impact on Sony Ericsson’s numbers in the fourth quarter of 2010. The company did manage to eek a pre-tax profit of €39 million, up significantly from the €181 million loss it reported the year prior. Profit was down €24 million compared to the third quarter of this year however, which is rough news for the holiday quarter. Shipments were down 23% year-over-year, dropping from 14.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2009 to 11.2 million in the final quarter of 2010. Full year shipments were down by almost a quarter compared to 2009, dropping from 57.1 million units to 43.1 million. On the bright side, Sony Ericsson has now reported four straight quarters in the black, and total shipments of its Android-powered Xperia line now sit at 9 million globally — not too shabby. Hit the jump for Sony Ericsson’s full press release.