Nintendo announced earlier this week that the company kicked off the holiday shopping season with a bang, having seen record-setting sales of its Wii and multiple game titles. Nintendo sold more than 500,000 Wii consoles on Black Friday 2011 alone, making it the console’s biggest Black Friday ever. The company’s newest addition to the Zelda franchise, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, sold 535,000 copies since launching on November 20th to become the fastest-selling Zelda game of all time. Super Mario 3D Land, the first 3D Mario game for the Nintendo 3DS, sold more than 500,000 in two weeks, making it the fastest-selling Mario game of all time. Read on for more.
Sales of video games and video game hardware remained lackluster in October according to market research giant The NPD Group. Overall industry sales in the U.S. grew just 1% to $1.08 billion last month compared to October 2010. Total hardware sales were up 6% year-over-year to $295.6 million in October, and software sales were up 3% to $621.3 million. Sales of video game accessories in the U.S. dipped 5% to $135.9 million last month. Microsoft’s Xbox showed the most impressive growth among home consoles with unit sales up 20% from last October, while sales of Nintendo’s 3DS/DS line topped portable devices with 25% growth. November numbers should be a bit more impressive ahead of the holidays thanks to holiday sales paired with a number of high-profile launches including Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, which pulled in a record $400 million in sales during its first 24 hours of availability, and Halo Anniversary, which launches on Tuesday. NPD’s list of the top-10 video game titles follows below. More →
The wait is finally over and late Tuesday evening we’ll be making our way over to our local game store to pick up Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. The latest title in Activision’s hit series achieved record pre-order figures, surpassing even the staggering pre-orders totals racked by by Call of Duty: Black Ops. The single-player campaign will pick up right where we were left off at the end of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 but, let’s be honest, we’re all in it for the multiplayer matches and revamped perk system. Activision is also offering a “Call of Duty Elite” option that costs $50 per year and allows gamers to connect with other players, manage load-outs and more from the web, a game console or a mobile device. The full press release follows after the break. Frag out! More →
Sales of video game hardware, software and accessories in the United States continued to slide in August according to new data from NPD Group, again dipping more than 20% compared to the same period last year. Overall industry sales slid 23% to $669.9 million last month from $873.8 million in August 2010. Hardware sales were down 12% from last year to $249.4 million, accessory sales were down just 1% to $134.7 million and software sales plummeted 34% to $264.8 million. “August 2011 sales saw a decline versus August 2010 in all categories except for portable games hardware,” said NPD analyst Anita Frazier in a statement. “In software, the bulk of the decline can be attributed to the shift of the annual Madden release from August to September (8/30 release falls within NPD’s September 2011 reporting period).” Frazier continued, “Even though year to date performance of the new physical portion of the industry is down 5%, more than half of industry sales in this channel are still to be realized in the back four months of the year. Given the strong release schedule in the coming months, new physical retail sales could still be flat to slightly up once full year sales are tallied.” Microsoft’s Xbox 360 was the best-selling console for the seventh consecutive month in August with 308,000 units sold. NPD’s top-10 list of video game software title sales in the month of August follows below. More →
Much has been made of the video game console business’ steady decline, and rightfully so; console sales have dropped considerably in recent months. Some attribute the sliding sales to a weakened economy while a minority believe trends are turning toward casual mobile gaming, but market research firm IDC says we shouldn’t be sounding any alarms just yet. In a new report, IDC suggests that console gaming will begin to reverse current downward trends in 2012, with a big-time resurgence to follow in the coming years. “Total console hardware and disc-based software revenues are on track to slide a few percent in 2011 compared to 2010,” Lewis Ward, an IDC research manager, said in a statement. “But prognostications that consoles have peaked as a product category are premature. I expect that the launch of the Wii U, a revamped interactive entertainment console from Microsoft in the 2014 timeframe, and the arrival of Sony’s ‘PS4′ circa 2015 – along with more than a few exclusive, innovative games – will help drive a new wave of console-centric spending in the next several years.” Of course the market could rebound even sooner than that. BGR reported exclusively that Microsoft may be preparing to unveil a new Xbox model as soon as E3 2012, and Sony could be fast-tracking plans for a new PlayStation 4 console as well. The Xbox is now six years old, Sony’s PlayStation 3 is five years old and Nintendo’s Wii is almost five years old as well. As quickly as technology now evolves, it shouldn’t be any mystery that console sales are currently waning. IDC’s press release follows below. More →
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 →
Redbox on Thursday announced that it will add video game rentals to an additional 5,000 kiosks beginning August 1st. The company announced last month that game titles for the Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation and Nintendo Wii would be added to 16,000 more redbox kiosks by the end of June, and the total after this coming round of additions will approach 27,000. Redbox owns and operated approximately 33,000 rental kiosks around the country, and the company did not indicate if or when video games might be added to the remaining 6,000 kiosks. “Whether customers are playing a new game or genre, trying a game before they buy it or simply entertaining friends and family, they’re embracing the availability of games at redbox,” said Joel Resnik, vice president of video games, in a statement. Company president Mitch Lowe continued, “More than 1.5 billion movie rentals and the positive consumer reaction to video games highlight the ongoing demand for physical media.” All game titles carried in redbox kiosks can be rented for $2 per night. Redbox’s full press release follows below. 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 →
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 →
A new report from market research firm Gartner on Tuesday suggests global spending on the gaming ecosystem will exceed $74 billion this year, up 10.4% from 2010. Gartner also expects annual spending on video games to reach $112 billion by 2015. As the video game industry undergoes a transition that places a sharper focus on casual gaming, Gartner now includes the following in its definition of the “gaming ecosystem:” dedicated video game consoles; software for dedicated consoles; handheld dedicated video game consoles and software; PC gaming software; mobile game software, which includes games for smartphones, feature phones and tablets; and online casual gaming. Video game software sales alone will reach $44.7 billion in 2011 according to Gartner, and it will continue to represent the lion’s share of video game spending moving forward. “This large market size means that many consumers embrace gaming as a core piece of their entertainment budget and will continue to play as long as game publishers deliver compelling and fun games,” said Gartner research director Fabrizio Biscotti in a statement. Gartner’s full press release follows 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.
Redbox on Friday added game rentals to its arsenal at rental kiosks across the country. Video game rentals had previously been available for some time at approximately 5,000 Redbox kiosks spread throughout the U.S. in a beta phase. Now, Redbox is adding video games to another 16,000 kiosks this month, though it is not clear if or when Redbox plans to add games to the remaining 6,000 kiosks it owns and operates. Popular video game titles for Microsoft’s Xbox 360, Sony’s PlayStation and Nintendo’s Wii consoles will cost $2 per day to rent, and the procedure works just like movie rentals — titles can be rented indefinitely and Redbox will keep charging its daily rate until the title is returned. If a title is kept for 25 days, a one-time fee is charged ($25 for DVDs, $34.50 for Blu-ray Discs and $50 for video games) and the disc no longer needs to be returned. 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 →