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The State of Gaming: NPD Retail Stats for August

gameEvery month gaming analysts wait for retail sales statistics like others sit anxiously in wait for interest rate news from the Fed. Thursday, they got their monthly relief when NPD, North America’s primary source of game-retail statistics, released its sales figures for August. As seems to consistently be the case, and the story for the year, the numbers handedly beat expectations and continue to validate projections that the industry is growing revenue at an astonishing rate.

For August, Nintendo continued its reign as king of the consoles and portables.  The Wii remains hard to get and is selling out consistently within hours of arriving in stores. For the month, Nintendo sold 404k Units.  That moved Wii sales past 4million for the last 10 months.  In second for the month, the Xbox rebounded solidly from July on the back of a $50 price cut with 277k consoles sold.  Sony’s Playstation 3, the last of the next-generation platforms, finished with 131k.  Playstation 2 sold 202k Units.

In portables the Nintendo DS 383k units. The PSP was off notably, on anticipation of the PSP Slim’s arrival, to 151k on the month

Overall, the combined hardware and software sales for August were $993m, up dramatically from $669m in 2006.  Hardware accounted for $384m of the total and was up 94% relative to last year.  Consoles accounted for $302m. Portables raked in $82m.   Year to date the industry has generated $8.02b in revenue.

Much of the year over year difference in total revenue is coming from higher prices on  games (Year to date differences in software unit sales have been relatively flat. 72.1m games have sold to date this year compared to 71.2m for the same period last year. ) 

In software sales, August was a banner month for the independent publishers. That was especially true for Electronic Arts which saw the latest Madden NFL effort beat its previous best launch. Across the various platforms, EA sold more than 2.2m copies of the game.  It even took three of the top  four sales positions for the month.  Take Two, while stillstruggling with internal issues, also did very well with the launch of their new game BioShock.  It was the third best selling game for the month despite not launching until the 21st (and to date more than 1.5m copies have reportedly sold)


The numbers for August:

Hardware(Platform – Units sold for the month – Units in July – Units lifetime)

  • Nintendo Wii: 403,600 – 425,000 (July) – (4.0 million; Lifetime Total)
  • Nintendo DS: 383,300 – 405,000 -(12.7 million)
  • Xbox 360 : 276,700 – 170,000 – (6.3 million)
  • PlayStation 2: 202,000 – 222,000 – (39.1 million)
  • Playstation Portable: 151,200 – 214,000 -(8.3 million)
  • PlayStation 3: 130,600 – 159,000 (1.75 million)

Games (title – platform – publisher – units)

  • Madden NFL 08 (Xbox 360) – Electronic Arts – 896,600
  • Madden NFL 08 (PlayStation 2) – Electronic Arts – 643,600
  • BioShock (Xbox 360) – Take-Two – 490,900
  • Madden NFL 08 (PlayStation 3) – Electronic Arts – 336,200
  • Wii Play (Wii) – Nintendo – 256,800
  • Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (Wii) – Nintendo – 218,100
  • Mario Strikers: Charged (Wii) – Nintendo – 147,400
  • Guitar Hero 2 Bundle (PlayStation 2) – Activision – 145,400
  • Mario Party 8 (Wii) – Nintendo – 138,300
  • Guitar Hero Encore (PlayStation 2) – Activision – 127,100

This month NPD also released the remained of the top 20 but they did not breakout actual unit numbers. The rest of the best:

11. Madden NFL 08 (Xbox) – Electronic Arts
12. Madden NFL 08 (Wii) – Electronic Arts
13. Brain Age 2 (DS) – Nintendo
14. Two Worlds (Xbox 360) – Southpeak
15. Pokemon Diamond (DS) – Nintendo
16. High School Musical: Makin’ The Cut (DS) – Disney
17. Guitar Hero 2 Bundle (Xbox 360) – Activision
18. Madden NFL 08 (PSP) – Electronic Arts
19. Pokemon Pearl (DS) – Nintendo
20. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 (Xbox 360) – Electronic Arts

(For comparative data, NPD’s data from the past few months can be found on Metue by clicking the names of the month as follows: February March April May June July)

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