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November Video Game Sales Skyrocket

gameCheck the buzz-meters and the Nintendo Wii remains one of the most popular topics online.   Yesterday, net tracking firm Hitwise said searches online for the console increased 274% over just the prior week (week ending Dec 8.)  For November 1 to December 11, comScore, similarly put a high tab on ecommerce spending. Their estimate: $20b.  Video games, both consoles and software have been a big part of that.  NPD’s monthly report is out and the numbers are staggering.

Nintendo, as has been the case, reigns mightily from the throne of best seller.  The playability and fun factor of the Wii continue to outpace the high powered computing and awesome graphics of the Xbox 360 and PS3.  For November, Nintendo had their best month yet with sales nearly hitting one million consoles (981k); and demand continues to outpace supply.  4 out of 5 best selling accessories for the month were for the Wii.  Today, they even implemented a raincheck program in partnership with ratiler GameStop to give consumers the certainty of delivery over the next two months.

Across the board, November brought huge sales gains for all of the consoles.  Relative to October, most makers saw a doubling or better of monthly sell through.  The PS3, still in last place overall but gaining somewhat thanks to price cuts, saw total sales jump from 121k units to 466k. The Xbox 360, more than doubled from 366k to 770k.

Console hardware sales in November totaled $771m.  Portables, led by Nintendo’s DS which outsold all other platforms on the month (1.53m units), drew $319m in sales.  Software sales crossed the billion dollar barrier and came in at a total of $1.1b, a 75% month to month gain. 

In October the gaming industry earned a combined (software and hardware) $1.1b which represented a huge 73% gain over the prior month.  Showing just how strong the industry is performing this holiday season, November hardware and software numbers each independently nearly matched the prior months combined revenue total. For the year, the industry looks on track to draw as much as $19b in revenue.

Within software titles, as with hardware, monthly unit sales showed impressive gains over October.  November’s top 4 games each sold more than double October’s top finisher.  In fact, seven out of November’s top ten had high enough unit sell through numbers to have topped the October list of best selling games.

Suggesting lack of games may be one of the weaknesses inhibiting adoption of Sony’s PS3, the top ten games don’t include a single title exclusive to the platform.  Unlike the Wii which featured both Super Mario Galaxy (1.12m) and the Wii Play games (564k), or Microsoft which features Halo 3 (387k) and Mass Effect (473k).  The PS3 games breaking the top ten (Assassins Creed and Call of Duty 4) are also available on the Xbox.

Sony’s effort to cut development costs for 3rd party publishers may help solve but the answer won’t come in time for the holidays.

Despite incredible results, limited availability may be holding back the Wii a bit for total holiday sales as well.

By the numbers:


The numbers for November:

Hardware (Platform – Units sold for the month – – Units Last Month )

  • Nintendo DS:- 1.53 million (458,000; Last Month Total)
  • Nintendo Wii: – 981,000 (519,000 )
  • Xbox 360:-770,000 (366,000 )
  • Playstation Portable: 567,100 (286,000)
  • PlayStation 2: 496,000 (184,000)
  • PlayStation 3: 466,000 (121,000)

November Game Sales (title – platform -publisher – units)

  • Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (360) – Activision (Corp) – Nov 2007 – 1.57 million
  • Super Mario Galaxy (Wii) – Nintendo – 1.12 million
  • Assassin’s Creed (360) – Ubisoft – 980,000
  • Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (PS2) – Activision – 967,000
  • Wii Play (with remote) (Wii) – Nintendo – 564,000
  • Mass Effect (360) – Microsoft – 473,000
  • Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (PS3) – Activision – 444,000
  • Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (Wii) – Activision – 426,000
  • Halo 3 (360) – Microsoft – 387,000
  • Assassin’s Creed (PS3) – Ubisoft – 377,000


For comparative data, NPD’s data from the past few months can be found by clicking the names of the month as follows:
• February • March • April • May • June • July • August • September • October

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