Game Consoles – March 2008 NPD Sales Figure Analysis

The March 2008 NPD game console sales figures for the US has been released. It’s another month where all sides claim victory, and I guess it’s hard not to when the overall market has increased by a huge margin over the same time last year. I did predict last month that the Xbox 360 will out-sell the PS3, but barely, so was I right or was I wrong? You can read last month’s analysis here. The figures are from NPD, a marketing research firm that releases games console sale data every month.

The figures for US sales in March are below, ranked in order of number of sales:

  • Wii: 721,000 (Total: 8.8 million)  
  • DS: 698,600 (Total: 19.2 million)  
  • PSP: 297,100 (Total: 11.3 million)
  • Xbox 360: 262,000 (Total: 9.9 million)
  • PS3: 257,000 (Total: 4 million)
  • PS2: 216,000 (Total: 42 million)
  • NPD March 2008 Game Console US Sales Figures

    NPD Game Console Total US Sales Figures (as of March 2008)

    A couple of surprises this month. First, just look at those Wii sales figures! Amazing! You would think the “hype” surrounding the Wii would end by now, after two holiday sales periods where it was the “must-have” item, but it just continues to grow stronger where this month, it out-sells both the 360 and PS3 combined! The other surprise was that, despite expert predictions, the Xbox 360 did in fact reverse the last two month’s trend and out-sell the PS3, albeit by the width of a hair. Could Microsoft’s excuse about stock problems actually be correct?

    The PS3 came fifth this month, with only the PS2 behind it, which must be somewhat disappointing for Sony. Sony will say that compared to this time last year, the PS3 is doing much better compared to the 360, and that’s true: the 360’s next-gen market share has dropped from 51% to just 43% since September last year, with the PS3 gaining from 14% to 18%. But these stats are a bit of a lie (aren’t they all), since the Xbox 360’s market share had to drop considering it was the first next-gen console on the market and with 100% of the market share at the beginning, the only way was down. What is worrying for the PS3 is that while the 360 had a period which it totally dominated the next-gen market (first when it was the only console available, and then for the PS3’s fragile first few months), the PS3 has not had a comparable period. Despite the technical superiority that the PS3 has over the 360, the sheer number of 360’s on the market plus the much more mature Xbox Live multiplayer service means that the Microsoft now has a solid footing in the gaming arena which is something they didn’t have with the original Xbox. Quantity has a quality of its own, as someone once said, and that’s what the 360 earned by having an earlier release date. On a side note, looking into popular culture, how many times have you spotted someone playing the 360 on TV or in movies? South Park, Disturbia, Transformers are just some of the recent shows/movies I’ve watched where the 360 was featured. I’m sure that helps to sell consoles as well, despite all the bad press over the RRoD problems.

    And Microsoft raised a point about “ecosystems” last month, where they said console performance should not just be based on hardware sales figures, but also on software and community. In this respect, Microsoft has a very healthy “ecosystem”, but it doesn’t mean the other companies do not. Nintendo is building something very strong with the Wii/DS combination, and Sony with the PS3/PS2/PSP combination. If anything, Microsoft needs a portable game console to compete directly with Nintendo and Sony to fully take advantage of their better online gaming system.

    But Microsoft are right in that while hardware sales haven’t been great compared to either the Wii or the PS3, it’s the software sales that’s really driving the Xbox brand at the moment. Here’s the top 10 sales chart for games:

    1. Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii, Nintendo) – 2,700,000
    2. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 2 (Xbox 360, Ubisoft) – 752,300
    3. Army of Two (Xbox 360, EA) – 606,100
    4. Wii Play (Wii, Nintendo) – 409,800
    5. God of War: Chains of Olympus (PSP, SCEA) – 340,500
    6. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII (PSP, Square Enix) – 301,600
    7. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (Wii, Activision) – 264,100
    8. Major League Baseball 2K8 (Xbox 360, 2K Sports) – 237,100
    9. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Xbox 360, Activision) – 237,000
    10. Army of Two (PS3, EA) – 224,900

    Another good surprise for Nintendo, as Super Smash Bros. Brawl outsold everything by miles – one of the criticisms of the Wii is that it doesn’t have good games that sell in great number, but I think this myth has been dispelled this month. Other than that, the 360 has 4 of the top 10, and all of them are multi-platform games that are available on the PS3. The PSP did well this month too with two titles in the top 10, but the PS3 is still struggling with only one title, and at the bottom too.

    Last month, I predicted the 360 would out-sell the PS3 by a small margin, based on nothing but a gut feeling. I was right (well even a broken clock is right 730 times a year). I also said last month that the 360 will do very well in April due to GTA IV, if not in hardware sales, then in software sales, and I’m sticking with this prediction. What’s really interesting is to see if the Wii will continue to have another good month, or will it suffer from not being on the GTA IV bandwagon? But then there’s Mario Kart, so you never know.

    See you next month.


    7 Responses to “Game Consoles – March 2008 NPD Sales Figure Analysis”

    1. Weekly News Roundup (27 April 2008) « Blog Archive « DVDGuy’s Blog @ Digital Digest Says:

      […] it’s doing extremely well as expected. Also as expected, especially if you’ve read my March 2008 NPD video games sales figure analysis, is that the 360 version seems to be outselling the PS3 version on all the online stores (Amazon […]

    2. Game Consoles - April 2008 NPD Sales Figure Analysis « Blog Archive « DVDGuy’s Blog @ Digital Digest Says:

      […] PS3 would outsell the 360, but has been wrong twice in a row. You can read last month’s analysis here. The figures are from NPD, a marketing research firm that releases games console sale data every […]

    3. Stu Says:

      If Sony stopped selling PS2’s you would probably see an increase in PS3 sales.

    4. Bob Says:

      I think that the Wii would sell the most out of all of the others depending on the fact that it is for families.

    5. Game Consoles - March 2009 NPD Sales Figure Analysis « Blog Archive « DVDGuy’s Blog @ Digital Digest Says:

      […] figures for US sales in March 2009 are below, ranked in order of number of sales (March 2008  figures also shown, including percentage […]

    6. Wii U Sales Only 10% of Wii, Half of GameCube | News - Digital Digest Says:

      […] suggests the Wii U is in serious trouble.The original Wii managed an amazing 721,000 units in March 2008, eclipsing the comparatively minuscule 262,000 Xbox 360s sold during the same month. That's ten […]

    7. Weekly News Roundup for the week ending 27 April 2014 | DVDGuy’s Blog @ Digital Digest Says:

      […] that time), and the noisy and unreliable (at that time, too) Xbox 360. So if I told you that the Wii sold ten (10!) times as many units as the Wii U during the second March for both consoles (having both […]

    About Digital Digest | Help | Privacy | Submissions | Sitemap

    © Copyright 1999-2012 Digital Digest. Duplication of links or content is strictly prohibited.