Game Consoles – July 2008 NPD Sales Figure Analysis

Welcome to another edition of our monthly NPD US game console sales figure analysis. We are going through what is traditionally a quiet period in terms of video game sales, but thanks to the Wii and the competition between the Xbox 360 and PS3, sales are still strong compared to the same period last year. Microsoft introduced their price cut this month, so it will be interesting to see if there was any effect. Read on to find out. 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 July are below, ranked in order of number of sales:

  • DS: 608,000 (Total: 21.4 million)  
  • Wii: 555,000 (Total: 11.4 million)  
  • PS3: 225,000 (Total: 5.1 million)
  • PSP: 222,000 (Total: 12.2 million)
  • Xbox 360: 205,000 (Total: 10.7 million)
  • PS2: 155,000 (Total: 42.5 million)
    NPD July 2008 Game Console US Sales Figures

    NPD July 2008 Game Console US Sales Figures

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

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

    My prediction last month was this:

    I’m going to go for a very similar situation to this month, except PS3 sales may drop a little due to MGS4 sales dropping off. Wii to dominate, PS3 to come second, and the Xbox 360 to struggle a bit as price cuts only come into effect half way through July.

    With all things considered, it was pretty accurate. PS3 sales did drop almost by half (down 45%), but it was still enough to beat the Xbox 360 for the third month running. As expected also, the Wii still dominated, although it too experienced a sales drop (down 17%). The Xbox 360 held up better (down 7%), but as the price cuts only affected about half of the days that was included in the “July” figures, it is unknown whether it was enough to have taken the 360 above the PS3 had the cut happened at the beginning of July.

    What is clear is that Microsoft still needs to do more if it is to keep up with the PS3, which still has a lot of potential to be discovered. The price cut, re-design of the dashboard, video streaming services, the more family oriented approach, bringing more previously PS3 exclusives on-board like the Final Fantasy series, will all help, but it’s hard to say if it is enough. Microsoft did have good news this week in Japan, where it topped the PS3 for the first time, all thanks to a single game release (Tales of Vesperia). So good software release can drive sales, and if the rumours that Microsoft is working on a Wii like device, then a Wii Sport like title may drive sales even further.

    Wii sales did drop, and some sectors of the media decided this is just the first of many drops to come for the Wii as the hype fades. I don’t think this will be the case, because the Wii is genuinely fun and this will always attract users, even when the hype disappears.

    The MGS4 led surge in PS3 sales predictably dropped, but it is still doing quite well in comparison to the Xbox 360. But this may not be enough. Just because the PS3 can easily beat a struggling competitor that may have already gone past its sales peak doesn’t mean that it can be classified a total success. For the PS3 to be dominant like the PS2, it still needs to reach much higher sales number, closer to that of the Wii. I think this will come as more software, peripherals become available, and when the PS2 reaches its end of life.

    Let’s look at the software charts, where Microsoft had a relatively good month. Thanks to its almost exactly 2:1 total console lead over the PS3, it is still out-selling the PS3 on multi-platform titles. The number one title was a Xbox 360 release as well. MGS4 on the PS3 completely disappeared from the charts. The Wii, now the best selling console in the US, still had the overall lead. The Wii had 40.3% of the top 10 titles by units sold, the Xbox 360 had 31% and the PS3 with 16.2. The rest was for Activision’s Guitar Hero: On Tour for the Nintendo DS, a surprise hit whose sale is going strong for the second month running. The surprise title on the charts is Take Two’s Civilization Revolution, a traditionally weak type of games on consoles (turn based strategy) – with consoles becomes more and more PC like in hardware and functionality, games that are better played on PCs may make a good transition to consoles provided the control interface is suitably tweaked, as it has been with Revolution. Here’s the complete list of the top 10 software sales:

    1. NCAA Football 09 (Xbox 360, EA) – 397,600
    2. Wii Fit w/Board (Wii, Nintendo) – 369,600 
    3. Guitar Hero: On Tour (Nintendo DS, Activision) – 309,700
    4. Wii Play w/ Remote (Wii, Nintendo) – 284,000
    5. NCAA Football 09 (PS3, EA) – 242,500
    6. Soul Calibur IV (Xbox 360, Namco) – 218,900
    7. Mario Kart w/ Wheel (Wii, Nintendo) – 174,500
    8. Rock Band (Wii, EA) – 165,800
    9. Soul Calibur IV (PS3, Namco) – 155,800
    10. Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution (Xbox 360, Take Two) – 147,600

    And finally, the prediction for next month. I have no idea, honestly. I think it will be somewhat similar, maybe the Xbox 360 can overtake the PS3, maybe it won’t. There won’t be any dramatic changes, I don’t think. We are quickly approaching the peak period of sales, the holiday season, and things will be much clearer at that time than right now. See you next month.


    2 Responses to “Game Consoles – July 2008 NPD Sales Figure Analysis”

    1. Weekly News Roundup (17 August 2008) « Blog Archive « DVDGuy’s Blog @ Digital Digest Says:

      […] DVDGuy’s Blog @ Digital Digest Just what the world needs, another blog « Game Consoles – July 2008 NPD Sales Figure Analysis […]

    2. Game Consoles – July 2009 NPD Sales Figure Analysis « Blog Archive « DVDGuy’s Blog @ Digital Digest Says:

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

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