Game Consoles – June 2010 NPD Sales Figure Analysis

Well that was a short break. Thanks to the May figures being released late, and the June figures being released on time, we have a new NPD video game analysis for you only two weeks from the last one. May wasn’t anything to write home about in terms of sales, despite Red Dead Redemption and Super Mario Galaxy 2. June had some interesting developments, namely the mid month release of the new Xbox 360 Elite, you know the new slim version (even though Microsoft don’t ever use the term “slim”). The PS3 stock shortage issue seems to have cleared up, and Sony even managed to create a 250GB bundle early in June. So with all these happenings in mind, the hardware sales race heated up in June and it will be interesting to see if the stock shortage issue, which has been holding back PS3 sales, will finally allow the console, the “original” Slim if you will, to beat the “new” Xbox 360 slim. The figures are from NPD, a marketing research firm that releases games console sale data every month.

The figures for US sales in June 2010 are below, ranked in order of number of sales (June 2009 figures also shown, including percentage change):

  • DS: 510,700 (Total: 42.6 million; June 2009: 766,500 – down 33%)
  • Xbox 360: 451,700 (Total: 20.6 million; June 2009: 240,600 – up 88%)
  • Wii: 422,500 (Total: 29.6 million; June 2009: 361,700 – up 17%)
  • PS3: 304,800 (Total: 12.7 million; June 2009: 164,700 – up 85%)
  • PSP: 121,000 (Total: 17.4 million; June 2009: 163,500 – down 26%)
NPD June 2010 Game Console US Sales Figures

NPD June 2010 Game Console US Sales Figures

NPD Game Console Total US Sales Figures (as of June 2010)

NPD Game Console Total US Sales Figures (as of June 2010)

My prediction from last month was:

It’s time to make my usual predictions. With the PS3 stock shortage crisis over, PS3 sales should rise. The Xbox 360 would otherwise have been relegated to third place amongst the home consoles, but the new “slim” Elite may save the day, and maybe even sell enough to keep it above the PS3. I keep on expecting either the PS3 or Xbox 360 to outsell the Wii, but it hasn’t happened very often, and June is probably the same, although it has a greater chance than previous months. Not a huge month for new game releases though, so RDR may remain in the charts, with Super Mario Galaxy keeping up sales and possibly stealing a march on the RDR games.

So pretty spot on I would say, not hard though considering I only wrote the above two weeks ago. PS3 sales did improve, actually 97% better than in May, and very likely thanks to the end of the PS3 stock shortage crisis of 2010. Although I still don’t understand why the stock shortage had to occur in the first place. It seems to have cost the PS3 several months of beating the Xbox 360, and just as the stock issue cleared up, in comes a new Xbox 360 that again outsells it. And outsell the PS3 the new Xbox 360 did. And it even outsold the Wii, which I had semi-predicted above I suppose. Overall, it was an impressive 132% increase compared to last month, and the best non Holiday sales period for the console in some time. And even now, the new Xbox 360 SKU is still in the top 10, which is good news for Microsoft I guess. In fact, all hardware numbers were up compared to May, and historically, this has been the case in June. And software was almost exactly as I had predicted – a slow month still dominated by last month’s new releases.

Speaking more on the PS3, it seems the stock shortage was responsible for low sales, as once it cleared up, sales are way up. But I think a lot of the momentum from the release of the PS3 Slim has been lost in the last few month, and I don’t know who is to blame for it. It could be be because Sony underestimated the demand for the Slim (and the demand after the price cut) back in 2009, and sold all their future inventory during that time, and they’ve only been able to get supply to meet demand some 6 months into 2010. That’s the most believable scenario, but it still seems strange. Anyway, with stock no longer an issue. the PS3 is “expected” to outsell the Xbox 360 and maybe even the Wii, but that won’t happen until the excitement over the new Xbox 360 “slim” Elite dies down, probably just in time for Sony to launch Move. For Sony’s other console in the NPD data, the PSP, the news is less good. While it was up against the dismal May numbers, it’s still down 26% from a year ago, not as bad as recent results, but still bad. A PSP2 with some more innovation is what Sony needs right now.

For the Xbox 360, it was a very good month. The whole release process has been very well engineered by Microsoft. From the almost surprise announcement of the new form factor itself, to the really surprising announcement that it will ship within a week of the announcement, and the well designed nature of the new console (testing shows that it’s even more durable than the PS3 Slim), and the result is that it’s the second most popular console, the first most popular home based console, of June 2010. Let’s just hope Microsoft have plenty of stock of the new console, and won’t make the same mistake as Sony with their stock issues. And with news of a new Xbox 360 Arcade “slim” on the horizon, the momentum could carry the Xbox 360 all the way until Kinect is released, and that’s probably what Microsoft are counting on. I said at the start of 2010 that the Xbox 360 had to hold on to the lead it has over the PS3 until Project Natal, as it was known back then, was ready and Microsoft has done this and some extra. Of course, the PS3 stock did help Microsoft in this regard.

The Wii had another month of year to year growth, but that’s like comparing a poor month to a really really bad one. Well, not exactly, since it’s hard to say just what constitutes a good month or bad month. Compared to the PS2 lifecycle, the Wii is still doing very well. It’s only doing badly compared to itself two years ago, but Wii sales were never going to hold steady at those levels. So Nintendo will look at the year on year growth as a positive, not to mention the still healthy software sales (see below). The DS suffered another month of year on year sales drop, but this is like comparing a good month to a really really great one. When the 3Ds is released, Nintendo have another “great” month, I expect.

For software, not a great month for new releases as I had “predicted”. So we have lots of titles from last month still in the top 10. Interestingly, the only two new entries in the top 10 were all Wii titles, and both were third-party games. This is exactly what the Wii needs, for third party publishers to get a bite of the lucrative Wii trade, instead of always relying on Nintendo to come up with the goods. In fact, there are three non Nintendo produced Wii titles in the top 10 this month, although the best selling one was still a Nintendo production – Super Mario Galaxy 2. The continued success of Just Dance for the Wii actually bodes well for Microsoft I think, because Kinect will be able to do these types of games without breaking a sweat (unlike the people that are actually playing the game in question). Red Dead Redemption for the Xbox 360 held on to top spot this month, as did both of the UFC 2010 games. 6 of the top 10 were Wii titles, with two for Xbox 360 and two for the PS3. As usual, only sales figures for the top 5 are provided, and figures for the two new Wii titles are provided by Nintendo separately (hopefully Microsoft and Sony will catch on and also start releasing figures for the ones that don’t have it in the top 10).

Here’s the complete list of the top 10 software sales:

  1. Red Dead Redemption (Xbox 360, Take-Two) – 582,900
  2. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii, Nintendo) – 548,400
  3. Red Dead Redemption (PS3, Take-Two) – 380,300
  4. New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii, Nintendo) – 200,900
  5. Just Dance (Wii, Ubisoft) – 174,800
  6. Wii Fit Plus w/Balance Board (Wii, Nintendo)
  7. Toy Story 3 (Wii, Disney) – 164,000
  8. UFC 2010: Undisputed (Xbox 360, THQ)
  9. LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (Wii, Warner Bros.) – 136,000
  10. UFC 2010: Undisputed (PS3, THQ)

Time to make a prediction. The new Xbox 360 Elite fever continues, and there’s a good chance it will outsell the Wii (and PS3) yet again. So my guess is that the order of the hardware sales will remain the same for July, but with hardware sales generally down a bit compared to June as historically has been the case. As for games, Super Mario Galaxy 2 to rule in the absence of any real quality new releases. NCAA Football 11 should make the top 10, the Xbox 360 version outselling the PS3 version. How can I forget Crackdown 2, the sequel to the very first Xbox 360 game I ever owned. It should do well, but topping the chart? I don’t know about that (it’s already 39th in the sales charts on Amazon, and that doesn’t look like a rank that belongs to a number one title).

See you next month.


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