Game Consoles – 2010 NPD Sales Figure Year In Review

As promised, this is the 2010 year in review for US video games sales, based on figures provided by NPD. Due to the NPD withholding many figures towards the end of 2010, this year in review will be pretty short, with a sole focus on the hardware sales figures.

The total sales figures as estimated by the NPD for 2010 are as follows, listed in the order of best selling console to worst:

  • Wii: 7,069,900
  • Xbox 360: 6,764,089
  • PS3: 4,333,500

The major even that occurred in 2010 include the release of the Xbox 360 “Slim”, some Wii price cuts, and the release of Sony’s Move and Microsoft Kinect motion gaming add-ons for their respective consoles. Kinect and Move may have had some effect on PS3 and Xbox 360 sales, they occurred too late in the year to really make a huge impact for either console. But by far, the even that had the most impact was the release of the slim version of the Xbox 360, with took the industry by surprise when it was announced at E3. A picture tells a thousand words, or at least a few hundred, and the following graphs best illustrate the effect of the Xbox 360 “Slim” on console sales:

NPD 2010 Hardware Sales - Pre Xbox 360 "Slim"

NPD 2010 Hardware Sales - Pre Xbox 360 "Slim"

NPD 2010 Hardware Sales - Post Xbox 360 "Slim"

NPD 2010 Hardware Sales - Post Xbox 360 "Slim"

As you can see, the “Slim” had a huge effect on Xbox 360 sales, and it affected both PS3 and Wii sales. Before the “slim”, the 30.74% of consoles sold were the Xbox 360 (42.42% for the Wii, 26.84% for the PS3). After the “slim”, it was 39.56% (37.66% for the Wii, 22.78% for the PS3). Which shows that the Xbox 360 gains came more from the decline in sales of the PS3, than the Wii, although that’s simplifying things too much since each console’s gain/decline could be entirely independent from the sales results of the other consoles.

But looking at a single year’s results is too much looking at it in a vacuum – without looking at the past years’ performances, we can’t really see the big picture. And the following graph tries to plot the trend in sales, and why the Wii is in trouble:

Console Sales: 2008 - 2010

Console Sales: 2008 - 2010

The Wii’s steady decline is quite alarming, and shows just how close the Xbox 360 came to outselling the Wii in 2010, and if the early 2011 results are any suggestion, the Xbox 360 is set to become the best selling console in the US in 2011, surpassing the Wii for the first time since the release of Nintendo’s console. PS3 sales mostly remained level from 2009 to 2010, the actual decline in sales is only 1,000 units. The exact percentage changes are as follows (positive indicates growth, negative indicates decline):

  • Xbox 360:
    • From 2008 to 2009: 0.75%
    • From 2009 to 2010: 41.78%
  • Wii:
    • From 2008 to 2009: -5.67%
    • From 2009 to 2010: -26.31%
  • PS3:
    • From 2008 to 2009: 22.3%
    • From 2009 to 2010: -0.02%

The sales bump thanks to the PS3 Slim in 2009, as you can see from the above figure, is only half as big as that gained by the Xbox 360’s “slim”, although the Xbox 360 “slim” had a couple of months more than the PS3 “slim”. But it’s clear that Wii’s decline actually accelerated in 2010.

So what can we conclude from these figures? Nothing that’s not already quite obvious, that the Wii isn’t doing to well, while the Xbox 360 was the real winner of 2010, with the PS3 sales remaining completely flat.


One Response to “Game Consoles – 2010 NPD Sales Figure Year In Review”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    The PS3 specs boast the best console graphically and is chargeless to play online, doubles as a Blu-ray amateur and the PlayStation Move controller gives a wireless experience.

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