Game Consoles – June 2012 NPD Sales Figure Analysis

After a 2 month break, the NPD analysis is back!

As NPD no longer releases full hardware sales figures, this feature is reliant on the game companies, namely Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony, to release their set of figures, and then calculating missing figures based on “statement math” (that is, arithmetically calculate missing figures based on statements made). For June 2012, these are the statements made by the gaming companies:

  • “Nintendo sold more than 400,000 total hardware units in June and saw double-digit growth across each of its product lines compared to May. This includes more than 155,000 Nintendo 3DS systems, more than 150,000 units of the Nintendo DS family of systems and nearly 95,000 Wii consoles,” via Gaming Examiner
  • Microsoft revealed 257,000 Xbox 360 units were sold, with 47% of the home based console market share (source)
  • Sony did not reveal any figures for the PS3

A little bit of “statement maths” tells us that just under 195,000 PS3s were sold.

And so the figures for US sales in June 2012 are below, ranked in order of number of sales (June 2011 figures also shown when available, including percentage change – note that totals for the PS3/Wii are now only rough estimates, as exact figures were not available for all months):

  • Xbox 360: 257,000 (Total: 34.1 million; June 2011: 507,000 – down 49.3%)
  • PS3: 195,000 (Total: ~21 million; June 2011: 276,000 – down 29.3%)
  • Wii: 95,000 (Total: ~39.5 million; June 2011: 273,000 – down 65.2%)
NPD June 2012 Game Console US Sales Figures

NPD June 2012 Game Console US Sales Figures

NPD Game Console Total US Sales Figures (as of June 2012)

NPD Game Console Total US Sales Figures (as of June 2012)

This is the first time I can remember of the Wii numbers dropping below the 100k mark, but the 65% drop from the same time last year was probably not unexpected, considering how close the Wii U is to retail.

While the Xbox 360 continues to “impress” by winning the most popular home based console award, 18 month in a row now, its numbers were down a considerable 49% from the same time last year, which to be honest, was a fantastic month for the console (and the Xbox 360 was the only console then to record a year-on-year growth figure). A bit worrying is that the decline seems to have sped up in the last couple of months too, perhaps as a indirect response to the Wii U, but more so perhaps due to this time last year’s numbers being “above normal”.

The PS3 has the smallest year-on-year decline of all the home based consoles, but that’s not to say that it isn’t struggling itself. It’s still down some 36% compared to 2 years ago (Xbox 360 down 43% for the same period – although that’s comparing now to the then launch of the Xbox 360 Slim – the Wii is down 78%!), and it still doesn’t look like its ever going to beat the Xbox 360 unless the 360 is retired early by Microsoft.

It’s not exactly all doom and gloom, since we’re approaching the end of a cycle even if Microsoft and Sony don’t want to admit it publicly, but I think it’s safe to say that we’ve already seen the best of these three home based consoles, and the only way forward now is downwards for them all.

Numbers have also been made available for the PS Vita, which along with the PSP, only sold a combined 100,000 units. Compare and contrast to the Nintendo DS, which sold 150,000 units, and the 3DS, which sold 155,000 units, and you can see the Vita has been a disappointment for Sony so far. The sales figure also highlights a significant drop compared to the earlier sales figures for Vita, which can’t be a good sign either. I think once again, Sony has misjudged the market. Trying to get on the casual gaming bandwagon, while still offering hardcore gamers an exciting gadget, Sony might have ended up catering to neither market. They don’t have the expertise in making fun and casual games like Nintendo, everyone already has a smartphone or tablet that can do what the Vita does, and the high cost of hardware and software, proprietary formats and DRM, means that the Vita was already at a disadvantage before it was even launched. Still, the holiday period will be decisive and if the Vita can have a good one, and if it can have more linkage to the PS3 and other Sony devices, then it can still carve outs its own niche.

In game sales, it’s not exactly been another great month, with the top selling title on all platforms, Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heores, only selling 450,000 copies or so. Speaking of the Vita, what Sony also doesn’t have is a Pokemon like franchise to exploit like the DS/3DS is able to do this month with Pokemon Conquest, coming in at a high 7th for a single platform release (all other listed in the top 10 are multi-platform games). Here’s the full software sales chart for June (new releases shown in bold):

  1. Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heores (Warner Bros – Xbox 360, Wii, PS3, NDS, 3DS, PSV, PC)
  2. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (Ubisoft – Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
  3. Diablo 3 (Activision Blizzard – PC)
  4. Max Payne 3 (Take-Two Interactive- Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
  5. NBA 2K12 (Take-Two Interactive – Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, PSP, Wii, PC)
  6. Batman: Arkham City (Warner Bros – Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
  7. Pokemon Conquest (Nintendo – NDS)
  8. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Activision – Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PC)
  9. Battlefield 3 (EA – Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
  10. The Amazing Spider-Man (Activision Blizzard – Xbox 360, PS3, 3DS, NDS, Wii)
I don’t think I’ll bother to make a prediction. Firstly because I don’t think we’ll have enough figures to do an analysis next month, and secondly, the hardware sales order  will be pretty much the same as this month (and will be the case until the Wii U is introduced later this year).
See you next month?


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