NPD Reports USA Videogames Sales for January 2009

by Jacob Mazel, posted on 12 February 2009 / 6,102 Views

Jacob Mazel

 

NPD has totaled videogame sales for the USA over the four weeks ending January 31, 2009. Once again, as expected , Nintendo managed to sell record volumes of both videogame hardware and software even as the American unemployment rate crept toward double digits. The company sold 1.2m Wii and DS systems in the USA according to NPD figures. Vgchartz had estimated 1.3m Nintendo systems in the USA for the month. Sony managed to sell 476,000 PS2s, PS3s, and PSPs in January, against the VGC US prediction of 570,000 units. Microsoft sold 309,000 Xbox 360s in January according to NPD, against 340,000 predicted by VGC.

 

Plat

10-Jan

17-Jan

24-Jan

31-Jan

Americas

VG US Est

NPD USA

Wii

106,266

140,924

263,096

318,863

829,149

746,234

679,200

DS

105,860

109,055

169,539

240,014

624,468

562,021

510,800

X360

103,281

76,926

82,123

116,543

378,873

340,986

309,000

PSP

68,592

55,506

57,855

87,189

269,142

242,228

172,300

PS3

72,395

52,841

53,223

65,269

243,728

219,355

203,200

PS2

34,203

27,752

26,875

31,542

120,372

108,335

101,200

 

Some quick internet sleuthing reveals that the most units a videogame system had sold in January was 490,000 by NPD USA figures. PS2 set that record in 2005, but both DS (510,800) and Wii (679,200) beat that figure significantly this month. The January PS2 record was also after the notorious 2004 Christmas season when PS2s were in very short supply across the USA. When the PS2s alloted for Christmas finally arrived in January 2005, after marginally losing the December 2004 sales race to Microsoft's Xbox, Sony had a banner January instead of a great December.

Edit:

Some more internet sleuthing reveals that by NPD figures, Nintendo now has all 12 monthly hardware sales records (by units sold). The distribution of records is as follows as of January 2009:

 

January

679,200

   Wii

2009

February

587,600

   DS

2008

March

720,000

  Wii

2008

April

714,000   

Wii  

2008

May

675,100

  Wii

2008

June

870,000  

 GBA* 

2001

July

608,400 

  DS 

2008

August

518,300

   DS

2008

September

687,000

   Wii

2008

October

803,000

   Wii

2008

November

2,040,000

   Wii

2008

December

3,040,000

   DS

2008

Month

NPD Rec.

Platform

Year

Launch Months * GBA

Even excluding the GBA launch month, DS has the June monthly record, with 783,000 units sold in June 2008.

With the exception of the PSP, all figures are within 10% for the USA. In January 2008, NPD reported these hardware sales:

 

Wii

274,000

Xbox 360

230,000

PS3

269,000

DS

251,000

PSP

230,000

PS2

264,000

 

Year over year, the five Wiis were sold in January 2009 for every two Wiis sold in January 2008. Xbox 360 saw a 34% jump year over year on the ongoing momentum from price drops last fall. PS3 saw a 25% year over year drop from January 2008 to January 2009 largely because it did not have a price cut in 2008. PSP had a nearly identical drop year over year (by %) and for the same reason. PS2 sales are declining rapidly now, with the system selling 38% as well as it did last January. DS, with increased supply more than doubled its sales year over year despite the fact that 2009 is the fifth January on the market for the portable.

 

January sales in 2008 accounted for the following percentages of 2008 sales using NPD sales:

 

Platform

Jan. 2008

2008 Total

Jan/2008 Total

Wii

274,000

10,157,100

3%

Xbox 360

230,000

4,735,200

5%

PS3

269,000

3,544,800

8%

DS

251,000

9,951,500

3%

PSP

230,000

3,829,300

6%

PS2

264,000

2,501,300

11%

 

On average then, hardware sales for all of 2009 could be as much as 15 to 20 times the totals seen in January. If that is the case for all six platforms in 2009, total sales for the year could easily look like this:

 

Platform

Ja. 2009

Jan * 17

Wii

679,200

11,546,400

DS

510,800

8,683,600

X360

309,000

5,253,000

PS3

203,200

3,454,400

PSP

172,300

2,929,100

PS2

101,200

1,720,400

 

Price cuts, big games and the recession will influence whether the final figures for the year end up close to those above, but against the context of last year it doesn’t look completely unreasonable. All of the numbers above could easily be 30% higher with the right kind of push.

 

For January, NPD reported that the following games were the top sellers for the month:

 

Game (NPD – US Only)

Publisher

Platform

USA Sales

1

Wii Fit

Nintendo

Wii

777,000

2

Wii Play

Nintendo

Wii

415,000

3

Mario Kart Wii

Nintendo

Wii

292,000

4

Left 4 Dead

EA

X360

243,000

5

Call of Duty: World at War

Acti-Bl

X360

235,000

6

Skate 2

EA

X360

199,000

7

Guitar Hero: World Tour

Acti-Bl

Wii

155,000

8

New Super Mario Brothers

Nintendo

DS

135,000

9

Mario Kart DS

Nintendo

DS

132,000

10

Lord of the Rings: Conquest

EA

X360

113,000

 

For the Americas, Vgchartz had reported the following top ten over the same period, with the caveat that multiplying by 0.9 is necessary to estimate for the USA market alone.

 

Game

Publisher

Platform

Americas Sales

1

Wii Fit

Nintendo

Wii

896,198

2

Wii Play

Nintendo

Wii

406,473

3

Mario Kart Wii

Nintendo

Wii

379,142

4

Call of Duty: World at War

Acti-Bl

X360

306,728

5

Gears of War 2

Microsoft

X360

165,230

6

Call of Duty: World at War

Activision

PS3

164,678

7

Rockband 2

EA

Wii

148,068

8

Mario Kart DS

Nintendo

DS

147,212

9

New Super Mario Brothers

Nintendo

DS

146,970

10

Guitar Hero: World Tour

Acti-Bl

Wii

144,559

 

The return of the 2005 DS titles to both top ten lists is a reflection of two trends. First, Nintendo has begun re-advertising some of the older DS mega hits to new demographics. Secondly, these titles maintain a fairly steady attach rate to the DS itself, so when DS sales are high and console sales are low a 25%-30% attach rate is enough to return the old titles to the top ten. Had any of the consoles sold at a higher clip in January, the DS titles would not have appeared. For instance if Wii Music and Mario & Sonic sell to 20% of all new purchasers, then each game sold 135,000 units this month, missing the top ten by a slim margin. But if each game sells to 20% of all new purchasers and Wii had sold 800,000 units, one of the DS titles would have been pushed out. When key games begin to sell at a lower attach rate to new users platform demand begins to dry up.

 

One minor surprise for the month is the disappearance of Gears of War 2 after quickly becoming a platinum level hit in November and December.

 

Next month has a fairly healthy slate of releases, so it should be interesting to see if Nintendo, Actvision-Blizzard and Electronic Arts can maintain their death grip on the top ten.

 

Contact Vgchartz at jmazel@vgchartz.com


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XanderZane (on 14 February 2009)

Impressive numbers for January and the fact that we are in a recession.The economy is shot, yet games and consoles are still selling better this year, then last. Well, except for the PS3, of course. The PS3 appears to have been completely outsold by the competition last year. Only a price cut will give it the boost it needs to start gaining some ground back. The Wii and PS3 are beasts when it comes to selling software. Left 4 Dead is a huge hit and CoD will be on the charts for awhile. Where is LBP and Resistance 2? Were they even in the Top 20 for sales?


Wiintendo (on 13 February 2009)

I read on IGN that the NPD numbers don't account for Wal Mart sales, so the VGChartz estimates are probably closer to accurate. http://wii.ign.com/articles/954/954073p1.html [second paragraph] "Based on numbers released by the NPD group (which doesn't even cover Wal-Mart, mind you)"


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Japan numbers for First Day sealing are amazing, one DS game kick Street fighter 4 in the ass.


Darth Tigris (on 13 February 2009)

@fastyxx "No one knows which is really accurate until we see financials." You know, thank you for saying that. Its really the closest we'll ever get to 'actual' figures.


Timmah! (on 13 February 2009)

Wait, wasn't the recession supposed to hit Nintendo the hardest? At least that's what some on this site have been saying...


Prologuer (on 13 February 2009)

Impressing the records by month of Nintendo !


Slimebeast (on 13 February 2009)

Amazing X360 sales - 35% increase over Jan 2008! It's becoming the PS2 of this gen in America. Nice to see four X360 games in the top 10 - the X360 truly is the software king. Not much discrepancy between VGC and NPD by the way.


Goddbless (on 13 February 2009)

Left 4 Dead may need some adjustments. I also need to buy it to see what all the fuss is about.


TheSource (on 13 February 2009)

You didn't multiply the Americas figures by 0.9 Truckasaurus. Wii Fit for instance we had at about 806,000 in the USA when you take out Canada and the other markets by scaling down the data to just US


tyig (on 13 February 2009)

L4D is gonna have FREE DLC !!!!


mike_intellivision (on 13 February 2009)

I always look at the NPD figured with a bit of skepticism because I think they may still be using older models to calculate sales. This is especially a problem when you don't have real data from Wal-Mart or Toys R Us -- two big sellers of Nintendo products (compared to Sony or Microsoft). Still, big month for the Big N. Mike from Morgantown


goddog (on 13 February 2009)

ive got to say i think cheap left for dead week helped it alot, it was 39.99 for a week at our game stops back in early january and damned if it was not impossible to find went to 5 gs before i found a copy. great party game though


TheTruthHurts! (on 13 February 2009)

L4D is awesome, it is nice to see those sales numbers. Numbers a bit off in a few categories, but awesome job by VG Chartz as always.


brendin24 (on 13 February 2009)

go lord of the rings conquest. The bad reviews havent hindered the sales too much


DirtyP2002 (on 13 February 2009)

Not one single PS3-game. wow. Left 4 Dead needs some serious adjustments.


regin2005 (on 13 February 2009)

Nice sales


TruckOSaurus (on 13 February 2009)

Software figures are way off this month even for the titles that are at the right position: Wii Fit 896,000 - 777,000 = 119,000 overtracked MK Wii 379,000 - 292,000 = 87,000 overtracked Left 4 Dead (not in the top 10) CoD WaW X360 306,000 - 235,000 = 71,000 overtracked Skate 2 (not in the top 10)


XiaoMay (on 13 February 2009)

Wii is exploding !


Esmoreit (on 13 February 2009)

Nintendo PR spins says: 20/30 of the top 30 is nintendo. I have not read or found the Sony spin yet but... how can they spin a year over year decline, a month over month decline, and not a single game in the top 10?


Euphoria14 (on 13 February 2009)

Gotta give credit where it is due. Good job L4D.


NNN2004 (on 13 February 2009)

i wonder whats so special in L4D ? hmm i think i should get it and know by myself.


FaRmLaNd (on 13 February 2009)

Valve 4 life


Cueil (on 13 February 2009)

L4D earns it's place... Valve did a awesome job


eliasg (on 13 February 2009)

360 is gaining more ground in the HD war...


sega4life (on 13 February 2009)

Wii, 360, DS, top selling Software for January... L4D, Skate2..... not on VG list?


Cheat1011 (on 13 February 2009)

Holy shit, L4D outsold COD: WAW.


NobleMaN (on 13 February 2009)

A bunch of titles crazy undertracked. I think the tracking team is smokin that purple Kmart crack again. What happened guys you're usually a bit more in agreement than this?


fastyxx (on 12 February 2009)

360 software undertracked on VGC, PS3 software overtracked. Shocking. It's an even bigger gap than we thought. Hardware numbers much more accurate - or, I should say, in agreement. No one knows which is really accurate until we see financials.


Pyramid Head (on 12 February 2009)

L4D aint surprising, great pedigree, great game, great reviews, cool eye catching concept/box


griffinA (on 12 February 2009)

what's the top 30?


Jackson50 (on 12 February 2009)

Left4Dead's numbers are surprising.


--OkeyDokey-- (on 12 February 2009)

Holy crap @ L4D.


Maynard_Tool (on 12 February 2009)

Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn!!!! O.o Wii kicks ass, DS follows and X360 gives the last punch. Look at that top 10 Wii: 4 X360: 4 DS: 2 Sony: (crickets singing to the beat of the song....)


SleepWaking (on 12 February 2009)

It seems Left 4 Dead is heavily undertracked.


MANUELF (on 12 February 2009)

Is LOTRC 360 not PS3