USA Retail Preview for October 2010 - VGChartz

USA Retail Preview for October 2010 - News

by VGChartz Staff , posted on 09 November 2010 / 4,333 Views

NPD will be releasing data regarding the performance of the USA videogame market November 16 at 6:30 PM Eastern Time. The data covers the four weeks ending October 30, 2010 (October 4 -30). Based on VGChartz data for the same period, we expect NPD to report the following information.

October Overview

As with September, October was a very strong month for software sales. Six video game franchises debuted to sales of over 200,000 units for the month in the USA. Some of these titles attained the 200,000 figure without even being available for the majority of October. Still even with major new titles (200k+ month one) to push Wii (Just Dance 2), the HD market (Fallout, Medal of Honor), X360 (Fable III), and multiple systems (Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2, NBA 2k11, WWE) and several other games debuting to just under 200,000 across one or multiple platforms (Castlevania, Rockband 3) hardware sales were down dramatically from October 2009 levels. Microsoft's X360 was the only system to post gains over October 2010 on a unit sales basis. Since hardware revenue dropped 40% from October 2009, the 9% gains in software revenues and flattish accessory sales for the month amounted to a decline of 11% from October 2009 levels.

HW is Down $200m!

The fall off in hardware revenue can be tied to the lower sales at cheaper price points for Wii, PS3, PSP, and DS in 2010 compared to October 2009. PS2 is down on a unit basis as well.

Big HW Decline

Since September 2010 was a five week month and both Octobers cover four weeks, Wii, DS, and PS3 all picked up a bit from their September 2010 average weekly sales paces. Wii went from 50,800 to 71,000 units per week, the largest increase month over month. DS went from 80,600 to 89,250 per week while PS3 jumped from about 62,400 to 71,250 per week. X360 fell about 2,000 units per week adjusting for the time difference. PSP and PS2 were also down slightly, although there no PS2 or PSP figures provided for September 2010 by NPD to the public, and so those declines are estimated. Year over year, all systems are down by at least 10% except for the X360. PSP is now dropping off almost as quickly as PS2 - Sony's older systems are trending to total perhaps 2m-2.3m units in 2010 in the USA about half of what they sold in 2009. Wii and DS are going to be down by millions as well, but relatively speaking the drops are much smaller as Wii and DS could drop by 2m a year each for another four years before sales would dry up completely, while PSP and PS2 would have stopped selling with such large ongoing drops years earlier.

November should see some dramatic improvements for hardware sales in most cases. Wii still has Sonic Colors, DKC: Returns, Epic Mickey, a Mario-Wii bundle, Goldeneye 007, EA Sports Active 2, Michael Jackson, and ongoing pushes from catalogue and big 2010 titles like Just Dance 2, Wii Party to push it up. PS3 and X360 have Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed, and Kinect / new Move titles. But with Gran Turismo 5 looking unlikely for November it is difficult to see November matching 2009 figures.

October 2010 Software

Based on Vgchartz data, the top thirty games in the United States performed quite well, with 18 games topping 100,000 units on a single platform. Overall winners for the month were Medal of Honor - since EA sold 1,200,000 copies on X360 and PS3 and Fallout: New Vegas since Bethesda sold 1,130,000 on X360 and PS3. In a strong third was Microsoft's Fable III which sold at 820,000 on X360. Take Two sold 560,000 copies of NBA 2k11 on X360, PS3, and Wii, Ubisoft sold 330,000 copies of Just Dance 2 on Wii, Lucas Arts sold 310,000 copies of The Force Unleashed 2 on X360, PS3 and Wii, while THQ sold 230,000 copies of its latest WWE title for X360, PS3 and Wii.

Figures below are scaled from the Americas data, to tally USA totals. Orange titles are new releases in October 2010, red titles are games released in 2010, and Blue titles are from 2009 or earlier.

Top 30 Games in the USA for Oct 2010

Within the top thirty, there are twelve X360 games, eight Wii games, eight PS3 games, and two DS games. Pokemon Ranger, NSMB DS just missed the top thirty and positions 31-32, and the top PSP game, Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep was right behind at 33. NBA Jam for WIi also just missed the top thirty, coming in at 34th place.

Several publishers performed very well in the top thirty this month. EA games sold 1.473m games just in the top thirty, and if you throw in all versions of Rockband 3, the figure jumps to nearly 1.7m.  Microsoft sold over 1.2m games, mostly from Fable III for the month. Bethesda also topped 1.1m games for the month, mostly from Fallout. Ubisoft sold over 400,000 copies of Just Dance and Just Dance 2 for the month on Wii. Nintendo sold over 750,000 non-bundled games in the top thirty, and almost all of its software should begin increasing next month. Take Two sold over 500,000 games in the top thirty. WB Interactive and Konami each sold almost 200,000 games in the top thirty. Lucas Arts was over 270,000. Activision and THQ had relatively slow months, but that will change in a major way in November. Square-Enix and Capcom, in contrast, appear set for fairly weak Christmas season sales in the USA after seeing poor October figures.

Contact Vgchartz at jmazel@vgchartz.com

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postofficebuddy (on 10 November 2010)

"also that 360 hardware number looks low to me. especially compared to ps3" Not really. Last month 360 was ahead by 170k and that was with the boost from Reach. A 70k gap doesn't look all that unusual without an 'OMGWTFBBQ!' level software and bundle release for 360.

z101 (on 10 November 2010)

@reach: "360 >>> Ps3 >>>>> Wii... On both hardware and Software..." Do not really believe this? Wii will be on top hardwarewise in November, December and January. Xbox360 second and PS3 last, as always

fallen (on 10 November 2010)

interesting that fable won october software. that will make 8/10 months so far this year a 360 title won. the 2 exceptions were nsmb wii back in jan and gow3 in march. October was one of the ones i wasnt sure 360 would take. this is the most months software 360 has ever won in a year easily. November will be another as black ops 360 will obviously win. december i'm unsure of, dkc for wii or even gt5 i guess could win, or it could be black ops 360 again. also that 360 hardware number looks low to me. especially compared to ps3.

Seece (on 10 November 2010)

toastboy how long have you been on this site? Our America numbers include Canada and SA ect, we exclude them for NPD comparisons ... Source you listed Castlevania twice for PS3.

AwesomeElmo (on 10 November 2010)

Nice summary. I have a question. Is Just Dance looking at this early stage to match the success of Singstar on PS2 as a franchise? Strong sales of the sequel certainly seem to suggest that it's picking up momentum rather than losing it.

toastboy44562 (on 09 November 2010)

crap fable 3 was overtracked by 100k

Reach (on 09 November 2010)

360 domination. November and December. 360 >>> Ps3 >>>>> Wii... On both hardware and Software... Kinect + Black Ops for 360 will do the job.