USA Retail Preview for February 2011

by Jacob Mazel, posted on 07 March 2011 / 3,101 Views

NPD is set to report data for the four weeks ending February 26, 2011 this Thursday at about 6:30 PM ET. VGC data for this period is already available. In the paragraphs below, trends for the period are summarized.

With increasing sales for X360 and Kinect over January offset by some decreases in software and hardware, total video game revenue remained nearly flat from January 2011 in the United States. Revenue dropped off about 6.5% from February 2010 though on far weaker hardware sales for DS, PSP, and PS2.

Revenue Estimates for February 2011

With software sales similar to February 2010 and only accessory revenue at far higher levels than early 2010, the large drop off in hardware revenue could not be fully offset.

All Down but X360 Y/Y

In addition to the continuing declines for older hardware, Wii and PS3 were both down from last February. Both should see price drops shortly, possibly as early as April, and should perk up nicely. Sony's PS2 might benefit from a price cut to $70 or $50 as well as the ongoing sales of PS2 should begin dropping off even more quickly as Wii, PS3, and possibly X360 come down in price later this year.

March, a five week month, has real potential to see dramatically higher sales on a weekly basis than January and February, as Pokemon Black / White - which could sell 3 million units or more in a month - the PSP price cut to $130 from $170, and the 3DS launch help breathe life into the market.

Software sales in February were fairly strong overall, but not particularly good for top titles. On an individual platform basis, top titles sold less than 300,000 units for the month.

Top 20 Games of February 2011 & Motion Bundles

Ubisoft's monolith, Just Dance 2, which is rapidly closing in on becoming the top selling third party game on a Nintendo system since 1983, was the top selling game on a single platform this week. Other Ubisoft dancers, Just Dance 1, and Michael Jackson also sold well on Wii during February. Just Dance Kids, at about 50,000 units, would have charted in a top 50. Ubisoft sold about 550,000 dancing games on Wii overall, but the genre is now rewarding other publishers. Zumba Fitness, combining dancing and fitness, sold 182,000 units across Wii, X360 and PS3. MTV Games also sold 95,000 units of Dance Central for Kinect-enabled X360s. These major dancing games  alone accounted for over 5% of all software sales in February, and with smaller titles included the figure is closer to 8%.

As far as the ongoing "motion battle" goes, Microsoft sold about nine Kinects for every two Moves Sony sold. Kinect sales, judging by Wii Sports and Kinect Adventures (bundled with X360 and with Kinect itself for existing X360 users), were about 90% of Wii hardware sales.

On a multi-platform basis, five games topped 200,000 units. Of the largest multiplatform games, five had Motion Control ability of some sort, suggesting publishers have been playing the Wii, X360, and PS3 bases well in early 2011.

Zumba, Black Ops, Bullets and Driving...

A number of somewhat smaller publishers, Atari, Majesco, and Capcom - each had pretty big hits in the USA this month. Nintendo, EA, Ubisoft, Activision, and Sony also had good months. Sony's LittleBigPlanet 2 was the 11th biggest title on a mutliplatform basis, just 1,000 units behind Wii Fit Plus. Next month's multiplatform chart should have more of a Nintendo-platform orientation to it, as Pokemon Black / White and 3DS launch games arrive. Moreover, if Pokemon Black / White pushes DS hardware, titles like NSMB DS and Mario Kart DS, which track directly with DS hardware should also return to the top 20 single-platform chart and perhaps even to the multiplat chart.

Contact VGChartz at jmazel@vgchartz.com


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6 Comments

Michael-5 (on 10 March 2011)

NSS7 - different consoles return different levels of revenue. Wii returns Nintendo I believe over $100 per console sold, but PS3 only returns Sony $10 per console sold. MS is somewhere inbetween. However a 5% drop for Wii to be greater then a 38% gain on the DS, and a 28% gain on the 360? WTH?


Michael-5 (on 10 March 2011)

360 is the only hardware to gain from 2010, and everyone else is down. If this is 360's peak year, that will just be ridiculous.. I hope 360 does well, not because I like MS, but because it increases competition for next gen, which will in the end give us better products.


ljlrj (on 08 March 2011)

Pokemon murdered march


dsage01 (on 08 March 2011)

@Galaki kinect adventures ONLY come in bundles whereas sports champions doesn't always come in a bundle!


Galaki (on 08 March 2011)

9:2 Kinect:Move? That's quite a large margin.


NSS7 (on 07 March 2011)

Why hardware revenue down from January 11 to February 11 while sales up 20% ?