USA Retail Sales Preview for June 2011 - News/ 6,666 Views
NPD will be releasing totals for the USA video game market this Thursday at 6:30 PM EST, covering the five weeks ending July 2, 2011. VGChartz figures for the same period are already available. Based on VGChartz data, we expect NPD to report that weekly hardware sales increased marginally from May 2011 after adjusting for the extra week in June compared to May. Software and accessory sales also look up from May 2011. Nonetheless, June 2010 figures were much stronger across the board even with the recent launch of the 3DS.
Both June figures represent five weeks of data, while the May 2011 figure contains only four weeks of data. Software and hardware are both up a bit from May on a weekly basis mainly due to the Wii price cut lift and associated software lift.
In the image above, red figures denote estimated NPD figures. Pink percentages indicate month over month growth but declining weekly sales, as June to May sales should be up 25% (5 weeks vs. 4 weeks) to maintain an even weekly sales pace.
Given the change in the size of the month, Wii and PS3 were the only systems to see a meaningful increase in weekly sales rates over May. Compared to last year, Wii was actually down the least on both a unit and percentage basis as the May 15 price cut pushed sales to nearly flat levels against June 2010. This was somewhat evident in the data last month, as Wii jumped from an average sales pace of 43,000 per week in April to 59,000 per week in May. Since the price cut was announced May 2, and was only in effect for two weeks of May, NPD likely had Wii sales at 76,000 (38,000 per week) or so in the first half of May, followed by 160,000 (80,000 / week) in the second half of May. At just over 400,000 units in June, Wii still declined from last June, but Nintendo has projected Wii to be down in the fiscal year despite the price cut, so they are likely pleased with the results.
Sony's PS3, which saw the other substantial lift for the month, was driven by inFamous 2 and gift card promotions at retail to a 5,000 per week unit increase. PSP and 3DS were essentially flat against May, but rose by a couple hundred units per week. Microsoft's X360 fell by about 9% on a unit basis from May, in the absence of major core or Kinect titles. Hardware dropped by nearly a third from last year as well, when the X360 Slim launched with a clearance sale of older models. With the drop, Microsoft's X360 had sold about 7.07m units in July 2010 to June 2011, down a touch from the all time X360 12-month high achieved through May 2011 (7.21m). Nintendo's DS dropped pretty quickly this month as well, as Nintendo and third parties release fewer and fewer games for the platform. The DS is also quite saturated, as the system's base is set to pass 50m units in the USA by September or October.
Much of the reason industry revenue declined in June was the weakness of software sales. On a multiplatform basis, only nine titles topped 200,000 units in the USA, and some of them were partially bundled as some Wiis sold in June were the Mario Kart bundle, while others were remnants of the Wii Sports & Wii Sports Resort bundle.
Several games just missed the cut off, notably Just Dance 2, Mortal Kombat, and several other mass-market & sports titles released on many platforms. Take Two's Duke Nukem Forever game, in development since the British controlled Hong Kong, was the big miss of the month, and is largely responsible for the lousy overall software figures in June. L.A. Noir and Zumba Fitness in contrast both look major long term hits.
With the new Wii bundle, Kinect Adventures and Mario Kart Wii were the only major titles bundled with most to all hardware this month. Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort should probably slowly move down the chart in the coming months as their bundling percentage falls to negligable levels. This month marks the first time an individual 3DS title has charted in the single platform top ten, as the base of the platform had been too small prior to June to support big titles. More generally, leading shooting and dancing games continued to perform at record levels this month, with Call of Duty continuing to march towards 15m just on the HD systems in the US, and Just Dance 2 and Zumba Fitness showing little signs of slowing down. Microsoft's Kinect continues to substantially outsell Sony's Move in the US market as well, with Kinect penetrating two out of every nine X360s sold in the USA in less than a year on the market.
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