USA Retail Sales Preview for March 2011 - NewsVGChartz Staff , posted on 13 April 2011 / 5,133 Views
NPD is set to report data for the five weeks ending April 2, 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.
Late in March, Nintendo's newest handheld device launched. Sony also cut the PSP price on February 27, 2011 in the USA market. With Wii, X360, and PS3 continuing to see solid sales in the USA, the 3DS launch and year over year steadiness in PSP numbers, hardware sales climbed substantially in the United States during March, even though software units and dollars dropped off year over year. Accessories also remained up with Kinect and Move continuing to bolster the category. Figures are in millions of dollars - note that March is five weeks for 2010-2011, while February 2011 is only four weeks.
Industry revenue in the USA grew by nearly 8% from March 2010. While hardware sales were up for the month, figures would have dropped substantially had Nintendo not brought a new device to the market place. PS2 figures for February 2011 are estimated below.
3DS took what would have been a 430,000 unit drop for PS2, PSP, PS3, X360, DS, and Wii year over year and turned it into a 150,000 unit gain. If 3DS slows quickly as it has in Japan, negative figures could return to the hardware relatively quickly without price cuts. On the other hand, rumors put a Wii price cut to $150 in mid-May 2011, with PS3 & X360 price cuts about three weeks later at E3, so overall hardware figures may be positive for much of the rest of 2011 even with DS, PSP, and PS2 sure to decline from 2010 levels.
Software sales were quite strong in March 2011. With five weeks counting for the month, 20 games sold over 100,000 units (as did three bundled games for Wii and X360, listed as 'NR' or 'not ranked' below).
Pokemon Black / White sold very well in March 2011, and should remain a top seller in the USA on a monthly basis for some time as the DS base is over 47 million and still purchasing a fair amount of games. Homefront, Dragon Age, and Crysis each did well, and each could have lead a month without top-tier Nintendo software or strong third party competition. You'll notice that no 3DS games showed up in the top 20 for the month - but several just missed. Super Street Fighter IV, Pilotwings Resort, Nintendogs + Cats, and Lego Star Wars III were the early winners for 3DS in the US.
On the Kinect vs. Move battle, Kinect Adventures sales were 304,000 against Sports Champions sales of 54,000, and so Kinect likely beat Move by nearly 6:1 again in March in the US market.
On a multiplatform basis, ten games sold well over 200,000 units in March.
Several smaller publishers had hits this month. Zumba Fitness remains a big hit for Majesco. Homefront did quite well for THQ in the crowded shooter market, and the Lego Star Wars series remains quite hot for Lucas Arts. American monolith EA also had a strong month, with three top ten hits and several games that just missed. A fair number of sports and fitness titles were just below 200,000 units on a multi-platfform basis as well.
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