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NPD Totals USA Video Game Sales for July 2011 - News

by VGChartz Staff , posted on 12 August 2011 / 10,117 Views

NPD has tallied revenue figures for the USA for July 2011. The industry had a terrible month, with Wii, X360, PS3 and DS declining from June 2011 and July 2010. Overall industry revenue was at the lowest level since October 2006, the final month before Wii and PS3 launched, at a time when PS2 and GBA had similar penetration to what Wii currently has. The drop however is line with expectations for the month, as there were no huge software releases or hardware drivers.

NPD July 2011 Revenue

Not all hardware sales have come out yet, but the drop off in hardware was nearly $100m compared to July 2011. X360 lead the drop, although Wii and PS3 each fell about 60,000 units as well. The "HD Console" gains over last year could in fact vanish next month, as PS3 and X360 are now at almost identical figures to their combined pace from January to July 2010.

US HW July 2011 - Actual with estimates in red

Nintendo reportedly sold about as many 3DS and DS systems in July 2011 as DS systems in July 2010, so with DS said to be higher than X360 for the month, and the 3DS price cut revealed in late July, I've estimated 3DS hardware at 80,000 units and DS hardware at 300,000 units for the month. For the known hardware figures, July was a horrible month, with PS3 selling at its worst level since July 2009, and Wii falling to its second lowest month ever - behind only April 2011. The dearth of software and slowdown in the Dell + X360 deal compared to June also resulted in a big time drop off for X360. With Madden not arriving until August 30, and no major titles for X360, PS3 or Wii in August, hardware sales should remain lousy for a while longer, barring price cuts for X360 and / or PS3, particularly as the market is fairly saturated with 81.5m Wiis, X360s and PS3s sold to date in the USA against 70m PS2s, Xboxs, and GCs in the previous generation.

Barring a price cut and enormous Christmas season, it is also possible that X360 sales will peak at about 7.25m in a 12-month period in the USA market, compared to 8.7m for PS2, 10.9m for Wii and 4.9m for PS3, as can be seen below:

Wii, X360, PS3, and PS2 in 12 Months in the USA

Wii and X360 both remained ahead of PS2 in the aligned launch comparison above, although the seperation between the Wii and PS2, and the X360 and PS2 late in the X360 lifespan continues to narrow. PS3 continues to remain substantially behind the PS2 pace in the USA.

Software sales in the USA were pretty terrible in July 2011. Only eight games sold over 100,000 units on a multi-platform basis - even with an 80m+ current console base, the remnants of the PS2 base, and 70m DS and PSP systems sold.

1. NCAA Football 12 - Electronic Arts (360, PS3) - 796,000
2. Cars 2 - Disney Interactive Studios (NDS, Wii, 360, PS3, PC)
3. Call of Duty: Black Ops - Activision Blizzard (360, PS3, NDS, Wii, PC)
4. Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game - Disney Interactive Studios (Wii, NDS, 360, PS3, 3DS, PSP, PC)
5. Just Dance 2 - Ubisoft (Wii) - 120,000
6. Major League Baseball 2K11 - Take-Two Interactive (360, Wii NDS, PS3, PS2, PSP, PC)
7. Zumba Fitness: Join The Party - Majesco (Wii, 360, Ps3)
8. Fallout: New Vegas - Bethesda Softworks/ZeniMax (360, PS3, PC)
9. New Super Mario Bros DS - Nintendo (NDS)
10. Mortal Kombat 2011 - Warner Brothers Interactive (360, PS3) - 85,000

Those with good eyes should be able to immediately see the problems with the top ten games of July. Just Dance 2, Zumba, Call of Duty, Fallout, and New Super Mario all released before 2011 even started. The US market is simply not seeing the consistent flow of hits that flooded previous years, as consumers increasingly favor more established brands and franchises for each platform. August could in theory see more recent titles dominate the top chart, but even with 3DS likely to spike up substantially, its base is too small (still under 1m users through July in the US) to influence top level trends just yet.

Madden is usually the main driver of X360 and PS3 sales in August as well - and with title effectively a September release now, total August figures should drop off to exceptionally poor levels. Combined Wii, X360 and PS3 sales could end up at something like 550,000 units in August. September to November should rebound handsomely though particularly if price cuts for PS3 and 3DS (and possibly X360) go as planned, as the market is so starved of strong content right now that anything big and new should push more than its "true weight" as retail figures begin look due to regress to more normal levels.

It is somewhat difficult to imagine the USA console market growing by more than 50% from last generation however, and so saturation should increasingly become a major issue unless the Wii base migrates to X360 / PS3 en masse or the X360 / PS3 base migrates to Wii en masse. The US simply only has 115m people between the ages of 5-35 which I'd imagine is still the prime audience for video games - and some of them are in jail or asylums (8-12m), very poor or structurally unemployed (<$20k annually --> 15-20m based on the estimates I've seen), or uninterested in video games  - and so we may be approaching the point where even price cuts will have very small returns due to the hard demographic realities of the market even as multi-console ownership has increased tremendously.

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Ail (on 12 August 2011)

Got to say I have to give you credit for never giving up but come on man :"or the X360 / PS3 base migrates to Wii en masse" .
Keep going and you're going to make Monday Night Football pre-game show !
Besides you're totally ignoring what you kept telling us for years, which is that the Wii buyers are not traditional gamers and it's unlikely they belong to that 5-35 market so that market might not be as tapped out as you think...

  • +4
kowenicki (on 12 August 2011)

I know this is all a bit off topic. But I found an article on this.... the prison population in the US is 2.4m. So between 8 and 10 million are in asylums? I'm sorry but I dont believe that.

  • +3
jkudlacz kowenicki (on 12 August 2011)

It is not true, please do research before you start making incorrect statements, then you have kids telling their friends and parents that there are 8-12 million people in prison, how silly.

  • +3
Kai Master (on 12 August 2011)

That would be great to see a graphic of % US gamers per age as Nintendo does with its DS and Wii demographics analysis. No intention from VGC to analyze the US market ?

  • +2
z101 (on 14 August 2011)

if the third parties would have made proper wii games this year. the software sales would be much higher.

  • +1
Kai Master (on 12 August 2011)

"some of them are in jail or asylums (8-12m)" Stunning!

  • +1
kowenicki (on 12 August 2011)

8-12m US citizens in jail or asylums!!?? wow. is that right? thats incredible.

  • +1
Declan (on 12 August 2011)

What was the last release to drive Wii sales? DKC Returns? I'm amazed the Wii is still selling in the numbers it is with that length of neglect.

  • +1
hagelt18 Declan (on 12 August 2011)

Price drop and Mario Kart Bundle.

  • +1
kopstudent89 (on 13 August 2011)

The consoles are in horrible shape... wow! Hopefully the 3DS revitalizes things next month... but this is kind of depressing really

  • 0
reviniente (on 13 August 2011)

Somebody should ask Seece to produce a graph detailing the console ownership breakdown of people commited to asylums.

  • 0
Feniris (on 12 August 2011)

Good Article Source, but you did consider that many are looking to be multiple console owners right? (:

  • 0
loy310 (on 12 August 2011)

Yes, capitalism at its finest. The more people in prison the more money private prison owners make, no thanks to U.S politicians.
Bottom line, 8-12 million people in jail or in prison in a country with one of the biggest private prison system = corruption. We will throw you in jail if you pissed in your own backyard.

  • 0
kowenicki loy310 (on 12 August 2011)

Bit odd actually, The US prison population is 2.4m as at 2010. So I think this stat in the article is way off.

  • +2
jkudlacz loy310 (on 12 August 2011)

'As of January 2010, there were 1,404,053 persons under the jurisdiction of state prison authorities, 4,777 fewer than on December 31, 2008.'

  • +1
jkudlacz loy310 (on 12 August 2011)

As of January 2010, there were 1,404,053 persons under the jurisdiction of state prison authorities, 4,777 fewer than on December 31, 2008.

  • +1
Kai Master (on 12 August 2011)

"The US simply only has 115m people between the ages of 5-35 which I'd imagine is still the prime audience for video games" I think so too, no matter what game makers propaganda says (I've never seen 30+ gamers in my life and in France we start playing video games at 6 when entering school).

  • -2
kowenicki Kai Master (on 12 August 2011)

what!? I am over 30 and I have lots of friends who are gamers... all over 30 and many over 40. All gamers since we were young children.

  • +3
enrageorange Kai Master (on 12 August 2011)

While I haven't seen old gamers in my home country either, since I've moved to America I estimate half of my friends have fathers who play video game at least occasionally, and its probably more than that since the wii came out.

  • +2
Ail Kai Master (on 12 August 2011)

Well meet me !
I am 39 and I buy a dozen PS3 games a year....
And yes, I find the time to play them all!
Oh and I am french, but I've been living in the US for 11 years....

  • 0
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