NPD Totals USA Video Game Sales for July 2011 - NewsVGChartz Staff , posted on 12 August 2011 / 10,101 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.
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.
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 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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