USA Retail Preview for September 2011 - NewsVGChartz Staff , posted on 10 October 2011 / 4,967 Views
NPD is set to release data for the USA video game market covering the five weeks to October 1, this Thursday at 6:30 PM ET. Data from VGChartz for that time period is already available.
September was a pretty good month for the US video game industry at brick and mortar retail, as Madden, Dead Island, and Gears of War 3 all sold pretty well. Nonetheless, hardware, software, and accessory sales were still a bit down from the levels attained during September 2010 in the USA. The month was essentially one huge release short, or several big games short of being up on last year even with Madden releasing in the period instead of in August.
Hardware sales showed positive and negative trends compared to last year. Wii and PS3 sold less than in last September despite costing less money, and overall hardware units dropped. DS, PSP, X360, and PS2 dropped too. Nonetheless, 3DS nearly made up all the difference, and so when bigger games start arriving in October to December the US might switch to hardware gains for a month as the declines lessen and 3DS growth accelerates.
Every console and PSP dropped 40,000 - 80,000 units year over year, with DS dropping far faster. Some of the drops are likely to diminish on a percentage basis over November and December though. System sales in the USA were 5.05m in November 2010, which will be hard to match, but December 2010 only grew to 8.48m, which is a bit unusual for how strong November was and can be matched if November 2011 comes to about 4m units of hardware. If Wii, X360, and 3DS combine for say, 5.5m-6m in December (down for Wii, up for X360, 3DS), 1.4m PS3s, 1m DS, and 300k PS2s + PSPs would result in a flat to positive month for hardware.
Software sales were pretty strong in September. A respectable 15 games sold over 100,000 units on a single platform, a figure which would be much more impressive if the month had been four weeks rather than five.
Gears of War 3 was the big title for the month. The issue is last September had an even stronger month one performer in Halo: Reach. The top games of the month actually feels very 2005-ish, with shooters and sports games dominating and Nintendo content pushed toward the bottom of the list. October should be a bit different, as Just Dance 3 and Kirby Wii will probably hit the top ten.
On a multiplatform basis we can see that EA had a very strong month with three sports titles performing quite well.
Deep Silver also had a good month, it is definitely a bit unusual to see a smaller publisher so high in the top ten. The multiplatform top ten should be almost completely different next month as Deus Ex, Resistance, NHL 12, Fifa, Madden, Gears, and Warhammer will all fall off pretty quickly from their month one sales in the USA. Forza, Batman, Kinect Sports 2, Battlefield, Just Dance 3, and Dance Central 2 represent a pretty broad range of gaming genres and should all end up selling pretty strongly in October so it will be interesting to see if hardware gets a nice lift from such a broad base of content. As October is a four week month, even maintaining the hardware sales of September in absolute terms would be a pretty big lift.
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