The report noted April marks the third consecutive month of a year-over-year increase in dollar sales for the hardware category.
The video-game industry
bounced back in April, with total U.S. game sales reaching $961.2 million, a 20
percent increase from the same period last year. Software sales climbed 26
percent, to $503 million from $398.5 million in April 2010, while hardware sales
rose 12 percent, to $280 million, from the same period last year. Sales of
video-game accessories were up 20 percent, compared with April 2010, totaling
$147.6 million, according to a report released by The NPD Group.
Hardware sales realized the
least growth at the category level. Unit sales were up 3 percent, with the
greater dollar sales growth being driven by an increase in the average retail
price. The Sony PlayStation 3, Sony PSP portable console and the Microsoft Xbox
360 console saw an increase in unit sales from April 2010. The Xbox 360
platform was the best selling of the month in terms of unit sales, followed by
the Nintendo DS portable console.
The report noted April marks
the third consecutive month of year-over-year increases in dollar sales for the
hardware category. For software, April 2011 represented the first month that
new physical retail sales of content showed growth in both units and dollars
since November of last year. The Xbox 360 platform generated the greatest unit
sales of new physical content at over 3.5 million units for the month, followed
by the Nintendo DS platform. The Nintendo DS, PS3, Wii and Xbox 360 platforms
all generated greater unit sales of content versus April 2010, the report said.
The best-selling game of the
month was Mortal Kombat 2011, which sold just under 900,000 units in its first
month at retail. Portal 2 was the second-best-selling game in April. According
to NPD's PC digital download report, the original Portal was the fifth most
downloaded game in 2010, and was available for free when Steam launched on the Mac.
The report noted Portal's performance on the PC, coupled with the success of
the Orange Box on consoles, "undoubtedly" helped prime the fan base for Portal
"New physical retail sales
of hardware, software and accessories showed notable growth in April, versus
last year. A 17 percent increase in unit sales translated into over 20 percent
dollar growth due to higher average retail prices," said NPD analyst Anita
Frazier. "Sales occurring in April resulted in 2 percent year-to-date dollar
growth for new physical sales, reversing the negative trend up until March. All
three categories experienced double-digit dollar growth compared to April
Frazier said Easter
purchasing occurred in April this year as opposed to March last year, and the
Easter timing shift could explain about $60 million of the growth, but even
accounting for that shift, sales of new physical product realized a notable
increase versus last year.
The company noted the analysis
as well as the data in the report pertains only to new physical retail sales of
games, hardware and accessories and not digital format sales or other methods
of industry monetization such as advertising. In 2010, new physical sales of
hardware, software and accessories comprised 77 percent of the consumer spend
on the industry, and if looking at content sales specifically, new physical
retail sales represented 63 percent of the consumer spend on games content, the