The successful launch of Microsoft's motion control Kinect platform for the Xbox 360 console boosted industry sales.
The video game industry enjoyed an eight percent bump in sales in
November, raking in $2.99 billion across hardware, software and
accessories categories. It marked the best November on record for the
industry, besting the previous record, set in 2008, by roughly $30
million. Microsoft's Xbox 360 console was the best-selling console
hardware system for the month, realizing a 68 percent increase over
last November. "November sales represent the best November on record in
terms of new physical retail sales," said NPD Group analyst Anita
Frazier. "It bests November 2008, and that time frame was at the height
of the music/dance genre sales."
The best-selling system overall was the portable Nintendo DS. Frazier
said it was a high/low story for the DS this month with the new red SKU
providing the most sales and the white, lower-priced SKU landing in
second place. Frazier said it appears the DS attracted two pockets of
consumers: those looking for a unique limited-edition product and those
looking for value.
"All categories were up over last year with the exception of portable
hardware and software," Frazier continued. "The 360 platform accounted
for over 40 percent of total industry sales driven by the successful
launch of Microsoft's Kinect. Xbox 360 accessories accounted for 60
percent of that categories' dollar sales this month."
Frazier said based on typical seasonality trends, new physical retail
sales should come in between $18.8-$19.6 billion--the higher end of
that range would essentially be flat to last year. Frazier said gains
in November offset a good portion of the year-to-date declines. "We
expect a big jump in sales in November due to seasonality and the
influence of holiday, but the change this November over October is
bigger across most platforms than it was last November," she said.
"This could point to the impact of aggressive retail promotions during
the critical Black Friday week."
Frazier noted that this data set represents new physical retail sales
only. "We have begun to report on sales realized through other channels
such as used game sales, digital distribution and mobile apps among
others," she said. "In the first half of 2010, new physical retail
sales at the total industry level accounted for approximately 70
percent of the total consumer spend against the industry, and while
that is likely to change when full year results are tabulated, it gives
some context with which to evaluate the portion that new physical
retail sales represents."
The success of Microsoft's Kinect platform-a motion control sensor and
hands free remote control system, led to the dramatic increase in Xbox
360 sales. NPD data showed the Xbox 360 Kinect was the best-selling
accessory item in November. With one month of sales, it is the
top-selling accessory item in terms of dollar sales on a year-to-date
basis. The 360 platform accounted for more than 40 percent of total
industry sales driven by the successful launch of Kinect. Xbox 360
accessories accounted for 60 percent of that categories' dollar sales
this month, according to NPD Group data.