Video Game Sales Fall 5% in May
The video game industry took another, more modest hit in May,
falling 5 percent over the same period last year to $823.5 million,
down from $865.7 million in May 2009, according to research firm NPD
Group, which tracks the industry. However, strong sales of two video
game software titles, Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Red Dead Redemption,
helped balance the industry. Overall software sales saw a 4 percent
boost compared with May 2009, to $466.3 million from $450.4 million.
Sales of video game accessories also saw a modest increase of 3 percent
compared with May of last year, rising to $115.7 million from $112.3
million. Hardware sales saw the biggest decline in comparison to May
2009, falling 20 percent to $241.5 million from $303 million. The
Nintendo Wii led overall console hardware sales with 334,800 units
sold, while the company's DS system led the handheld market with
383,700 units sold, besting Sony's PlayStation Portable (PSP) which
moved just 59,400 units. Microsoft's Xbox 360 moved 194,600 units,
while the PlayStation 3 (PS3) placed third in the console wars with
154,500 units sold.
"Although down this month, May sales reflect the third best-selling May
on record after May 2008 and May 2009. The 360 platform, across
hardware, software and accessories, contributed the greatest share of
revenue to industry sales for the month, and year-to-date," said NPD
analyst Anita Frazier. "The PS3 platform has enjoyed the greatest
percentage growth, with platform sales across hardware, software, and
accessories up 32 percent for the month, and 28 percent year-to-date."
Take 2 Interactive's Red Dead Redemption title took the top two spots
for software sales on the Xbox 360 and PS3 formats, respectively,
selling just more than 1.5 million copies, while Nintendo's Super Mario
Galaxy 2 for the Wii sold 563,000 copies. Nintendo's first-party
software took four of the top then spots in software sales in May,
while THQ claimed two spots with sales of UFC 2010: Undisputed for the
Xbox 360 and the PS3. Frazier said another measure of the increasing
importance of the digital world is reflected in the percent of sales
comprised by online-capable games. "For May year-to-date, 43 percent of
total software units sold were online capable, as compared to 37
percent for the same time frame last year."
She also noted NPD has started to measure consumer spending outside the physical new retail channel. In 2009 at the E3 video game convention, NPD reported that in 2009, there was an additional consumer spend in the range of $4.5 billion to $4.75 billion on games content via these other vehicles including used, rental, subscriptions and digitally-delivered content. "Our Games Acquisition Monitor and other consumer tracking services will continue to provide clients insight into these other avenues of consumer spend on games content," she said. "Moving forward, we plan to release a limited amount of this information into the public domain, either quarterly or semi-annually."