Monday February 21, 2011 5:21 pm
Nintendo Wii sales plummet by 31.5 percent from January 2010
January has just not been a pleasant month for video game sales. At least, that's according to new numbers released by NPD. Total January 2011 sales for gaming accessories, portable systems, and games for PCs and consoles fell to $1.16 billion from last year's total of $1.22 billion. And the $1.22 billion figure for January 2010 is itself a decrease from January 2009 figures, or $1.33 billion in total sales.
Breaking that number out a bit, hardware sales took the biggest year-to-year hit, dropping 8 percent from $353.7 million in January 2010 to $324 million in January 2011. NPD no longer splits this number out into publicly available data for the various console manufacturers; however, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said that Microsoft was the only big player to experience year-to-year growth on hardware sales.
According to Pachter, Microsoft sold approximately 332,800 Xbox 360 units, representing a year-to-year growth of 14.4 percent for the company. More than half of the systems sold were also bundled with Microsoft's Kinect accessory.
Nintendo, on the other hand, found its sales down 31.5 percent compared to the same period of time last year. That's a drop from 465,800 Wii consoles sold in January 2010 to 319,000 sold in January 2011. The company still leads the current console market with 34.5 million Wii units sold in the U.S., in total, with Microsoft's Xbox 360 coming in second place at 25.8 million, followed by Sony's PlayStation 3 at 15.7 million.
The PlayStation 3 experienced slight drops in sales between January 2010 and January 2011, only losing 3 percent of its total between the two years—276,900 consoles sold in January 2010 versus 267,000 in 2011.
Overall software sales also took a hit between the two compared years, dropping off 5 percent in total sales from January 2010's $606.8 million to January 2011's $576 million. The top game (physical media only) remained Activision Blizzard's "Call of Duty: Black Ops," which debuted (and shot to the top of the charts) in November of last year.
Accessory sales for videogame consoles were the bright light in NPD's monthly analysis. Sales increased a total of 8 percent from January 2010's $222.8 million to January 2011's $235.1 million. While there's no official split as to how the two biggest contributors to this total fared—Microsoft's Kinect and Sony's Move—Pachter notes that Kinect-based software titles outsold similar Move-friendly titles for the PS3, and Microsoft's console/accessory bundles outsold Sony's by a ratio of five to one.
This article, written by David Murphy, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of ZDNet.
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