The gaming industry usually enters Q1 for the calendar year with a holiday hangover but according to the NPD Group, this year is off to a particularly atrocious start. Sales went right back to 2004 levels. We're looking at double drops year-on-year across the board for console hardware and software sales, which NPD's Anita Frazier largely attributed to a lack of new software launches compared to January 2011.
The year-on-year drop in console hardware sales matched that for software last month, though Microsoft still secured a victory of sorts with the Xbox 360 now enjoying its thirteenth consecutive month as the top selling console. Interestingly, sales momentum last month were such that January 2012's top three bestselling games proved to be exactly the same as December 2011's selection, namely Modern Warfare 3, Just Dance 3 and Skyrim.
Note that because NPD's reporting period for January ended on the 28th, titles like SoulCalibur V and Final Fantasy XIII-2 (both which launched on the 31st) were not factored in January's sales teardown. These titles will instead be included in NPD's February sales report, pitting both against new releases for this month including Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, The Darkness II and next week's Twisted Metal.
January 2012 US Games Industry Summary
Total Industry Sales - $750.6 million USD (-34%)
Console Hardware Sales - $199.5 million USD (-38%)
Console Software Sales - $355.9 million USD (-38%)
Total Software Sales - $379.6 million USD (-37%)
Accessory Sales - $195.2 million USD (-18%)
|1.||Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3||Activision||PS3 / Xbox 360 / Wii / PC||11/2011|
|2.||Just Dance 3||Ubisoft||Xbox 360 / Wii||10/2011|
|3.||The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim||Bethesda Softworks||PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC||11/2011|
|4.||NBA 2K12||Electronic Arts||PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC / Wii / 3DS / PSP / PS2||10/2011|
|5.||Battlefield 3||Electronic Arts||PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC||10/2011|
|6.||Madden NFL 12||Electronic Arts||PS3 / Xbox 360 / Wii / PSP / PS2||08/2011|
|7.||Mario Kart 7||Nintendo||3DS||12/2011|
|8.||Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure||Activision||PS3 / Xbox 360 / Wii / 3DS / PC||10/2011|
|9.||Zumba Fitness 2||Majesco||Wii||11/2011|
|10.||Saints Row: The Third||THQ||PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC||11/2011|