The video game industry saw its own brand of April showers thanks to an relatively understated software lineup last month. The NPD Group confirms that total North American retail sales for the month of April fell 32 percent year-on-year, with double digit drops across both console hardware and software sales.
NPD analyst Anita Frazier pointed to this year's early Easter weekend as a contributing factor to the slow retail performance; sales generated during this period typically contribute an additional 10 percent to the industry bottom line for April, but that didn't really play a major factor this year thanks to the long weekend falling much earlier in the month.
The big winner on the console hardware front continues to be Microsoft with their Xbox 360 claiming an excellent 47 percent share of the market during April. The Xbox 360-exclusive Kinect Star Wars similarly lit up the software sales charts to become the second bestselling title last month, topped only by the well-received Prototype 2.
The Xbox 360 port of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings helped the former PC-exclusive title garner some serious cred, to the point where it landed on the NPD Group's software top ten. Not a bad showing for the franchise on console.
April 2012 US Games Industry Summary
Total Industry Sales - $630.4 million USD (-32%)
Console Hardware Sales - $189.7 million USD (-32%)
Console Software Sales - $292.1 million USD (-42%)
Total Software Sales - $307.2 million USD (-42%)
Accessory Sales - $148.6 million USD (+1%)
|1.||Prototype 2||Activision||PS3 / Xbox 360||04/2012|
|2.||Kinect Star Wars||Microsoft Game Studios||Xbox 360||04/2012|
|3.||Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3||Activision||PS3 / Xbox 360 / Wii / PC||11/2011|
|4.||Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13||EA Sports||PS3 / Xbox 360||03/2012|
|5.||NBA 2K12||2K Sports||PS3 / Xbox 360 / Wii / PC / PSP / PS2||10/2011|
|6.||The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings||Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment||Xbox 360 / PC||04/2012|
|7.||Mario Party 9||Nintendo||Wii||03/2012|
|8.||Mass Effect 3||Electronic Arts||PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC||03/2012|
|9.||Just Dance 3||Ubisoft||PS3 / Xbox 360 / Wii||10/2011|
|10.||MLB 12: The Show||Sony Computer Entertainment||PS3 / PSV||03/2012|