Nintendo's Year of Luigi is off to a cold start as the NPD Group reports that the Wii U still isn't catching on in hardware sales for the third month in row since the console's big launch back in November 2012. What's more, Wii U exclusive titles have yet to become a fixture on the NPD software top ten like select DS/3DS titles did last year.
NPD's video games industry sales breakdown for January 2013 confirms that Microsoft's Xbox 360 remained the top-selling game platform... for the twenty-fifth consecutive month. Microsoft itself has already announced sales of 281,000 Xbox 360s last month, while both Nintendo and Sony have yet to reveal sales figures for their own consoles at time of writing. For its part, Microsoft boasted that it feels pretty darn good about where the 360 sits compared to the runner-up. NPD itself would only note that Wii U hardware sales for its first three months on the market were 38 percent lower than the Wii's across the same period.
While the industry as whole enjoyed 9 percent year-on-year growth in sales for the five-week period ended February 2nd by NPD's reckoning, the market research firm cautions that their latest report actually covers a period of five weeks compared to the usual four. NPD analyst Liam Callahan explains were January's results to be normalized to account for this five-week period, overall retail sales (including console hardware, software and accessories) would actually be down 13 percent year-on-year. Yep, the whole double-digit year-on-year decline in sales story again.
On the topic of actual games, a lack of new challengers meant very few titles shook up the NPD software top ten compared to December 2012. DmC: Devil May Cry managed to break into the sales chart despite suffering from lower launch sales than Devil May Cry 4 in more than one market. What you can't see below is how Namco Bandai's Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch was similarly successful, barely missed the top ten to land in 11th place overall. Not a bad showing for a new property that was actually warmly received by critics and gamers alike!
And yes, Black Ops II was once again the top-selling title last month. Far Cry 3 did manage to climb to very nice second place though.
January 2013 US Games Industry Summary
Total Industry Sales - $667.76 billion USD (-13%)
Console Hardware Sales - $164 million USD (-17%)
Total Software Sales - $314.32 million USD (-19%)
Accessory Sales - $205.28 million USD (4%)
|1.||Call of Duty: Black Ops II||Activision||PS3 / Xbox 360 / Wii U / PC||11/2012|
|2.||Far Cry 3||Ubisoft||PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC||12/2012|
|3.||Just Dance 4||Ubisoft||PS3 / Xbox 360 / Wii U / Wii||10/2012|
|4.||NBA 2K13||Take-Two Interactive||PS3 / Xbox 360 / Wii U / Wii / PSP / PC||10/2012|
|5.||Madden NFL 13||Electronic Arts||PS3 / Xbox 360 / Wii U / Wii / PSV||08/2012|
|6.||DmC: Devil May Cry||Capcom||PS3 / Xbox 360||01/2013|
|7.||Halo 4||Microsoft Game Studios||Xbox 360||11/2012|
|8.||Assassin's Creed III||Ubisoft||PS3 / Xbox 360 / Wii U / Wii / PC||10/2012|
|9.||Skylanders: Giants||Activision||PS3 / Xbox 360 / Wii / 3DS||10/2012|
|10.||FIFA Soccer 13||Electronic Arts||PS3 / Xbox 360 / Wii U / Wii / PSP / PSV / 3DS||10/2012|
Update: CNET has reason to believe Wii U hardware sales only reached 57,000 units in January, which doesn't compare favorably to the 435,000 Wii consoles sold during its first January on the market waaay back in 2007.