The NPD Group has released their monthly hardware and software sales report for the month of December 2008. The sales period for this month is the five-week period from November 30, 2008 to January 3, 2009. Nintendo was able to build upon its impressive November to show outstanding numbers to close out the calendar year.
December 2008 US Games Industry Summary
Total Sales - $5.29 billion USD
Hardware Sales - $1.88 billion USD
Software Sales - $2.75 billion USD
Accessory Sales - $662 million USD
The games industry saw great growth in 2008, in large part driven by the near-11 billion USD in software sales generated over the course of the year. This value eclipses the total industry revenue in 2005, as mentioned by NPD Analyst Anita Frazier. The 5 billion USD in revenue marks the first time the industry has earned the amount in a given month.
|Platform||Unit Sales||Unit Sales per Week||Year-to-Date||Lifetime-to-Date||Dec 08 to Dec 07 Unit Change|
|3.||Microsoft Xbox 360||1,440,000||288,000||4,748,400||13,889,000||+180,000|
|4.||Sony PlayStation Portable||1,020,000||204,000||3,829,100||14,247,000||-40,000|
|5.||Sony PlayStation 3||726,000||145,200||3,544,800||6,788,000||-71,600|
|6.||Sony PlayStation 2||410,000||82,000||-690,000|
The Nintendo DS, with 3.04 million units sold breaks the Sony PlayStation 2's previous record of 2.7 million for most units of hardware sold in a month, and is also the first system to surpass 3 million units in a given month. The Wii charted below the 3 million expectations touted by industry analysts, presumably due to the supply of the console, but still came in first among the four home consoles still in play. Nintendo's console marks itself as the first console to have ever hit the 10 million units sold mark in a given year. The Xbox 360 also had respectable sales this past month with 1.44 million units sold, putting it somewhat ahead of its December 2007 sales. For the year, however, sales remained relatively flat for Microsoft's console, with only a slight 2-3% increase year-on-year. All three of Sony's hardware systems saw a decrease in sales from December of 2007, with the PlayStation Portable still selling over a million units, and surpassing the PlayStation 3 for hardware sold in 2008. PlayStation 3 sales for Sony are disappointing, although still allowing a near 40% increase in sales year-on-year despite the drop in the past two months.
|2.||360||Call of Duty: World at War||Activision Blizzard||11/2008||1,330,000|
|4.||WII||Mario Kart Wii||Nintendo||04/2008||878,000|
|5.||WII||Guitar Hero World Tour||Activision Blizzard||11/2008||859,000|
|6.||360||Gears of War 2||Microsoft||11/2008||745,000|
|7.||360||Left 4 Dead||Electronic Arts||11/2008||629,000|
|8.||NDS||Mario Kart DS||Nintendo||11/2005||540,000|
|9.||PS3||Call of Duty: World at War||Activision Blizzard||11/2008||533,000|
|10.||WII||Animal Crossing: City Folk||Nintendo||11/2008||497,000|
The Wii dominates the software for this month, owning five of the ten spots in the December Top Ten, while also owning four of the top five on the strength of Nintendo's evergreen trio of Wii Play, Wii Fit and Mario Kart Wii, and supplemented by Activision Blizzard's Guitar Hero World Tour. Microsoft's Xbox 360 also has an impressive showing once again, with the console's version of Call of Duty: World at War reaching second place with 1.33 million copies sold, along with Gears of War 2 and Left 4 Dead also reaching good numbers. The other HD version of Call of Duty: World at War, for the PS3 also manages to chart in the top ten at 533,000 copies sold. The list is rounded out by two more Nintendo titles, the recently released Animal Crossing: City Folk, which sold 497,000 copies and the surprise appearance from Mario Kart DS, which released back in November of 2005, with 540,000 copies sold in December.
|2.||WII||Mario Kart Wii||Nintendo||04/2008||5,000,000|
|4.||WII||Super Smash Bros. Brawl||Nintendo||03/2008||4,170,000|
|5.||360||Grand Theft Auto IV||Take-Two Interactive||04/2008||3,290,000|
|6.||360||Call of Duty: World at War||Activision Blizzard||11/2008||2,750,000|
|7.||360||Gears of War 2||Microsoft||11/2008||2,310,000|
|8.||PS3||Grand Theft Auto IV||Take-Two Interactive||11/2008||1,890,000|
|9.||360||Madden NFL 09||Electronic Arts||08/2008||1,870,000|
|10.||NDS||Mario Kart DS||Nintendo||11/2005||1,650,000|
As it is the end of the month, the NPD Group also supplied the top ten for the entire year of software sales. Garnering the top four spots in this list are four Nintendo titles for the Wii: the Nintendo evergreen trio, alongside Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Wii Play, originally released in February 2007, is the top seller for 2008 in software, selling 5.28 million copies, and becomes one of the best-selling single-SKU games of all time in the US. Take-Two Interactive's Grand Theft Auto IV grabs two spots in this list, with both the Xbox 360 version, with 3.29 million copies sold, and the PlayStation 3 version, with 1.89 million copies sold, charting in the top ten. As it stands, Grand Theft Auto IV is the PlayStation 3's only entry in this top-selling list. Coming as a surprise, Mario Kart DS also appears on this list at 1.65 million copies sold in 2008, with the three-year-old game quietly selling copies under the radar until December. With the exception of Wii Fit and Mario Kart DS, these set of numbers represent each game's lifetime-to-date sales in the US.
According to Anita Frazier and other sources, music games continue to see successful sales, with Guitar Hero amd Rock Band representing 16% of total software dollar sales in December of 2008. In particular, it is the Wii version of Guitar Hero World Tour and Rock Band that lead their respective sales charts. For Rock Band in particular, the Wii and PlayStation 2 versions of the game are the franchise's leaders in sales, with both versions outselling their HD counterparts along with outselling the recently released Rock Band 2. The Wii version of Rock Band 2 which had released the week before Christmas has sold 150,000 copies, according to IGN. Nintendo has also announced that Wii Music has sold 865,000 units.
Expect things to slow down when we take a look at January 2009's NPD numbers a great amount due to the end of the holiday shopping season.