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January 2009 NPD Video Game Sales

The January 2009 NPD video game sales data was released yesterday. Basically, NPD tracks the sales of many products and among them are video games and video game hardware. While these numbers are not exact, they do represent a pretty accurate count of total sales. Certain companies are not a part of the NPD count, like Wal-Mart, so NPD estimates the number of sales of those companies based on sales of those that do report to them.

 

Here are the sales for January 2009 video game consoles (this does not count PC video game sales or handheld consoles):

 


TOP-SELLING HARDWARE - JANUARY 2009
Wii: 679,200
Xbox 360: 309,000
PlayStation 3: 203,200

Clearly, Nintendo has a stranglehold on the market. With the DS and Wii they have been able to broaden the market of those who play video games. Some die hard video game players resent this fact, as they feel the games released on Nintendo's systems, do not sometimes really qualify as games. However, there is no denying they have opened this market up. And that really is a good thing.

Imagine die hard movie fans being upset because their favored style of movie wasn't the only one showing in theaters. No one thinks twice about that. Some like action movies, some like romantic comedies and so on. A field that has mass appeal comes in many varieties. This is now happening with the video game industry. And we have Nintendo to thank for it.

Xbox 360 hardware sales were also good and 33% higher than January 2008. They have recently tried to capture some of the audience that has gravitated to the Wii. And they have had some minor success with games like Scene It? Box Office Smash and Lips. I personally feel that Netflix streaming support is currently the killer app for the Xbox 360 and it will continue to help the console sell well. Which is ironic when you consider that games may not be the sole motivating factor that is contributing right now to the Xbox 360's success.

Playstation 3 hardware sales were okay and ultimately lower than January 2008 by 25%. Things currently don't look too good for the sales of the PS3. This mostly can be contributed to its high price tag, and no differentiating perception from the Xbox 360. Both these consoles are very similar and so when given the choice, especially in hard economic times, most people who decide to buy a console are going to buy the cheapest one they can find. I think that once the PS3 gets a reduction in price, you will see a good jump in its sales.

Now here is the sales data for the top ten selling video games for January 2009 (this does not include PC video game sales):

TOP-SELLING SOFTWARE - JANUARY 2009
Title / Publisher / Units*
1) Wii Fit w/ Balance Board (Wi) / Nintendo / 777,000
2) Wii Play w/ Remote (Wii) / Nintendo / 415,000
3) Mario Kart Wii w/ Wheel (Wii) / Nintendo / 292,000
4) Left 4 Dead (360) / Electronic Arts / 243,000
5) Call of Duty: World at War (360) / Activision Blizzard / 235,000
6) Skate 2 (360) / Electronic Arts / 199,000
7) Guitar Hero World Tour (Wii) / Activision Blizzard / 155,000
8) New Super Mario Bros. (DS) / Nintendo / 135,000
9) Mario Kart DS (DS) / Nintendo / 132,000
10) Lord of the Rings: Conquest (360) / Electronic Arts / 113,000

There's really only one thing that can be taken from this, and it's the apparentness of an expanding market.  Except for Skate 2 & Lord of the Rings: Conquest, all those games have been out for a 2-8 months, or in the case of Wii Play, Mario KartDS, & New Super Mario Bros.,3-4 years. That tells me that new buyers are coming into the market and buying up old games they know are good. It's really quite amazing that after all this time, some of these games can still sell so well.

So those are the numbers and that is my take on it. Hope you enjoyed it!

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