The NPD Group provided a reminder this week that market growth is not guaranteed. The gaming industry in the US ended the year (2007) with record retail sales of nearly $18 billion. This week The NPD Group the industry-research firm released US retail sales data for the January 2008 period. While software sales for the month were up 11 percent to nearly $611 million, hardware sales fell by a quarter to around $378 million. Combine that with a modest decline in accessory sales, the industry overall was down 6 percent for the month, posting $1.
18 billion compared to January 2007's $1.25 billion take. Despite this, the month contained indications that the industry actually grew.
That was because the January 2007 reporting period was five weeks long as opposed to this January's four-week span. Analyst Anita Frazier said that the numbers are much rosier when this adjustment was taken into account. The big winner in the gaming market was console software which was nearly 50 percent up when compared to last year. Hardware sales were down and a lot of this was to do with poor supply that assertion was backed up by a statement from Microsoft saying the Xbox 360 was suffering from temporary shortages. Nintendo's longtime lead on its competitors was also slimmed. The Wii once again took the console sales crown, by a narrower margin than in previous months.
In a month that saw significant advances for the PlayStation 3's chosen Blu-ray disc format, Sony's system ran nearly neck-and-neck with the Wii, selling 269,000 systems compared to the Nintendo's 275,000. 3rd placed Nintendo DS racked up 251,000 sales, while the Xbox 360 and PlayStation Portable brought up the rear, selling 230,000 units each. Familiar faces dominated the software list, with Modern Warfare and Call of Duty 4 for the Xbox 360 once again beating all challengers, notching up 331,000 in sales. Another favourite Guitar Hero on the Wii and Xbox 360 took third and fifth respectively, Super Mario Galaxy on the Wii was sixth and the DS edition of Mario Party in ninth. THIS IS THE NPD GROUP's DATA FOR US GAME INDUSTRY SALES FOR JANUARY 2008 Category Total Change Video Games: $1.
18 billion -6% Video Game Accessories: $191 million -4% Video Games Software: $550 million +11% Video Games Hardware: $378 million -25% Total Sales Per Week: $295 million +18% Hardware Sales (units sold) Wii: 274,000 PlayStation 3: 269,000 Nintendo DS: 251,000 PlayStation Portable: 230,000 Xbox 360: 230,000 Game Software Top 10 (units sold) 1) Call of Duty 4: Modern Combat (360, Activision) - 331,000 2) Wii Play with Wii Remote (Wii, Nintendo) - 298,000 3) Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (Wii, Activision) - 240,000 4) Rock Band (Xbox 360, MTV Games) - 184,000 5) Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (Xbox 360, Activision) - 183,000 6) Super Mario Galaxy (Wii, Nintendo) - 172,000 7) Burnout Paradise (Xbox 360, EA) - 144,000 8) Call of Duty 4: Modern Combat (PS3, Activision) - 140,000 9) Mario Party DS (DS, Nintendo) - 139,000 10) Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games (DS, Sega) - 133,000 A statement from Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello is confident the company's revenue will jump to around $6 billion by the fiscal year 2011, with at least $900 million from digital revenue streams like downloadable content, in-game advertising and subscription fees. That would represent a growth of 71 percent over its 2008 fiscal year revenue forcast, which it expected to hit roughly $3.5 billion. Other new announcements made by EA yesterday included a release date of September 7 for Spore (and possible PS3 and Xbox 360 versions).
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