Latest NPD results paint grim picture of current U.S. retail game landscape

Gamaustra- With the release of the March 2012 U.S. retail sales figures from the NPD Group last week, the search continues for a silver lining of any kind from that side of the market. It is truly grim if you're working in brick-and-mortar, and it's likely to feel that way for a while.

Hardware sales, for example, were down in practically every conceivable way. The leading console, the Xbox 360, fell from 431,000 systems to 371,000 systems, a decline of 14 percent. PlayStation 3 hardware sales were down about 9 percent from their total last year. PlayStation Portable (PSP) sales have utterly collapsed and Nintendo DS sales this March weren't even a quarter of the level they were a year ago.

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Dante1122792d ago (Edited 2792d ago )

Yeah, sales have really been decreasing in the US. All consoles are losing a little stream there. Microsoft sold 371k for the month and the PS3 sold 337k (only a 34k difference). Hope things pick back up. Wonder what the picture looks like overall for gaming in other countries as well though.

darthv722791d ago

arent sales usually down in the early spring months? Then the lead in to summer and e3 shows an increase in sales due to product announcements but obviously the biggest buying season would be late fall as it leads in to the holidays.

Saladfax2791d ago

I believe they are talking year to year though, not just the usual high-low periods of sales in the various quarters.

cynosure2792d ago (Edited 2792d ago )

360 will get a price cut at E3 and things will pick up again.

Tai_Kaliso2792d ago

There isn't a lot of games that are interesting the majority right now. I think if Sony announces God Of War 4 for later this year, the PS3 will sell more for that game, same with Halo 4 and the Xbox 360. I also expect a price cut from Microsoft for the Xbox 360 and Kinect because its been 3 or 4 years since we've seen one.

Nintendo kind of screwed themselves with the Wii U announcement last year. How could they have not known people would stop buying a current Wii in preparation for the Wii U?

That being said, if the Wii were to drop to $99 it would sell a lot. It would basically be an impulse buy.

Forza_is_King2792d ago

I don't think so. God of War 4 and Halo 4 won't sell consoles. Anyone who is a fan of either series would have already bought a console for them. Halo is still Halo and God of War is still God of War.

It's just the market is becoming over saturated with each of the consoles (especially the Wii) and we are now seeing declines with MS and Sony like we saw with the wii. 300K+ a month is still pretty high for Sony and MS at this stage in the generation, especially if you consider the PS2 is still selling, Sony and Nintendo have released their latest handhelds and mobile gaiming on phones and tablets are becoming more and more popular.

MS still has plenty of room to decreases prices for the 360 at least 2 more times before the next gen starts, or like what I think, they will just make one large price drop on the 360 just before or just after the release of the 720. Sony is in a much tougher position as they just dropped the price of the PS3 last year. I believe Sony will release their PS4 in 2014 which would be just around the time they should be able to make another price drop on the PS3. When the price of the PS3 and 360 reach that $199.99 price, we will see a spike in sales again that will then plateau and coaster with a slow and steady decline as new gaming customers with money then start choosing the PS4 and 720 over the 360 and PS3.

Tai_Kaliso2792d ago

I still think Halo is a system seller,always has been.

Some people who might not own a 360 could be enticed by a new HD Halo game featuring Master Chief.

Whenever a Halo game is released Microsoft always gets a nice bump in console sales as well. There could even be a special edition console that I could see selling really well.

The Wii decline isn't mere saturation, as the PS1 and PS2 have proven in the past, its that Nintendo jumped the gun when it came to announcing a new console almost two years before its release.

If Nintendo drops the Wii to $99, expect another boom.

As for Microsoft, they are coming off their best year ever with the Xbox 360 in 2011, so it makes sense that they wouldn't match that right out of the gate.

TekoIie2792d ago (Edited 2792d ago )

Halo 4 is a system seller. If you think otherwise look at the first xbox. It wouldnt have been successful had it not been for halo 1 and 2.

Halo 3 picked things up for the xbox 360 after Gears 1's release. Then look at halo reach's sales! On a single platform those sales are very impressive. I would bet money on the Nextbox getting a halo game atleast 2 years after its release.

Forza_is_King2792d ago

@ Tai_Kaliso

I understand your points as to why you think Halo 4 would be a system seller, and sure enough there will be "some" people out there that might buy a new 360 for halo 4, however it makes no sense that a new console owner at this stage in the 360's lifecycle would be buying a console for a hardcore game. A new console owner at this stage would be more on the "casual" side of gaming and thus wouldn't really be in the "know" about Halo 4 and it being HD let alone care. Halo 3, Halo ODST and Halo Reach have had millions and millions of $$$ devoted to marketing to make the Halo franchise known in households to those that wouldn't normally know or care about gaming or Master Chief.

If Halo 3, Halo ODST and Halo Reach wasn't enough to get a new console owner to have purchased a console for those games by now, then Halo 4 certainly will not, or at least enough to actually see a spike in sales worthy of the title "system seller".

Sales in November won't be too much of a difference compared to October. December is a different story as the 360 generally sells really well during the holiday season in North America so it will be difficult to determine if the holiday spike has anything to do with the release of Halo 4 launching the month prior.

Muerte24942791d ago

with you assessment of the situation. However, I think that the ps3 manage to sell 337k in it's worst territory says alot. I think we're going to see a price cut for the 360. I personally have already purchased (3)Xbox360s but still have my only ps3 since 2007.

Crap_Turtle2792d ago (Edited 2792d ago )

No need for more posts these are the reasons

1) All the systems have been out aside for the 3ds for some time

2) New game releases continue to much so, its becoming a very very pad problem. In past gens you would get close to 35 games a month.......this gen, its around 10........

3) The economy is still shit. People dont have disposable income

Machioto2792d ago

I disagree with 1&2,games have decrease is sells because,they lack variety,games are not grossly over priced and some are worth it while others not so much,I believe and seen people say there should be a lower priced point on games or a multi tier option.

2791d ago
Baka-akaB2792d ago

That's what you get when you fatigue your user base with meh shooters like Raccoon and Syndicate ... the bright sales spots of the trimester pretty much were rpgs

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