NPD November 2008

NPD sales data for November is as follows:

Hardware Sales

Wii: 2.04 million
360: 836k
PS3: 378k
PS2: 206k
NDS: 1.57 million
PSP: 421k

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Software Sales

Overall Top 10 Video Game Titles

  1. Gears of War 2 (360) – 1.56 million
  2. Call of Duty: World At War (360) – 1.41 million
  3. Wii Play (Wii) – 796k
  4. Wii Fit (Wii) – 697k
  5. Mario Kart (Wii) – 637k
  6. Call of Duty: World At War (PS3) – 597k
  7. Guitar Hero World Tour (Wii) – 475k
  8. Left 4 Dead (360) – 410k
  9. Resistance 2 (PS3) – 385k
  10. Wii Music (Wii) – 297k
  11. Animal Crossing: City Folk (Wii)
  12. Fallout 3 (360)
  13. Rock Band (Wii)
  14. Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia (DS)
  15. Guitar Hero World Tour (360)
  16. Mario Kart (DS)
  17. Guitar Hero World Tour (PS2)
  18. WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 (PS2)
  19. Fable II (360) – 184k
  20. Madden NFL 09 (360)

Miscellaneous Numbers

  • LittleBigPlanet (PS3) – 141k
  • Valkyria Chronicles (PS3) – 33k

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Bullet Points

  • Wii set a new November sales record. Look out for another record breaking performance in December.
  • 360 posted a nice increase over October and also took the top 2 software spots for the month. Microsoft should be happy with their performance over Sony’s box.
  • All three PlayStation platforms saw a year over year decrease in sales.

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Analysis

If you’ve been following the Video Game industry for the past couple of years, you won’t be surprised to see that Wii took the #1 spot for November, but you might be a little shocked at the size of its advantage – 2 million units sold in a non-December month is a new console sales record.

Further, Wii software continues to impress despite a lower profile fall release schedule than 360/PS3. Wii Play, Wii Fit, and Mario Kart Wii (all top 10 staples since their respective releases) were #3, 4, and 5 respectively, and even the recently released Guitar Hero World Tour managed to outpace its HD counterparts. As an interesting aside, the original Rock Band for Wii managed to outsell the new Rock Band 2 for 360/PS3 – the sequel releases for Wii midway through December.

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Despite a large gap between between Wii and 360 in HW sales, Microsoft’s box managed a solid performance in November. Gears of War 2 and Call of Duty: World at War, both highly anticipated shooters, finished at #1 and #2 respectively.

While sales were in line with my predictions, I still wonder if Microsoft hadn’t hoped for a little bit more growth over 2007. Sales only increased 66k units (836k this month compared to 770k in November 2007), and though 2007 sales were propelled by Halo 3’s wake, that game released in September, and in many ways it’s impact was minimal by the time November rolled around (at least in regards to its own sell through).

Still, the future looks bright for Microsoft, especially in light of PS3’s stagnation. Their multi-pronged ad campaign should continue to generate interest throughout the year and into 2009, and consumers have responded very positively to the September price cuts.

Sony’s platforms had a dismal month. PS3 sales were down YOY (as were PSP and PS2, for that matter), and when compared to Wii’s and 360’s gains, it’s just hard to see a positive aspect in this month’s data. Software sales for Resistance 2 were solid but not spectacular, and October’s LittleBigPlanet, heralded by many as a game that might move some hardware the platform in a new market segment, showed disappointing legs with only 141k sold in its second month.

Price was no doubt a barrier of entry for a lot of consumers. With Nintendo producing a historic amount of lower priced (and more popular) Wii units and Microsoft finally hitting the 199 dollar sweet spot with their Arcade sku, PS3 just has very little unique value in the eyes of consumers.

For a long time, Sony has been touting the machine’s excellent Blu-ray, but that strategy lost traction in November as a number of standalone Blu-ray units sold for ~150 dollars throughout the month leading up to Black Friday. Consumers have associated PS3 with the Blu-ray format since launch, and while that may have provided an outlet for Sony to move some extra units, that association is now moot as lower priced players are finally in high supply. Even worse, it might be hard to shift consumer mindshare towards PS3’s game library this late in the generation.

As always, thanks to NPD and the community at NeoGAF.

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2 Responses to “NPD November 2008”


  1. 1 Tony December 11, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    Your hardware sales figures aren’t this month’s. Also, R2 sold 2.3 million? 😉

    Your predictions weren’t far off. It’s nice to see Wii Music at #10 and very solid sales for GoW2. I was wondering why you don’t do year-on-year comparisons for the sales trends?

  2. 2 Geoff December 12, 2008 at 2:01 am

    🙂 Thanks for the heads up. Rushed it a little, I guess.

    Definitely an interesting month, though these packed months really make me wish for the good old days where we got more than just the top 10. A full data set would be really illuminating.


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