With the upcoming holiday seasons marking the second year of the current video game console generation (3rd for Nintendo), companies like Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo are struggling more than ever to attract buyers. If September is any indication,the fall might be a slow for hardware adoption, but those numbers may be buoyed by strong software sales.
The NPD September 2015 Report (via VentureBeat) shows that hardware sales, which are primarily focused on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, took a slight drop-off, while sports-related games continue to thrive and may continue to sell throughout the holiday shopping season.
Numbers provided by The NPD Group indicate that consumers spent $1.01 billion on new games and hardware in the U.S., which is a 9% decrease from the previous year. While overall numbers are down, games that require special figurines, like Disney Infinity 3.0 and Skylanders Superchargers, fared very well.
The NPD Group also reported that hardware sales were down 27%, dropping to $313.5 million from the previous $431.2 million total. Game sales also dipped a bit, dropping from $480.6 million in the previous year to $465.6 million (a $15 million difference). However, keep in mind that Activision’s Destiny, which released around the same time last year, generated a big interest in upgrading consoles.
Even though these numbers sound like negative, the Group indicates that month-over-month statistics are still positive. The majority of hardware platforms increased their sales from August 2015 to September 2015 when comparing sales on a per week basis, said NPD analyst Liam Callahan. All eighth generation consoles [which includes PS4, Xbox One, and Wii U] experienced double-digit growth when comparing sales on a per-week basis.
Top sellers for September include 2K Sports’ NBA 2K16 and EA Sports’ Madden NFL 16, which both topped the list, with FIFA 16 in fourth place and NHL 16 coming in ninth. Four out of ten most popular games are sports titles, and they should continue selling well over the next few months.
Action games also did very well. Konami’s Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain came in third, followed by the new Destiny expansion The Taken King in fifth. Disney Infinity 3.0 and Mad Max came in seventh and eighth, respectively.
While most of the list was dominated by Xbox and PlayStation titles, Nintendo made an impression with Super Mario Maker, coming in sixth with well over a million copies sold. It is still one of the company’s biggest offerings for the holiday season.
Finally, Minecraft continues to be a big win for Microsoft, coming in tenth. Although the game has been around for quite some time, the Windows 10 Edition appears to have renewed interest in it.
The sales of games and consoles should pick up over the next few months, especially with heavy hitters like Star Wars: Battlefront and Halo 5: Guardians arriving at retail. Accessory-based games should also be big hits, including interactive toy games like Lego Dimensions along with the newly released music and rhythm games Guitar Hero Live and Rock Band 4.