The NPD numbers are in for August, and although August was a slow month this year, the gaming industry is still looking solid. "August industry sales remain strong and realized a nine percent gain over last August, although the month posted the first single-digit percentage growth in 27 months," NPD analyst Anita Frazier wrote… before then saying the industry is up 32 percent year-to-date. With the current state of the economy, any growth is to be celebrated, and the strength of the gaming industry is notable.
Let's take a look at how everyone did last month.
The Xbox 360 sold 195,200 units last month, taking the lead back from Sony. We'll have to wait until next month to see what the price drop will do for sales. The 360 also took home the number one slot in the software sales charts: Madden '09 sold one million units on Microsoft's box. Soul Calibur IV came in seventh place with 174,000 units sold, and Too Human came in eighth place with 168,200 units sold, despite tepid reviews. But hey, we liked it.
The PS3 may be right behind Microsoft in sales, but the 360 continues to prove it can move software with a vengeance.
The PlayStation 3 sold 185,400 units in August, but the PlayStation Portable sold 253,000 units, and the the PS2 sold 144,100 units. While Nintendo blows those numbers out of the water, Sony has to be happy with its suite of systems doing so well overall; between the three pieces of hardware Sony has on the market there isn't much of a weak link.
Sony had one lone entry in the software sales charts, with Madden '09 on the PS3 selling 643,000 units. Microsoft may have beaten it handily, but that's nothing to scoff at. Madden owns the top three slots in software in August, on the 360, the PS3, and the PS2 respectively. The big win for Microsoft is that Madden sold better on the 360 than the PS3 and PS2 combined. The big win for Sony is that it charts a big-name third party title twice. The big win for EA is that people continue to buy Madden in huge numbers. Everyone can spin this in a positive way, and they will, but the truth is Madden is simply a great thing for the business of gaming.
It shouldn't be shocking that Nintendo is selling way more than anyone else on the list. The Wii sold 453,000 units, the DS sold 518,300 units, and the expected parties are on the top ten software sales. Wii Fit comes in at number four after the Maddens with 394,900 sold, Mario Kart Wii is in fifth place with 328,700 sold, and Wii Play is in sixth place with 200,200 sold. Madden '09 on the Wii is in ninth place with 115,800 sold, and Guitar Hero: On Tour puts a DS game on the charts with 111,200 sold.
Nintendo remains in a world of its own, sales-wise, and its first-party games, combined with Guitar Hero's strength on both the Wii and the DS, continue to impress.
For August the PSP and PS3 systems saw the greatest percentage growth of all the current-gen systems, according to NPD. Match that with the 360's price cut, and we're going to see some heavy hardware sales next month and continued growth throughout the year. While the "slow" growth of nine percent in sales over this month last year may sound like a good story, the point to take away from August sales is how much of an appetite there remains for the Madden titles. EA sometimes seems like the Wal-Mart of gaming: everyone claims to hate it, but they continue to shop there anyway.Posted on