After a downbeat January that saw US game sales slip 5 percent overall, the NPD Group had a more upbeat report for February sales. Last month, domestic retail sales of PC and non-PC games, non-PC hardware, and non-PC accessories rose 3 percent to $1.36 billion. Sales of non-PC gaming goods rose even more, climbing 4 percent to $1.33 billion.
Of the various sectors, hardware rose the most, climbing 10 percent year-over-year to $466.9 million. Microsoft was all too happy to trumpet the success of the Xbox 360, saying platform sold 535,000 units domestically during the month, a record for February. It was also the most 360s sold in a single month that was not in the October-December holiday quarter.
[UPDATE2] Nintendo announced the Wii sold 454,000 units during the month, bringing its stateside installed base to 35 million. Though Sony did not release February sales figures for the PlayStation 3, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter revealed that the system sold 403,000 units in February.
"All three console systems realized a unit sales increase over last February," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier. "All hardware systems realized a unit sales increase over January 2011."
On the software side, game sales sank 8 percent to $637.4 million. Call of Duty: Black Ops (360, PS3, Wii, DS, PC) proved a winner once again for Activision, hanging onto the top spot for a fourth month in a row. According to NPD, the game's continued performance has made it the top-selling game of all time in the US, besting perennial favorite Wii Play. [UPDATE] NPD has since revealed the game's total domestic unit sales as being 13.7 million across all platforms.
Meanwhile, Capcom's February debut Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds (360, PS3) fought its way into the second slot, followed by returning Wii exclusive Just Dance 2. NBA 2K11 (360, PS3, PS2, Wii, PSP, PC) was also back, dunking fourth place in its sixth month of release.
Coming in fifth was EA's outer space fright fest Dead Space 2 (360, PS3, PC), followed by the dance-fitness hybrid Zumba Fitness: Join the Party (Wii, 360, PS3). Two February debuts--Bulletstorm (360, PS3, PC) and Killzone 3 (PS3)--landed in seventh and eighth place, with Michael Jackson: The Experience (WII, DS, PSP) moonwalking into ninth. Bringing up the rear was the Wii exclusive Mario Sports Mix from Nintendo.
Last and monetarily, least, accessory sales shot up 22 percent to $256.9 million. Though the top-selling accessory was the 1,600 Microsoft points card, brisk sales of Microsoft's Kinect system--which has now shipped over 10 million units to date--were also a factor.
FEBRUARY 2011 US GAME SALES
OVERALL DOLLAR SALES
Total retail sales: $1.36 billion (+3%)
Non-PC hardware: $466.9 million (+10%)
Total software: $637.4 million (-8%)
Non-PC software: $601.4 million (-4%)
Accessories: $256.9 million (+22%)
TOP 10 GAMES
Title (Platforms) - Publisher
1. Call of Duty: Black Ops (360, PS3, Wii, NDS, PC) - Activision
2. Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds (360, PS3) - Capcom
3. Just Dance 2 (Wii) - Ubisoft
4. NBA 2K11 (360, PS3, PS2, Wii, PSP, PC) - 2K Sports
5. Dead Space 2 (360, PS3, PC) - Electronic Arts
6. Zumba Fitness: Join the Party (Wii, 360, PS3) - Majesco
7. Bulletstorm (360, PS3, PC) - Electronic Arts
8. Killzone 3 (PS3) - Sony
9. Michael Jackson: The Experience (WII, DS, PSP) - Ubisoft
10. Mario Sports Mix (Wii) - Nintendo