Dance Central, Just Dance 2 lift rhythm genre

Harmonix's and Ubisoft's respective Xbox 360, Wii exclusive boogie titles create 38% sales spike for sagging sector.

Microsoft took a victory lap of sorts yesterday to tout the success of the Xbox 360 during November and namely the strong start for Kinect. With the motion-sensing Xbox 360 add-on leading a 69 percent year-over-year surge in peripheral sales during the month, Microsoft told GameSpot that the number one game for the device was Harmonix's Dance Central, a member of the heretofore sagging rhythm game genre.

Plastic guitars are out, rump-shaking is in.

As it would turn out, Dance Central's success was only one contributor to a rhythm-game resurgence during the month. According to NPD analyst Anita Frazier, Dance Central and Ubisoft's Just Dance 2 helped pushed the sector to 38 percent sales growth over November 2009.

Though Dance Central did not crack NPD's November software top 10, Just Dance 2 for the Wii finished in third place, just behind multiplatform efforts Call of Duty: Black Ops and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. In an investor note this morning, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said that the game had just missed his estimate of 700,000 units sold during the month. Pachter did not offer a sales estimation for Dance Central.

The rhythm genre's fortunes have flagged since the breakout success of Guitar Hero 3 and Rock Band some three years ago. The genre's weakness was typified just last month, when Activision's latest Guitar Hero installment, Warriors of Rock, debuted with less than 100,000 units sold. The game's weakness resulted in a gaping $100 million year-over-year hole in genre sales, which dropped from $116 million in September 2009 to just $15 million for the same period in 2010. September 2009 saw the release of The Beatles: Rock Band and Guitar Hero 5.

Check out GameSpot's previous coverage for more on Dance Central and Just Dance 2.

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20 comments
enrique_marrodz
enrique_marrodz

Just Dance 2 is great and so above the previous version I find hard going back to the first game just for some songs!

mattcake
mattcake

I wouldnt class Dance Central as a rhythm game myself, its so much more. And everyone I've showed it to has loved it, young, old, male, female... the adverts on TV especially do very little to distinguish it from the usual wave-your-arm gameplay so I'm sure a lot of people still dont realise how good it is and assume its the usual rubbish - it needs better PR :)

NColdhardt
NColdhardt

This game is giving me dancing skills. ;) Fo'srs.

DLobotomist
DLobotomist

I love Dance Central tried it out and its pretty sweet.

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

I think the sales are dying off in the genre due to pricing. After 5+ games, I really don't feel the need to pay $60 for new songs. Yes, they make some minor improvements. But so does Madden, and I haven't bought a new one of those in years. Stop trying to sell me new peripherals each year, and lower the price point. the only rhythm game I've ever purchased was DJ Hero. As much as I love it, I'm not paying full price for a few new features and some music on DJ Hero 2.

VixTain
VixTain

The sales for Dance Central are actually surprisingly low to me. There's no exact numbers, but if it didn't make the top 10 and Just Dance 2 sold 700,000 at number 3, then DC couldn't have moved more than 100,000 units or so, and probably less. If you consider that Kinect sold a few million units in that same period, then DC only had an attach rate of no more than 3 or 4 percent. That's pretty lousy.

Little_Socrates
Little_Socrates

Would love to have tried Dance Central, but no one I know is willing to buy a Kinect. If I happened to get one for Christmas, I wouldn't exactly mind, but that thing is hella expensive.

LoserMike
LoserMike

So dancing is the new guitar? Didn't the same thing happen 10 years ago in Japan, except it started with DJing. Beatmania than Guitar Freaks than DDR than the music industry died in Japan.

IceJester45
IceJester45

@maximumbarmage, Heh...I'm still playing Dance Central, and I've had it since launch. I haven't yet read a review that said it's only good for a dancing game. Oh, and Kinect Sports, Your Shape, and Kinectimals weren't exactly bad games. I have a feeling you'd be singing a different tune if these games were on PS3.

Flint247
Flint247

It's good to get up and dance instead of sitting down all the time. :)

maximumbarmage
maximumbarmage

Seems like Dance Central was merely the best of a bad bunch among the other Kinect games, of which none of them seem to have sold well at all. Reviews for it may have been above average, but most seem to suggest it's only good "For a dancing game", which, lets face it, is never exactly going to be something you're still playing after six months... or even weeks.

toddx77
toddx77

Good news to hear. Glad Dance games are doing good, its good to know Activision didn't screw over the music genre all the way.

Zacek
Zacek

I'm really happy for Harmonix, they are truly musicians and gamers.

maverick_76
maverick_76

So much better than another plastic instrument game. Don't get me wrong, those are fun, but once you have your favorite songs do you really need anything else? This on the other hand is fresh and new, bravo to Harmonix for realizing the potential of this market.

AncientDozer
AncientDozer

I hear nothing but good things about Dance Central. Apparently family members have been hijacking 360s from friends of mine to play Dance Central.

campbell153
campbell153

Is this the dance game you have to be a professional dancer to play? or is there difficulty settings? i might need some sort of setting that has been designed for people that have no spacial awareness

kkid16
kkid16

Personally, I like the Just Dance games much more then Dance central. Maybe its just that I've played just dance more, but I also like the more cartoony feel to just dance. Dance central feels like its guitar hero for dancing to me...

tacoeater831
tacoeater831

dance central was great. probably the best game out for the kinect. however, the best music game this year is still rock band 3.

shugiosha
shugiosha

Dance Central is good, phenomenal is an overstatement. A career mode might put it in contention for that title though. I am glad it is doing well though, fun game.

IceJester45
IceJester45

Dance Central deserves to do well. It's phenomenal.