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.
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.