Nov. sales down 7.6%, 6M Modern Warfare 2s sold - NPD

Activision blockbuster can't save industry from posting eighth loss in last nine months; New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Assassin's Creed II, Left 4 Dead 2, Dragon Age make top 10.

With the hugely successful launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, some industry analysts were expecting November's US retail game sales to exhibit much needed year-over-year growth. While a massive shock-and-awe marketing campaign for Activision and Infinity Ward's first-person shooter helped it sell 6 million copies for the month, it still wasn't enough to push the industry into positive territory.

You know who could really use a hand? The industry.

The industry tracking NPD Group today released its US retail sales figures for November, with gaming revenues for the month adding up to $2.69 billion, down 7.6 percent from November of 2008. Breaking that number down, software sales were down a mild 3.1 percent to $1.4 billion, while hardware slumped more than 13 percent to just over $1 billion. Accessory sales made up the rest of the total, with their collective take of $242.2 million representing a 5.5 percent slide from last year's November.

The hardware sales total was hurt by a series of price cuts on the major consoles this year and the fact that last year's November saw some record numbers, including a total of 2 million Wii systems sold. Nintendo's workhorse console fared well last month, but its 1.26 million sold was still a far cry from the previous year's tally. The DSi topped all systems with 1.7 million sold, while the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 jockeyed for position with 819,500 and 710,400 sold, respectively.

As expected, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 dominated, with the standard, hardened, and prestige editions of the Xbox 360 version racking up 4.2 million copies sold. The same editions on the PS3 combined to sell 1.87 million, locking up the top two spots on the sales charts.

"Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has achieved the top spot for first-month sales of any game at the title level," NPD analyst Anita Frazier said. "Halo 3 previously held the spot when it sold 3.3 million units in September '07 in 12 days at retail. MW2 bested Halo 3's daily sales rate by 16 percent in its 19 days at retail in November."

New Super Mario Bros. finished in a respectable third place with 1.39 million sold, and the month's other new releases were also represented well on the charts. The Xbox 360 edition of Assassin's Creed II took fourth place with 794,700 sold, and the PS3 edition took eighth place with 448,400 sold. Valve and Electronic Arts' Xbox 360 zombie shooter Left 4 Dead 2 debuted in fifth, selling 744,000.

The last new release on the top 10 chart, BioWare's Dragon Age: Origins on the Xbox 360, came in ninth with 362,100 sold. It edged out a surprise 10th place finisher, the April 2008 release Mario Kart Wii, which racked up 315,000 in sales. Nintendo's perennial hits Wii Sports Resort and Wii Fit Plus also continued their strong sales run, finishing sixth and seventh with a respective 720,200 and 679,000 units sold.

US VIDEO GAMES INDUSTRY - NOVEMBER 2009
Hardware: $1.05 billion (-13.4%)
Software: $1.406 billion (-3.1%)
Accessories: $242.2 million (-5.5%)
Total Games: $2.699 billion (-7.6%)

TOP-SELLING HARDWARE - NOVEMBER 2009
DS: 1,700,000
Wii: 1,260,000
Xbox 360: 819,500
PlayStation 3: 710,400
PSP: 293,900
PlayStation 2: 203,100

TOP-SELLING SOFTWARE SKUs - NOVEMBER 2009
Title / Publisher / Units**
1) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (360) / Activision / 4,200,000
2) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (PS3) / Activision / 1,870,000
3) New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii) / Nintendo / 1,390,000
4) Assassin's Creed II (360) / Ubisoft / 794,700
5) Left 4 Dead 2 (360) / Electronic Arts / 744,000
6) Wii Sports Resort (Wii) / Nintendo / 720,200
7) Wii Fit Plus (Wii) / Nintendo / 679,000
8) Assassin's Creed II (PS3) / Ubisoft / 448,400
9) Dragon Age: Origins (360) / Electronic Arts / 362,100
10) Mario Kart Wii (Wii) / Nintendo / 315,000

** = Figures include Collector's Editions and non-hardware bundles.

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Discussion

494 comments
TheRealUser101
TheRealUser101

MW3 will be the third installment in the Modern Warfare series, and the eighth Call of Duty installment. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 will be released on November 8, 2011, while the Modern Warfare 3 pre-production started on April 9, 2010.

grgcucu
grgcucu

2 mil DSs per month... That's something....

prof_quatermass
prof_quatermass

How come there is NO LFD2 demo for Steam? But there is for the Xbox?

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

@Flint247 Absoloutely : ) For gamers, its a win-win situation. No longer are games being made in some guys bedroom, you are now talking multi-BILLION pound companies. The production values of most modern day games are not a long way of that of the movie industry. how times move on : )

Flint247
Flint247

Despite what system is "winning" or what games come out, it's good to see Gaming at it's highest performance now.

snakes3425
snakes3425

Games I'm happy to see on the list: L4D 2, Assassins Creed II, and Dragon Age: Origins. Games I'm not happy to see on the list: Wii Fit Plus, New Super Mario Bros. Wii

frazzle00
frazzle00

@izmickey Fine, how 'bout you? :D

MTMind2
MTMind2

@Hezzron73 My problem with those claims is that *no-one* actually knows how many were banned. MS says it's not a million as reported, so everyone's numbers are just guesses. Then there's the fact that the ban was not isolated to the US, it was worldwide, therefore whatever the true figure, the US would account for a portion of those banned, a sizeable portion yes, but still not all of it. Then there's the numerous fixes around for getting around the ban (effectively reseting the 360 and removing the mods), which I'm sure most would have investigated first before rushing out to buy a new 360. Then there's the fact that there is nothing usual about this year's 360 November sales compared to previous years, except being slightly less than last year's, and no-one has shown an unusual jump/blip in 360 sales following the ban. Hence I can only conclude from the above that the effect of the ban on 360 sales was negligible.

Hezzron73
Hezzron73

@MTMind2 - Agreed. But, out of the half million or so banned, maybe half would have gone out and bought a new 360 already. That's still a good chunk towards the 8 hundred thousand plus sold that month. Just don't buy a used 360 on eBay now!

MTMind2
MTMind2

@Hezzron73 who wrote "The 360 ban HAS caused an increase in new 360 sales." Yes but the point is, any increase due to the ban is small, and therefore represents only a tiny fraction of the 819,500 360s sold in November.

LosDaddie
LosDaddie

It's always great to see the Wii60 on top :D

Hezzron73
Hezzron73

@Ghoroo - You're wrong. Do some research. The 360 ban HAS caused an increase in new 360 sales.

sonicmask
sonicmask

@ fps_d0minat0r DUDE GET EMMMMMMMMM!!!!! cause its fact and reality taht xbox has nothing but fm radio and twitter to look at.... and i own an xbox.... there really isnt anything to play but party chats!

izmickey
izmickey

@frazzle00 Lol, still asking for "proof" huh? Seems to be a favorite word of yours. How you been man?

tajirinere
tajirinere

after all the black friday talks, with the PS3 selling 400k, i am surprised the 360 still out sold the ps3. in the US at least. and the software charts shows you why developers are going multi platform, PS3 owners do not buy enough games for developers to stay platform loyal.

frazzle00
frazzle00

@yeastori If you're not a fanboy, then you have some issues differentiating between fact and opinion. Sure when you do that comparison YOU prefer the PS3 version. That however is proof of only one thing; your preference. You can't generalize that preference to everyone else, which you could, if it was fact!

shooters125
shooters125

November= Best month for gamers of 2010.

DKant
DKant

Glad to see Assassin's Creed and Dragon Age on the list!

Dead_or_Alive
Dead_or_Alive

@blackace said: I had noticed that too, even Left 4 Dead 2 made it in the top 10 spot which received a lesser review rating from gaming critics than Uncharted 2 (Although personally I adore L4D2, Valve makes excellent titles.) What on Earth are PS3 fans buying that could possibly take away from Uncharted 'II sales, COD: MW2??? 0.0

TevoxZi
TevoxZi

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

MTMind2
MTMind2

@TevoxZi who wrote "Who said it? For example; Red Faction." And yet, although I'm not sure of the exact quote you're referring too, I would guess that it's not as black and white as it seems (going by topics on such comments in the past). What I've noticed over the years is that when ever a dev says they've pushed the 360 to the limit, gamers suddenly decide that's as far as the 360 could go, and yet, if a dev says similar about the PS3, it's not viewed in quite the same way. Why? Because for many, the power difference between the 360 and PS3 is assumed to be higher than it actually is. EDIT: And thank's for your last post I enjoyed the discussion too, although I notice it's been deleted for some reason?

MTMind2
MTMind2

@TevoxZi who wrote "Multiplatform games often have the edge on X360, because developers want to develop for the easier & cheaper system first.." I wasn't giving the reasons, since there are many, I was just giving the results, however, there are a few points I would pick up on too. Not all multiformat games go this route (360->PS3), some were developed with the PS3 as the lead platform and then ported to 360, and yet these games are at best, on par or slightly better than the 360 version. Some were developed with separate teams working on each, and yet again, the differences are negligible. The 360's strength is a slightly more powerful GPU (as you said), it's unified memory, it's overall simpler design and superb development tools. The PS3's strength is the calculation capabilities of Cell and Blu-ray, but with the PS3 being more complicated, multiformat games lend themselves better to the 360's strengths than the PS3's, hence the slightly better 360 versions. That said, the Cell's SPEs are not *all* sitting idle in most PS3 versions of multiformat games. Some have to be used, for audio processing, for geometry setup and more, so there's no choice, it's just that the remaining SPEs are not put to much use as they can be in exclusives. But then, the 360's CPU is not being used to the max either in multiformat games. Hence I wasn't making a statement about the 360 being better when pointing out it's performance in multiformat games. :)

TevoxZi
TevoxZi

@MTMind2 I didn't say that I think they've pushed it to the limit itself, I said what I've heard as a rumour itself. :P Who said it? For example; Red Faction.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

Personally, although graphics are 'quite' important (but not the most), the main elements of a game to me are: 1, The Experience: A game that constantly entertains and suprises with each playthrough. 2, Immersion: A game that really gets me invloved, imotionally and Morally. 3, The Challenge: A game that is fairly easy to play, but really hard to master, and has you coming back for more. 4, Multiplayer: For me personally, with a few exceptions, the main focus of a game is the multiplayer aspect, wheather it be slicing and dicing Zombies in L4D2, or planning and co-ordinating an assault in R6 Vegas, you'll be doing all this whilst telling jokes and having a laugh. 5, Longevity: For me the replay value of a game is heavily dependant on the MP aspect, e.g. Bioshock becomes monotonous when completed 2/3 times, whereas R6 Vegas1 still has a massive online (XBL) following and thats almost 3 years after release. This is my two penneth worth anyway.

MTMind2
MTMind2

@TevoxZi who wrote "The developers have said that they've optimized the X360's hardware to the furthest they can, but we'll see" (I'll just to start by saying I'm not arguing either, even if it seems like that at the start of this post :)) Actually they haven't said that about the 360, the most devs say (about both consoles) is that they've pushed it as hard as they can with the technology/engine they're using. However, every time such a comment is made, journalists and gamers jump on it claiming that's as far as the console can go, which is not what the devs are saying. The only way to push the hardware to the max is with a game engine designed from the ground up for that console, and even then, devs will always find ways to push it further in future. And you said "It might just be like when Naughty Dog said that they've optimized 100% of the PS3's SPEs, but later on claimed that they can make Uncharted 3 look superior to the 2nd one with a new game-engine" That's exactly it, you've highlighted it perfectly. It's easy to interpret what ND said about UC2 as meaning that's as far as the PS3 could go, but the reality is, that was as far as they could push the PS3 with their game engine at the time. For UC3, they will get even more out of the PS3. Thanks for the replies.

TevoxZi
TevoxZi

@MTMind2 (2nd) The developers have said that they've optimized the X360's hardware to the furthest they can, but we'll see. It might just be like when Naughty Dog said that they've optimized 100% of the PS3's SPEs, but later on claimed that they can make Uncharted 3 look superior to the 2nd one with a new game-engine. You're right, the next generation will be the same, if not worse. By this comment I'm not attacking you, I'm just adding some stuff, so hopefully this won't lead us to arguing. :P

TevoxZi
TevoxZi

@MTMind2 Just thought I'd add; Multiplatform games often have the edge on X360, because developers want to develop for the easier & cheaper system first, so that they wouldn't lose as much money as they would on the more expensive development if they do mistakes that they want to repair, which is the reason the porting happens from the Xbox 360 to PS3, the bad point in porting is that the 3rd party developers hardly advantage the 6 Synergistic Processing Elements for gaming the PS3's CPU has (Yes, it has 8, but the 1 is off and the other is for the OS so I'm not including those 2 here.) So most of the multiplatform games only advantage 1 Power Processing Element of the CPU with the clockfrequency of 3.2GHz, while Xbox 360 has 3 cores at the same frequency. - - Framerate difference is due to the Shader Pipeline difference both the Ati Xenos and Nvidia RSX have. Ati Xenos has 48 Shader Pipelines, while RSX has 24, but in exclusives, the first party developers can give some of the RSX' work to the CPU's SPEs, therefore advantaging the 6 available for gaming SPEs the CPU has. Basically the GPU can't advantage the XDR RAM in multiplatform games like they can on exclusive PS3 games as well. The reason some multiplatform games might "look" better on 360, is because 4x Anti-Aliasing the 10MBs of eDRAM gives is very appealing in 720p, seeing no console outputs native 1080p in this generation, except if the texture resolution is low, like in fighting games.

MTMind2
MTMind2

@yeastori who said "By the way I just by the consoles so I can play the exclusives, there is no reason to go for anyone here to go bashing other system owners" Agreed, and for exclusives the PS3 clearly has the upper hand graphically at the moment, thanks to devs who really pushing the hardware, whereas the only 360 exclusive that pushes the hardware is the Gears of War series, but that's still limited by it's multiformat game engine. Next year we should see some examples of 360 exclusives that really push the hardware with game engines built from the ground up on the 360. You also wrote "its about games and having fun man there wasn't this much tension in the last gen so why now" Hehehe, oh yes there was, just as much as today, if not more so :-). This tension is nothing new, the XBox vs PS2 (and GC) fight was huge, as was the Dreamcast vs PS2 battle before it, same with Playstation vs N64, Playstation vs Saturn, SNES vs Genesis, Atari vs Amiga, PC vs consoles, and so on. Next gen will be exactly the same. :-)

MTMind2
MTMind2

@yeastori I also have both consoles, read lots of reviews and comparison features and sorry, but I know you're not correct here. Please go into detail about the 'skimp' and so-called *huge* differences you notice in GTA4 and Bad Company. I don't need to purchase a copy of the *same* game for both my PS3 and 360, I just have to read the reviews, read the comparison features, read gamer comments and watch good quality videos to know that for the games you mentioned, there's very little between them, and in most cases for multiformat games, the 360 has a slight graphical edge over the PS3 version. For example, call of duty modern warfare 2, looks the same on both (yes, some details a fraction better on 360, some a fraction better on PS3), so they look on par, but the framerate whilst very good on ps3, is a little better on 360; http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-modern-warfare-2-face-off After nearly 3 years of 360 vs PS3 comparisons, the 360 'wins' most of the time; http://www.eurogamer.net/archive.php?platform=digitalfoundry&type=face-off And search Gamespot for '360 PS3 comparison' and click on 'Features'. What's great today is that the PS3 is now mostly on par with 360 versions (a great improvement from a few years ago), where although a few bad ports still happen (Bayonnetta, unless it improves before launch), sometimes it may now even have a slight edge (Dragon Age, The Saboteur), but overall, it's still mostly the 360 that has the edge.

yeastori
yeastori

@frazzle00 First of all I'm not a PS3 fanboy infact my gamertag is SecretCrusader, and second I have both system and two 1080p HDs, and I have both versions of GTA and BF:Bad company (for RROD and Online purposes) and I tell you I notice a lot of skimp on the 360 version. I'm not trying to bash or anything in fact I hate people saying things about my 360, I'm just trying to give you a very real truth that you don't know about. If you don't believe me you can do a comparison with both versions say with a friend who has a system opposite of you, and plug them into a TV with the same max resolution that the systems can produce and you will notice huge differences. By the way I just by the consoles so I can play the exclusives, there is no reason to go for anyone here to go bashing other system owners, its about games and having fun man there wasn't this much tension in the last gen so why now?

yeastori
yeastori

Whoops I forgot to mention that every online game that is good then get it for Xbox. The basic point is when you own both console you should play it safe, we all want to play on the xbox but it will get f*ck up. These are some useful tips for your gaming needs that could save you lots of buck and thats the bottom line because I said so.

yeastori
yeastori

Here's the deal people if you want to play a game online and it comes in both versions just get the PS3 so that you won't have to waste you money on XBL and the quality is better also you will save your xbox's life from the F****** RROD, unless it's COD then get the xbox version, also PC is good too. If you want a multi platform game not for the online then the PS3 version is the one you should get. It's that simple there should be this much sh*t about "this is better" or "that is better'. Just do the smart thing, buy what you think is going to be worth your buck

yeastori
yeastori

First of all I'm not a PS3 fanboy infact my gamertag is SecretCrusader, and second I have both system and two 1080p HDs, and I have both versions of GTA and BF:Bad company (for RROD and Online purposes) and I tell you I notice a lot of skimp on the 360 version. I'm not trying to bash or anything in fact I hate people saying things about my 360, I'm just trying to give you a very real truth that you don't know about. If you don't believe me you can do a comparison with both versions say with a friend who has a system opposite of you, and plug them into a TV with the same max resolution that the systems can produce and you will notice huge differences. By the way I just by the consoles so I can play the exclusives, there is no reason to go for anyone here to go bashing other system owners, its about games and having fun man there wasn't this much tension in the last gen so why now?

Trixxstrr
Trixxstrr

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

MagicOneUp
MagicOneUp

i say all the fanfares of the ps3 price cut has settled and it will nest back to it original 4th spot for the remainder of the year and well into 3/4 of next year...

MagicOneUp
MagicOneUp

@dkjjabs don't lied to yourself. ODST is a refreshing part of the halo universe. not bad for a game that only took like 14 months to developed and sold millions... I think you might enjoy HAZE on the ps3...

MagicOneUp
MagicOneUp

@Warlord_Irochi what you suggested was that MS and sony should work together and create a $1000USD console. all football teams should joined and create a one super team... in that way there will never be fan boys... but what im say is the 360 still better. whats your point?

halo4xbox720
halo4xbox720

Get your gaming in now because 2010 is packed. God Of War 3 + Metroid : Other M + Gears of War 3 (rumored)

halo4xbox720
halo4xbox720

@ MrHatnClogs Yeah I like Halo but oddly enough it's for the story. Wii has games with game-play as good as Halo with stuff like Mario. I grew up on Nintendo and still love what they do for the most part.

madSomnambulist
madSomnambulist

Lost in this is that the 360's besting the PS3 by only 100k units is surprising considering the 2 million copy COD2 gap. Oh-- and unless the players in the mass-banned group either 1) had another 360 already or 2) are quitting the brand entirely, anyone mind explaining how they won't need to buy a new one? Not saying that's particularly inflating the numbers, but it'd be ignorant to say it's not adding a few to the sales total. Ah yes. That and little mention that Nintendo still rules the universe. Given these are holidays sales numbers, it's even more obvious.

Sonicplys
Sonicplys

Wii DA (second, but only for Nov) BEST MAN!!!!!! LISTEN!!!!

MTMind2
MTMind2

@fps_d0minat0r who wrote "MTMind2, no matter what you say, you cant deny thousands if not 1m+ of people had their xbox's banned and had to buy new ones." LOL, nice try. :) The discussion was not simply about how many XBL accounts had been banned, the disussion was about your claim that banned XBox gamers buying a new console accounted for the high sales of 360's last month. As I've pointed out, no blip in 360 sales has been detected following the ban, clearly not enough gamers are talking about it online for it to have affected 1 in 20 XBL accounts as you claim, and as I said already, the November sales are in keeping with 360 sales for the month in previous years, which has just been reported here on Gamespot; http://uk.gamespot.com/news/6242862.html?om_act=convert&om_clk=hot-stories&tag=hot-stories;title;1 Quote "despite a slight year-on-year dip in unit sales (836,000 vs. 819,500), last month set records for its console business". Hence 819,500 360's sold last month is no surprise given previous years, and so it's pointless to look for excuses and reasons just to convince yourself that something else is behind it. You also wrote "i dont even know why you support M$ when they rip you off for XBL." Sorry, but you'll have to find someone else to play that little game with you, in the meantime I'll just continue to enjoy BOTH 360 and PS3 gaming. ;)

aGiantSquirrel
aGiantSquirrel

@thenephariouson In response to me talking about graphics on the PS3, 360, I wrote my opinion to what I thought looked good on the 360 compared with the PS3 because Ive played most exclusive on both systems, or at least all the blockbuster ones. Graphics are not everything, an important part along with music, gamelplay, storyline, controls, etc. And let mario do some trouncing, fine by me. If I had a Wii, which I will inevitabley buy sometime or another(because I like all systems, I just have my priorities) buying the new mario game would be #1 on my list. I am a Nintendo fanboy, Sony fanboy, and Im warming up with Microsoft, because I think their #1 feature is their online connectivity and cross-game chatting. Mario deserves to be that far up the list.

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

Argh!, got tired of this threat already, Does MS and Sony pay any money to all fanboys writing like 25 posts in here? shouldn't they be pkaying that machine they love so much?. Really, saying that exclusivities like Killzone, MGS4, Gears 2, Left 4 Dead are bad just because they are on the oposite machine is a vulgar display of ignorance. Like somebody said in some coment of this new; "Fanboism is a disease" Just go play your game, like i'm gona do now

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

aGiantSquirrel, If graphics are so important, then why does 'Mario' continually and consistently trounce every single game on your beloved platform in the sales and popularity arena? Cos im pretty sure it isnt down to the amount of Pixels/Texels used, or even the textures or Anti-Alasing, no im fairly sure its simply because they are exellent games! and if its uncomparable graphics you want then get a PC!

aGiantSquirrel
aGiantSquirrel

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

mutual-assassin
mutual-assassin

I'm amazed the PS2 is still selling at all let alone over 200,000 units. Such a brilliant console...