NPD: Black Ops II tops declining November

Latest Call of Duty the best-selling game of last month in US; Xbox 360 sells 1.26 million systems; Wii U sales total 425,000 during the period.

The NPD Group reported United States industry sales for the month of November today, revealing Call of Duty: Black Ops II was the best-selling game of the month that saw overall year-over-year declines. Rounding out the top five best-selling games of November were Halo 4, Assassin's Creed III, Just Dance 4, and Madden NFL 13.

Overall, total software sales slid 11 percent to $1.46 billion compared to $1.65 billion a year ago. Hardware also took a hit during the month of November, with sales in this category dropping by 13 percent to $838.9 million, down from $962.2 million this time last year. Though sales across the board are down, NPD analyst Liam Callahan cautioned that these do not nearly represent the entire consumer spend on games.

"These sales figures represent new physical retail sales of hardware, software, and accessories, which account for roughly 50 percent of the total consumer spend on games," Callahan said in a statement. "When you consider our preliminary estimate for other physical format sales in November such as used and rentals at $207 million, and our estimate for digital format sales including full game and add-on content downloads including microtransactions, subscriptions, mobile apps, and the consumer spend on social network games at $410 million, we would estimate the total consumer spend in November to be over $3.1 billion."

Callahan also made a specific point to compare November 2012's results with those of November 2005, when the industry began to transition between console generations. When compared, retail sales are up 97 percent in 2012 over 2005, which "really demonstrates the long-term health of retail sales even as many platforms are quite late in their life cycles," he said.

Additionally, November saw the smallest year-over-year decrease in terms of total dollar and unit sales this year. Callahan said this is a sign of momentum as the holiday season continues to ramp up.

Specifically concerning software, November's declines are tied with August 2012 for the smallest year-over-year decrease thus far this year. And notably, half of all software dollars sold during the month were attributed to the Xbox 360, Callahan said.

With regard to hardware, Callahan said November 2012 represented the lowest hardware decline for dollar sales thus far this year. He also sounded off on the recent launch of the Wii U, noting its performance is tracking better than the original Wii in 2006.

"The much anticipated launch of the new Wii U console brought in more dollars than the Wii launch in November 2006, up 21 percent from that launch month," Callahan said. "With an average price 35 percent higher for the Wii U at launch compared to the Wii, this is an example of how consumers are willing to come out and spend when they see the value of the product."

Bright spots for hardware in November were the PlayStation Vita and Nintendo DS. The PS Vita saw the second-highest month of sales on a unit basis in November since the device launched in February this year. Callahan said the uptick in sales can be attributed to the numerous bundles that Sony offered in the month.

As for the DS, Callahan said it was the only platform to increase in hardware sales year-over-year.

NPD did not release specific sales figures for hardware, but Microsoft itself announced that total Xbox 360 console sales hit 1.26 million during November, fueled in part by 750,000 system sales during Black Friday week alone. The total 1.26 million figure is down from the 1.7 million sold this time last year.

Microsoft also said that total retail spend on the Xbox 360 platform in November (hardware, software, and accessories) totaled $1.2 billion. This is more than any other console in the United States, Microsoft said.

Separately, Nintendo announced sales for its own hardware and software. The company has now sold 425,000 Wii U units in the US (up from 400,000), falling short of the original Wii's first-week total of 475,000. New Super Mario Bros. U sold in excess of 243,000 units during the month, and was attached at nearly 60 percent of all Wii U sales.

The Nintendo 3DS sold nearly 540,000 units during the month, bringing its total to close to 6.5 million units life-to-date in the US. Mario Kart 7 also reached a milestone during November, becoming the second 3DS game to cross 2 million units sold in the US.

As for the aging original Wii, that system sold 420,000 units during the month, bringing its total US sales figure to over 40 million. The original Nintendo DS sold 370,000 systems in November, with Nintendo expecting the hardware line to cross 53 million life-to-date unit sales in the "next few days."

Concerning accessories, sales in this department dropped 8 percent to $280.9 million, down from $305.3 million last year. Though accessories overall took a hit, Activision's Skylanders franchise was booming during the month. Skylanders unit sales both of the original and new entry Skylanders Giants rose 250 percent compared to November 2011.

NOVEMBER US GAME SALES (October 28-November 24)
OVERALL DOLLAR SALES

Total retail sales: $2.55 billion (-11%)
Non-PC hardware: $838.9 million (-13%)
Non-PC software: $1.43 billion (-11%)
Accessories: $280.9 million (-8%)
Total software: $1.46 billion (-11%)

TOP 10 GAMES FOR NOVEMBER 2012
Title (Platforms) - Publisher

1. Call of Duty: Black Ops II (X360, PS3, Wii U, PC) - Activision Blizzard
2. Halo 4 (Xbox 360) - Microsoft
3. Assassin's Creed III (X360, PS3, PC, Wii U) - Ubisoft
4. Just Dance 4 (X360, Wii, Wii U, PS3) - Ubisoft
5. Madden NFL 13 (X360, PS3, Wii, PS Vita, Wii U) - Electronic Arts
6. Skylanders Giants (Wii, X360, PS3, 3DS, Wii U) - Activision Blizzard
7. Need for Speed: Most Wanted (X360, PS3, PS Vita , PC) - Electronic Arts
8. NBA 2K13 (X360, PS3, Wii, PSP, Wii U, PC) - Take-Two Interactive
9. WWE 13 (X360, PS3, Wii) - THQ
10. FIFA Soccer 13 (X360, PS3, Wii, PS Vita, 3DS, Wii U, PSP) - Electronic Arts

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Discussion

0 comments
WWE6427
WWE6427

Omg the pic is not the black guy getting his head chopped off.  I thought the g spot staff loved that pic

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

I'm a PS3 gamer but even I had hoped Halo 4 would have knocked COD off it's throne..  Halo is the one franchise for Microsoft that I wish was on the PS3, but i'm glad it's not.. because we all know it just wouldn't work!

 

Still, good to know Master Chief got to number 2 as an exclusive.  Good work to 343 :)

 

 

HAZCHEM88
HAZCHEM88

Black Ops II is #1?

 

I'd say it's got a whiff of #2

DarthLod
DarthLod

Things are in "decline" because people are fed up with the DLC and nickle and diming us to death. Gaming isn't as fun as it once was because of it.

ItsEvolution
ItsEvolution

Why are people still buying new DS's? Used ones to play GBA games, maybe...but 370,000 new systems?

steelmouth
steelmouth

SMDFH 8 years later and the 360 can still pull +1mil units in a single month, thats effen mind boggling

 

PS we need to see the halo and COD numbers broken down by console, its amazing how an exclusive can sell so well

Tremblay343
Tremblay343

After reading this comments I feel like none of you actually read the whole article.

ccgod
ccgod

you know its bad when current gen systems out sell your next gen

1337hackz
1337hackz

Well no duh it's down the was better games last year and there was more games last year.

TrueProphecy22
TrueProphecy22

The Wii sold more even being so hard to find at its launch...

Aria1368
Aria1368

Black Ops 2 sales are declining compare to WM3 and WM3 was less than Black Ops >>> Translation: Finally 8 years old kid are growing up ...!

realdevilsalias
realdevilsalias

All this tells me is that we need SOME SERIOUS transparency when it comes to sales numbers.  A decline for November seems just wrong.  And besides neither the PS3 or XBOX 360 would be selling at ALL at this point. So good on them.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

The only thing declining is NPD's accuracy of representing game sales.  Digital sales not included - numbers cannot be trusted.  For all we know YoY sales are up.

tgwolf
tgwolf

That's really a sad sad statement about gamers...

Viral-venom13
Viral-venom13

The way i see it, if COD wasn't multiplatform on all those consoles, Halo most definitely would've trumped it but either ways, it's great all these games are selling!

Ultra_Taco
Ultra_Taco

Thats pretty cool that Halo 4 is the only one that is a console exclusive game, and it's #2 on the charts.

alenth
alenth

Where is new super mario bros u? :(

biggest_loser
biggest_loser

Is anyone else confused about the success of Black Ops 2? First it was meant to be declining, then its a bigger success than some Hollywood blockbusters and now its on the top of the charts again. I don't see how anyone can say accurately that COD is declining if all other game sales were down with it. 

Scorpion2929
Scorpion2929

This is equivalent to handing in a college paper and saying " Hold on I got to add more stuff to it".

 

 

You are supposed to write the article after you have enough information to write one...

 

This is not TV.

FAIL_TR0LL
FAIL_TR0LL

Slow news day. We need a good sexism story to shake things up.

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

I have never wanted opinions given in news articles, ie fox news, msn- but a little more insight and meat to a news report would be nice. 

SolidTy
SolidTy

Does he get paid per article? Man, that's tiny...and he posts a lot of stuff that's eh material.

Reuwsaat
Reuwsaat

Where's the data on X360's and DS' sales? Was it just the headline?

muppen
muppen

Shortest article ever?

tightwad34
tightwad34

 @warhawk-geeby

 I think the game with the best shot a knocking COD off the top of the list is GTAV.

DBZ19
DBZ19

 @sgt_F79  personally I thought MW2 was very good.

dreamfist11
dreamfist11

 @Suikogaiden Cod is a piece of shit, but if youve played Halo 4 you know its not just another FPS, its fucking incredible

ItsEvolution
ItsEvolution

@Tremblay343 Originally, this article was all of one paragraph.

Willy105
Willy105

 @alenth Impossible to chart in the Top 10, because even assuming everyone who bought a Wii U also got Mario, it wouldn't be in the Top 10. Mario sold 243k units, about half of what the Wii U sold.

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

Now that is much much better. That is news article with meat, not just a soundbite. 

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

 @Suikogaiden  @ccgod The WiiU is this gen with a bit more tack added on.  It's good, but only on par with what we already have, difference is it has a tablet for a controller.  The 3rd party games are the same as what we already have, and the thing won't be able to run those which will come on the 720 and PS4.  It's for that reason it isn't next gen..

 

Problem solved!

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

 @ccgod  @Suikogaiden What the hell are you on about..

 

It's their new console yes.  But in terms of the 'next generation' of gaming as a whole then no, it blatently isn't.  It's playing the same games as the current gen but won't be able to support those for Microsoft/Sony's next systems.

 

The WiiU is just Nintendo's latest console, which is on par with what already exists.  It just has a different controller.

 

That clear enough?

ccgod
ccgod

 @warhawk-geeby  @Suikogaiden So you're saying this is just the Wii+ and they in fact have another console prepared to launch in 1 to 2 years and this is just a gimmick? Just because its not up to snuff with the new xbox or ps doesn't mean its not nintendos version of next gen

ccgod
ccgod

 @warhawk-geeby  @Suikogaiden so nintendo is going to be coming out with another console when the new xbox and ps3 come out?? you must have the inside track i haven't heard of that i thought this was there next console