NPD: July game sales up 29 percent

Gloomy industry mood further evaporates as $386 million tally bests 2005 figures; software up by 22 percent, hardware 23 percent--both largely in part to the DS.

Today, NPD reported positive income for the game industry--income that yet again beat analysts' expectations. Total game revenue for the month was $684.6 million, up by 29 percent year over year--far past analysts' expectations. By contrast, July 2005 saw only $531.4 million in combined software, hardware, and accessory sales.

On the software front, July saw $386 million in revenue, an increase of 22 percent versus the year before. This was due mostly to robust sales of Electronic Arts' NCAA Football 07 and THQ's Cars. The increase came despite precipitous drops in software sales for two platforms. Xbox game sales fell 51 percent and Game Boy Advance sales toppled 25 percent, thanks to their successors, the Xbox 360 and Nintendo DS, stealing the limelight.

However, a heavily hyped platform also took a dive. Game sales for the PlayStation Portable slid 40 percent during the month, thanks to a dearth of compelling titles. By stark contrast, DS game sales rose 354 percent during the same period, boosted by still-strong sales of Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day and New Super Mario Bros.

The DS's rise was complemented by a software boost for an unusual suspect. Titles for the GameCube, which ranks third in the current-generation console race, saw an increase of 3 percent. That was nearly as much as PlayStation 2 game revenue, which was up by 5 percent year over year.

Hardware sales saw an increase of 23 percent, also beating expectations. Again, this was driven by surging sales of the Nintendo DS, which were up 358 percent versus July 2005. That bested both its sibling the GBA, which saw a 33 percent fall, and its rival the PSP, which fell 20 percent.

Besides the GC, current-generation console sales were also off during July. PlayStation 2 unit sales were down by 7 percent, while Xbox sales fell 91 percent for the month.

While startling, the decline in Xbox sales was in large part due to the popularity of the Xbox 360, which plays many of its forebear's games. Microsoft sold a total of 207,000 units during the month; so far, the console has sold 2.2 million units in the US alone. However, while impressive, the July Xbox 360 figures are a 26 percent decrease from June, despite high-profile releases such as Prey.

What do analysts read in their tea leaves now? Overall, they think the industry has nowhere to go but up come the all-important fall release season. "We still think that industry sentiment has bottomed and will continue to as we get closer to the new hardware launches from Nintendo and Sony," said UBS Global Equity Research's Michael Wallace, "Industry sales should be up again in September."

Wedbush Morgan Securities' Michael Pachter echoed his colleague. "We also think that many investors are skeptical about hardware unit sales and software attach rates for the new consoles, given the relatively high prices for both hardware and software," he said. "We think that those concerns will be alleviated once the Wii and PS3 launch, with hardware sell-outs and robust software sales expected in November and December." Pachter also singled out "innovative" games like Guitar Hero as titles that will sell well for months to come.

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98 comments
Shalomony
Shalomony

It doesn't really suprize me that DS sales are rising so dramatically. Nintendo stated before that their Touch Generations Games would be a highpoint in the US. Those along with the awesome New Super Marios bros. is really pushing the system forward.(that along with the Lite bundles coming in at $120) The Xbox 360 should be surpassing it predeccesor, for one reason: It's meant to take it's place. Most systems are meant to take the place of the company's previous console. The Xbox 360 has really suprized alot of people. The online community is groing tremendously, and alot of the people enjoying the system don't even have a Gold membership. People that discover the Silver community love the Marketplace and Arcade. In fact some of the biggest Arcade purchases are from silver members. I hope to see a steady decline in sony sales, as they lose intrest of gamers until the PS3 comes out. But due to the slow death of the PSP, I hope that they'd be able to attract some fans this fall. (on a quick note for all of you who say PSP sales drop for lack of games. Well of course, but some developers have stated that the DS game are easier to program, as well as first person shotters, cannot have the same effect on the PSP as on consoles or PC. They need games like the LOCO ROCO, and Lumines, that focus on the power, without trying to be something it ain't)

CaptainDingo
CaptainDingo

"DS is cheapie. PSP is cool. Wii is cheapie. PS3 and 360 are cool. " I don't follow. Expensive as hell automatically means cool?

Weeoo_86
Weeoo_86

PSP is a really great system, but there aren't alot of good games out now! I mean the only good games out are Socom, Burnout, errrmmm.....a few others that I don't have time to think about. But yeah instead of focusing on making UMD movies Sony just needs to start focusing on some good games cuz UMD's are just garbage!

rockdude86
rockdude86

Fact is, PSP is more powerful yes but DS is way more fun to play. I have a PSP but whenever im bored its always my girlfriends DS i pick up and play. PSP needs new IPs, and im mean good ones. Come on guys can anyone honestly say they like the PSP games line up. I paid £179.99 for my PSP in UK and regret it big time, it looks nice but the games are crap, the movies and very limited and its too big and exspensive to just take out and listen to music on it in public. The DS could have been more powerful but the games are great. The point is the DS is a games comsole and thats it, and because of that it does it great. The PSP trys to do everything it can to take your money and fails at just about all its features. Only new IPs will save the PSP but i get the impression Sony has got so much on there plate at the moment they cant, or they just couldn't care less about games and just want your money.

pp222
pp222

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! PSP sales down 40 percent and DS saled up 354! Take that you "DS is kiddy! PSP is teh mature!!!11one" fanboys!

PerfectDark0Fan
PerfectDark0Fan

I think $149.99 is still a high price for PSP since the handheld has a poor amount of good games on it and the graphics aren't that impressive.

crills
crills

i was not going to comment but im tired of people saying nintendo for kids that line is old im all most 30 and injoy game play over graphics and if nintendos the only one doing it im sticking with them i got a 360 but i play my ds more and thats because a few years ago companys started focusing on graphics and forgot the best part gameplay so now we have all this hd bluray etc i dont know about you people but resident evil 4 for cg had great graphics and shows you we dont need hd yet just better games with good game play then when thats gets mastered we can move on to hd by then the price for makeing then will be down but these companys want to do it now and i think its not time yet just look how the ds is killing them regular grapics but great gameplay thats why its winning the wii will do the same the ps3 and 360 are the same as there old selfs just updated the wii is the only thing new and fresh and it wiil sell just cause of that people want some thing new P,S if nintendos for kid then i guess im a 30 year old kid and so are my friends

King_Dodongo
King_Dodongo

the gaming feeling and experience is not about the media, it's about games

keinuveye
keinuveye

too bad X-box didn't get the backward compatability it was supposed to. Maybe the sales wouldn't be down 91 percent for the month!

Pices
Pices

DS stands for dominant system

doubtme
doubtme

I love the DS!! PSP's are such a waste of money, mostly, anything sony brand is a waste of money, yes I said, and I am stickin with it.

wii___man
wii___man

games reel in more than hollywood eventually will rule the world yay

darendt69
darendt69

The DS sucks. Yes I do own one, and cant stand it. The two screen thing is annoying to say the least, and overall game play for most games is just horrid. I also own the PSP, and although not perfect it is much better. As for the GC, I own it as well and play it often. It is a pretty good console and has some fun games however I like most of the PS2 games better. They play better due to the controller, and look better as well. Nintendo overall has very fun games, but tends to get old fast, The Xbox and 360 just blow entirly.

chaosreaper
chaosreaper

haha. my sister just got a DS. she loves hers too. had mine during last holiday season. these numbers are no surprise. i saw 3 or 4 sales of DS games while i was at target, and then my sister and another guy bought NSMB at the same time. star fox command is likely to boost sales as well. DS can only go up ^_^

hue14
hue14

Ick..fanboys...

bagman58
bagman58

The problem with the nintendo is the lack of good FPS games, and even though the ps3 will have these if I buy one i'll be broke. I'm sticking with my xbox 360.

rodimus_prime85
rodimus_prime85

People moaning about the DS is beginning to annoy me. Concidering that the DS is saving the insdustry while the PSP drown's and the PS3 price tag is going to put it out of reach for a lot of people... Nintendo are doing well, don't complain.

coltACP
coltACP

It is good to see the DS having a positive effect for sales in the industry, hopefully the Wii will have a similar effect. The PS3 will also be succesful but that is to be expected amongst most gamers.I personally like the new interfaces introduced by nintendo they give a good slnt on current games and offer new methods of input that will hopefully revitalise ''thinking'' behind games instead of the cinematic shadow gaming now lives under(a massive let down to most older gamers). Also worth noting is good use of the PSP hardware with titles such as Loco Roco, tbh it is better than ANY GTA that can come out on the system, while GTA is impressive it is a watered down version, when handhelds need their own specific titles to make them seem more lucrative to the consumer, the DS automatucally has this due to the Touch screen interface-the differences are more apparent to the consumer. I do however think the PSP's standard control mechanics are not very well implemented overall, especially when compared to GBA SP and Micro, if less powerful machines offer a more refined control than the more expensive hardware, it shows sony need to improve their designs a bit more in the future.

ryuburger
ryuburger

wow i can sure smell a lot of stinky DS fanboys here..

dsiscool
dsiscool

sony is going to turn this around during the holidays. the price drop to 149.99 puts it 20 dollars above the ds. gta lcs has sold millions of psps on its own. gta vice city stories will do the same on october 16th. then there are the release of the downloadable playstation games to the psp. final fantasy VII anyone? finally, the price of the memory stick duos are coming way down. 4 gig for 110. 2 gig for 60. 1 gig for 30. if nintendo isn't careful, they could be facing a very serious problem.

Hoppy63
Hoppy63

Long live the King of video games. Long Live Nintendo. The x-box 360 has halo 3 and PS3 has Metal Gear Solid 4. THE WII HAS DUCK HUNT. THE FIRST FPS.

Leick3
Leick3

Wow nintendo is really moving up after getting beaten to a pulp by the PS2. The industry is really changing in Nintendos favor. Cant wait to see who wins the nex-gen war, Sony or Nintendo? (sorry bill gates)

DDPX
DDPX

PSP is getting beaten over the head and then some! Imagine that, games do matter! People want innovative new games instead of PS2 rehashes with fancy handheld graphx.

DS_fan_atic
DS_fan_atic

Nintendo will be #1 again...the numbers don't lie people

cfarrell76
cfarrell76

Great, now when do we get to see the Blue colors release in the US?

revamparts
revamparts

One platform doesn't exclusively support "graphics" and shun "fun gameplay."

rulo_rezn0r
rulo_rezn0r

well we can see here one more time that graphics are nothing fun gameplay is what matters DS doin great job out theregood for nintendo it was time for them to succeed like they did back in the first half of the 90s

less_than_jules
less_than_jules

"if u look at Brain Age II, it's actually aim for middle-age people which usually are Parents. You are 22, that's one thing for ya to improve your brain and that thing is called colleges." - zhuojloh A few months ago i actually finished my 4 year course at university, gaining a 2:1 BSc honours degree. Even though university has increased my knowledge it doesn't mean that people should stop training their brain...after all everyone's memory/mental quickness starts to diminish eventually. I believe brain training was tested on people aged 20 and over in order to calculate brain ages properly. so regardless of whether games like this are aimed at parents/middle aged people, ideally anyone over 20 are the target market from when brains do start to age. "DS is cheapie. PSP is cool. Wii is cheapie. PS3 and 360 are cool." -mokyumokyu_01 I don't see what's so kewl about a PSP....no good games....and a 'jack of all trades, master of none' when it comes to multimedia functions. If it's kewl to throw your money away on crap then please go ahead and get a PS3 and 360.

faridmon
faridmon

and yeah am 18 and am going to buy a DS so shut up whoever said DS is for kids. as for this article, i must say i am very happy for the Gamecube, its selling, i hope it surpass the xbox, between them is mere miliion. come on Nintendo and Everton.

OhSnapitz
OhSnapitz

It seem's that the DS train can't be stopped.. Kudos for Nintendo but I'll stick with my PSP. It's also nice to see the 360 selling but I wish M$ would've took better advantage of their 1 year lead. The 360 has about 10-12 great titles but that's hardly satisfying considering the amount of time it's been available.

mhder
mhder

mokyumokyu_01 DS is cheapie. PSP is cool. Wii is cheapie. PS3 and 360 are cool. This ladies and gentlemen is an example of marketing beating out the actual gaming experience.

daqua_99
daqua_99

The PSP has stopped and seems to have lost to the DS ....... Nitnendo wins again!!

Dymedropp3r
Dymedropp3r

I honestly can't see the appeal of the DS.Yeah,I'm not handheld fan at all.Regardless of what I like,the DS doesn't seem to attract me. Whatever,good to see 360 is selling somewhat decent.

mokyumokyu_01
mokyumokyu_01

DS is cheapie. PSP is cool. Wii is cheapie. PS3 and 360 are cool.

samekila
samekila

God the DS is your master them are sweet sales I think the Wii will follow to Nintendo you are doing a great job competeing with Sony and Microsoft

keglervs
keglervs

I guess maybe I am easily satisfied. I had no intentions of buying either hand held until I played the demo of NSMB at Circuit City. Nostalgia can be a b****. There are other good games for the system that I will get. But none of them were enough to make me go out and buy one.

Arley569
Arley569

Nintendo doing its thing but no love lost to Sony...........And remember Touching is good!!!.........lol

LexLas
LexLas

Funny and mean at the same time. I don't know if to laugh ?? HMMMM ,,,,,, ya it's funny ! HA !

zhuojloh
zhuojloh

less_than_jules, if u look at Brain Age II, it's actually aim for middle-age people which usually are Parents. You are 22, that's one thing for ya to improve your brain and that thing is called colleges.

zhuojloh
zhuojloh

keglervs, 1 Game.. and only one game is enough for ya. You're easily satisfied my friend.

ryokinshin6x3
ryokinshin6x3

psp=not a flop, jus no gd games are really coming out rite now and this is sonys first portable, nintendo has pretty much all the marketshare ps3 not selling 100 million units in 5 years=not a flop either, no one expected the overhyped ps2 to do so well and it stil is a gd system, this jus means microsoft and nintendo are giving sony enough competition to take away a bunch of its marketshare, its stil not going to fail as a system when comparing ps2 has all the marketshare to gc think the same way and its the same with the ps3 vs wii arguement u play games not cuz their violent or hav mature content, u play them cuz their fun

LordelX
LordelX

It's funny, if Sony doesn't place first, then everyone sees their products as failures. The PSP is never going to overtake the DS, but it doesn't have to. It's got a huge following all over the world so it's not like it's going away anytime soon. The PSP and DS are not limited to the same life cycle as consoles. Remember how the original Gameboy dominated when Pokemon came out, 8 years after it's initial release? Who's to say 5 years from now, the PSP won't be the hot item? Of course for this to happen, Sony has to pull it's head out of it's ***. As a game player alone the PSP is extremely average, as a movie and music player it's subpar, especially to people who are not regular gamers. The PSP needs to be redesigned so that it can be easily carried in your pocket, and UMD's need to be $8.99 at retail. Then, and only then, will you see Sony have a shot at the top spot.

less_than_jules
less_than_jules

"DS, Kids love it, Parents love it(cheap and kid safe content), but adult gamers like me hate it. Bought one and returned one. My PSP is doing fine for me although some people argue no blockbuster games, I think at least it's better than DS in more matured theme games." eh? who let you speak on behalf of all the adult gamers out there. I'm 22 and think the DS is great. Many other adults do too...after all Brain Training is aimed at the over 20's and it's sold millions. And what 'mature themed games are you referring to for the PSP?...if you mean things like GTA then actually that borders more along the lines of immature....i mean running people down in cars....woop de doo.....i'm pretty sure it's only kids that play them sorta games.

TalesOfGazayan
TalesOfGazayan

Correction billigloo 377000 is 63% of 593000, so if you really wanted to twist it you would say it dropped by 36% NOT 100%. Learn math billigloo!

TooDamnRaw
TooDamnRaw

It's real hard and painful for me to believe that the state of gaming is in such bad shape right now that it's being carried on the back of a handheld...the DS. Who would've thought that the DS would be this successful in only it's second year. I'm not saying anything bad about the DS(I'll get one eventually), but it's just sad to believe that with the PS2, Xbox, and 360 out that nothing's really selling for any of them.

billigloo
billigloo

video game systems sales Nintendo's DS 377K PS2 241K Xbox 360 207K PSP 161K Xbox 12K gamecube ??

keglervs
keglervs

"DS, Kids love it, Parents love it(cheap and kid safe content), but adult gamers like me hate it." Speak For yourself, I'm 27 and love my DS. The New Super Mario Bros. is reason enough to love it.