NPD: October sales defy market plunge

US gaming industry sees 18 percent year-over-year growth to $1.31 billion; Fable II tops software, Wii retains hardware crown.

Remember when January 1, 2008, rolled around and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was hanging around 13,000? Yeah, that was nice. And then, after months of steady decline, October arrived, and stock markets around the world walked hand-in-hand off a cliff.

So how did US gamers react to having the value of their 401(k)s noisily deflate like an unknotted balloon? Surprisingly, they barely batted a lash, according to the NPD Group's measure of October gaming hardware, software, and accessory sales. In sharp contrast to September's negative growth, the NPD reported today that the gaming industry pulled in $1.31 billion in October.

While that figure represents an 18 percent climb from a year ago, NPD analyst Anita Frazier notes that not all segments experienced the boon equally. "The sales results are mixed this month, however," noted Frazier. "The console portion of the market made significant gains at 26 percent across hardware, software and accessories, while the portable side of the market stalled, declining 14 percent. Year-to-date the portable segment of the market is still up 7 percent."

As for those hardware sales, the console and handheld segments brought in $495 million for the month, a 5 percent year over year increase. Nintendo, to the surprise of no one, retained its seat atop both the console and handheld markets. Not wasting any time ramping up to holiday-level sales figures, the Wii made its way into 804,000 more living rooms in October, a tally Frazier said represents the single best month for the console outside of November-December 2007. The Nintendo DS put up respectable numbers of its own, logging 491,000 units sold for the month.

Microsoft's Xbox 360 continued to see a sales bump in relation to price cuts made in September, with the console selling 371,000 units across its three SKUs. "The price reduction on the Xbox 360 is paying dividends at retail as the platform realized a 7 percent unit sales increase over September," said Frazier. "Keeping in mind that September was a five-week month while October had four, the sales pace increased 33 percent."

While it didn't achieve sales on par with its archrival, Sony's PlayStation 3 experienced a win of its own, as unit sales grew 57 percent over October 2007's results. In total, Sony moved 190,000 units of its flagship console, just 3,000 shy of the PSP's 193,000 systems last month. PlayStation 2 sales rounded out the pack with 136,000 units.

The single largest contributor to October's $1.31 billion total haul was software, which landed at the top-end of analysts' estimates at $698 million, a 35 percent increase. Microsoft and Lionhead Studios' Xbox 360-exclusive role-playing game Fable II topped a list of mostly new entrants, selling 790,000 units despite launching toward the end of the month. The critically acclaimed title nearly doubled Nintendo's returning kingpin Wii Fit, which slotted into second place this month with 487,000 units sold.

Of the 4.7 million units shipped worldwide for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC, Bethesda Softworks' Fallout 3 sold 375,000 on Microsoft's console in the US, securing it third place in October's charts. Bethesda's postapocalyptic RPG was followed by the the remaining two titles to chart in both September and October, Nintendo's Mario Kart Wii (290,000 units sold) and Wii Play (282,000 units sold).

THQ may be going through a bout of upheaval, but the internally developed Saints Row 2 is doing its part to keep the publisher upright. The Xbox 360 edition of the game secured the sixth spot in October's retail results, selling 270,000 units. Two PS3 exclusives ran neck-and-neck for the seventh and eighth slots, with Slant Six's online-only multiplayer shooter SOCOM: US Navy SEALS Confrontation outselling Media Molecule's user-generated content paradise Little Big Planet 231,000-to-215,000.

Take-Two's NBA 2K9 was the only basketball sim to chart in October, selling 202,000 units on the Xbox 360 and earning it the ninth slot on the list. EA's all-new survival horror shooter Dead Space snuck into the final spot in October's top 10, thanks to the 193,000 units sold for Microsoft's Xbox 360.

Conspicuously absent from the NPD's October recounting was the seemingly unstoppable rhythm game genre. Activision Blizzard's Guitar Hero World Tour failed to place on the top 10 at all, even if it was available in more than 10 different SKUs. For comparison, when Guitar Hero III went on sale in September 2007, bundles for the game landed in second, third, fourth, and eighth place, with all selling more than 230,000 copies apiece. Also absent were Nintendo's Wii Music, which went on sale October 21, and MTV Games' Rock Band 2, which arrived first on the Xbox 360 in September and followed on the PS3 last month.

Other notable absences include Sony's MotoStorm: Pacific Rift, Take-Two's Midnight Club: Los Angeles, and Ubisoft's Far Cry 2. Of the latter, the publisher said earlier this month that the game had achieved 1 million in sales worldwide.

US VIDEO GAMES INDUSTRY - OCTOBER 2008
Software: $697M (+35%)
Hardware: $495M (+5%)
Accessories: $120M (-8%)
Total Games: $1.31B (18%)

TOP-SELLING HARDWARE - OCTOBER 2008
Wii--803,000
Nintendo DS--491,000
Xbox 360--371,000
PlayStation Portable--193,000
PlayStation 3--190,000
PlayStation 2--136,000

TOP-SELLING SOFTWARE - OCTOBER 2008
Title / Publisher / Units*
1) Fable II (Xbox 360) / Microsoft / 790,000
2) Wii Fit w/ Balance Board (WII) / Nintendo / 487,000
3) Fallout 3 (Xbox 360) / Bethesda Softworks / 375,000
4) Mario Kart Wii w/ Wheel (WII) / Nintendo / 290,000
5) Wii Play w/ Remote (WII) / Nintendo / 282,000
6) Saints Row 2 (Xbox 360) / THQ / 270,000
7) SOCOM: US Navy SEALs Confrontation (PS3) / Sony / 231,000
8) Little Big Planet (PS3) / Sony / 215,000
9) NBA 2K9 (360) / Take-Two Interactive / 202,000
10) Dead Space (360) / Electronic Arts / 193,000

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

Written By

Want the latest news about Fallout 3?

Fallout 3

Fallout 3

Discussion

296 comments
StarlightHunter
StarlightHunter

little big planet. WTF. why is that even in up their. its good to see dead space and fallout though.

hector530
hector530

"These games just blow. Get over it people and demand change!" you wouldnt know a good game if it slapped you across youre face

justinthorell
justinthorell

Woah, i'm quite surprised to see SOCOM in the top 10 for best sellers this month. And it's ahead of Dead Space and LBP too. Jesus christ

hollin24
hollin24

haha cause they are poor

gameman_500
gameman_500

there are still a lot of people that want ps2s because they are poor. the ps2 wont die out till a couple more years

Lopur94
Lopur94

You'd be suprised to know how many people still want a PS2

MaddenBowler10
MaddenBowler10

lol who the hell would want to buy a PS2 anymore.

cloudchaser1
cloudchaser1

i rented Fable 2, and it saddens me that so many people bought it.

bennae66
bennae66

consoles arent for kids either. im a multi-platform gamer thats nearly 30.

bennae66
bennae66

oh i forgot to mention that keyboards on the lap and mouse on the chair next to you dont really work that well if your the type who hooks up pc's to tv's. my laptop really gets used for work, and internet and various media. tis about it. i dont worry about patches for my games or graphics settings for my console. on my 360 fallout works fine in 'high mode' because thats the only mode my 360 has. dead space looks great on my ps3 in 'high mode' and wipeout hd looks brilliant in '1080p' on my tv... want more reasons?

bennae66
bennae66

response to kenttalbert: i own a pc, ps3, wii and 360. i cant use my pc on my reclining lounge, with my 50'' HD tv and entertainment system. for me its a simple choice. i use pc for realtime strategy only. maybe the occasional rpg but i got oblivion, fallout and mass effect for my loungeroom instead. the only pc game im interested in really is starcraft 2. and i wont be upgrading my pc for it, i will make do with my existing one.

BuckGame
BuckGame

man PS3 is tha 1 i own but umm 4 real they need some adding on things they need to do but at tha same time it is coming along way B.O.N and METAL GEar is tha BEST GAME EVER Holla at me My playstation ID is BuckGame

KentTalbert
KentTalbert

The PC is the only "console" for me. Why not play games on the machine that creates them?

KentTalbert
KentTalbert

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

ChrisManso
ChrisManso

Certain systems are made for certain people, Wii has most sales in October but me myself got bored of it in a month, i had 2 Ds's and sold them both, i still have my ps3 and 360, the 360 as of now has my attention the most due to its online community

zintarr
zintarr

These games just blow. Get over it people and demand change!

H_U_R_D
H_U_R_D

man, nintendo is just slaughtering kids right now i wouldnt be surprised to see in the next few years an announcement of a Microsoft handheld, cuz the DS is beating a 360, so the money making potential is def there

airboygt
airboygt

What is really confounding is that the Wii is #1, every retail facility I frequent these things are never in stock. Either they are selling as soon as they arrive, or these numbers are skewed. Regardless, the Wii is not a console I can see myself playing, its core audience are most definitely very-casual to not-at-all gamers. Wii = Gheyness to a mathematically improbable level.

MagicOneUp
MagicOneUp

I'm a proud ps2 owner but have refused/resisted the ps3; over priced, don't need/want blu-ray, lack of good games, no rumble ($99 for dual shock 3!!!!!!) instead i batted for the 360. never ever wanted the ps3, what for!

MagicOneUp
MagicOneUp

Fable 2 at top spot?!! its an average game!

frazzle00
frazzle00

@Briantb_2008 LOL. Sony in 2nd position.Hahahahaha. Even if you add the PS3 and PS2 sales figures, the 360 still sold more units this month (the handheld market being seperate to the home console one). AND more importantly, there is no guarantee that current PS2 owners will become PS3 owners in the future. No matter how much a fanboy such as yourself will try to spin things, Sony has not performed well this generation.

frazzle00
frazzle00

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

Briantb_2008
Briantb_2008

nintendo dominates the market I won't deny it, but hands down sony comes in seconed. there still moving a lot more product then microsoft is and they been selling the ps2 and psp for awile now.

Generalmojo
Generalmojo

its basicaly cheepest to the most expensive

Compilation
Compilation

Astonishing pricing amounts. I wasn't at all surprised about LittleBigPlanets position in the top selling software. Having a copy of the game, it's a good game, just not the best. I believe it 'was' heightened to dangerous peak levels of hype. Too much of a height it may in actuality have given it a notable decrease, which affected it's economical sell rate. But anyway, this sure has defied the market, I mean, the stats are just horrendously high.

VolcanoMan001
VolcanoMan001

Wow, nice 360 sales. I think I recall a few months ago about people trash talking the 360 when the PS3 outsold it by 10,000 units. Hard to explain being outsold by 181,000 units I guess.

ottumatic
ottumatic

It grows partly because the retrenched will be needing some home entertainment whilst job seeking. Not trying to rub salt on people's wounds, but it does hold water most of the time.

frazzle00
frazzle00

@tudyniuz "remember guys this is in the US where the PS3 is sold poorly?" What exactly do you mean by that? Are you suggesting that the PS3 isn't marketed well? If you are then sorry buddy guess again. Nintendo, MS and Sony all spend sizable amounts of money advertising their products. There is no better way to differentiate your product from competitors in the market. Now if you meant "where the PS3 is selling poorly" you would only be partially right. Yes the PS3 is not selling as well as the 360 or the Wii. BUT, the US is a big market. The biggest market for videogames in the world. Although I don't have the UK figures for PS3s sold in October, I would be very surprised if more units were shifted there, than there were in the US. The fact remains that Sony have gone from pole position to last place this generation. To add insult to injury their slice of the videogame market has taken a massive hit, and I am pretty sure they won't get it back (or come close to doing so) this generation. But don't take this as a negative. Sony had this a long time coming. Perhaps when they design the PS4, they'll have gamers in mind, and not just the pipe dream of some non-gamer megalomaniac *cough* Kutaragi *cough*.

Proman84
Proman84

The games aren't immune to bad economy. If the economy doesn't improve, eventually they will catch up with it too.

nintendokid
nintendokid

@maverick_76 Wishful thinking. PS3 no longer has the exclusives that PS2 once held. Why do people still purchase PS2 in large numbers? Because of the software. Because of all the exclusives and great games that are only available on one system: PS2. And these PS2 games sold very well when released and became the face of the Playstation franchise. I'm talking about the Tekkens, the Final Fantasy's, Devil May Cry's, the GTs, Ratchets, GTAs, year after year of good games. In this generation, Playstation has lost many of these exclusives to the 360 and some games are being released simultaneously on the 360. Tekken and Street Fighter will also be on the 360. Devil May Cry is on the 360. Ace Combat left PS3 party altogether. PS3 has yet to have a "Tales" game. Final Fantasy is coming to 360. PS3 will always have Ratchet and GT5 but is that enough to justify purchase well into 2015? No. On a month by month basis, 360, released one year earlier, is selling equal to or more than PS3. Does that sound like a system that will sell well into 2015? And you are right, Sony is not going anywhere. Microsoft however, is going forward.

maverick_76
maverick_76

Personally I don't see why people are so fast to defend/curse systems. In the end we know that Microsoft will be having a next gen system out in another 3-4 years while Sony will just be retiring the PS2 at that point. The reason I bring this up is overall the PS3 will probably catch the 360 because it will be on the market longer. And as far as games are concerned, they both have stellar games and crappy games as well. Who cares who wins the war, Sony is not going anywhere and neither is Microsoft. Plus Nintendo is bum-raping everyone in sight, so really neither of those consoles will win this gen's war.

Bahaa3000
Bahaa3000

I can't wait to see November's figures ! With Gears Of War 2 and Left For Dead released , the 360 is gonna sell BIG !

tudyniuz
tudyniuz

remember guys this is in the US where the PS3 is sold poorly;)

nellyg619
nellyg619

LBP shuda sold alot more tbh

SDMF_TrueBlue
SDMF_TrueBlue

@Thekodaman Do your homework. You do not have to have the wireless receiver to have XBL and XBL can be bought on an annual basis, reducing the cost per month versus 12 months being purchased in one month increments.

nintendokid
nintendokid

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

SDMF_TrueBlue
SDMF_TrueBlue

I'm just glad to see the video game industry isn't in a state of financial turmoil comparable to the, well, financial industry.

PhilipO38
PhilipO38

It seems that the hardcore gamers are now demanding to have more depth in the're games, of which have been dominated by FPS and action genre's for nearly every month, for over a decade. When you have Fable 2 selling 800K and taking the top spot and Fallout 3 selling 4.7 million since it's release and hitting the #3 spot in Oct for just the 360 version, that's extremely impressive for the rpg genre. And the key as to why these two rpg's are selling so well, is in many ways because they are using elements of other genre's(ie..FPS elements in an open world in Fallout 3), to appeal to other genre's besides the rpg fans. This _is_ the future of gaming and will soon be a trend, at least for the hardcore gamers. Even Far Cry 2 while is basically a FPS with a small open world map, is selling in droves as well. Many gamers now are demanding open world, more freedom, less linear, and more depth for the're games, as we have seen this year, with GTA:IV, Fallout 3, Fable 3..ect being the hardcore games of choice. In Nov, it should be interesting to see the final numbers of say Gears 2 compared to Fable 2 or Fallout 3, as well as Resistance 2 compared to Fallout 3(in PS3 software sales) as well. If Fable 2 and Fallout hold the're own vs the two most hyped up shooters of 08'(add in COD:5 as well), it will be very impressive and may well show a trend in what the hardcore gamer is demanding, and it will be a trend that shows how the gaming industry is really maturing. Gamers, hardcore that is, have grown up..finally, as have the age of the average gamer. One more thing, expect to X360 to outsell the Wii in Nov. and possibly even dec., with the release of Gears 2 and the price drop combined with the new (wii like) dashboard update. This will be the first time any model of the X360 will be cheaper then the Wii since the Wii's release, and that $199 Arcade 360 model will sell in droves this holiday season.

GamerDude911
GamerDude911

i made a huge mistake choosing a PS3 over the 360..........

dmish82
dmish82

Nothing is more annoying than reading the posts on these forums, only to find people taking up half the page with their console of choice 'lists of exclusives'. Enough already! I've already posted earlier saying I was disappointed in the PS3 exclusive titles this holiday season after so much potential. We'll see how it fares the rest of the year.

Dryker
Dryker

I'm kinda sick of console bashing, but... I own a PS3 and MGS4, and if it wasn't a blu-ray player, it would be a paper weight. I liked MGS4, unfortunately I never beat it and haven't felt compelled enough to return to it. As far as games go, PS3 just doesn't have anything that appeals to me and my tastes are pretty diverse. Gears of War 2 kicks ass, I love my Lost Odyssey, can't stop playing Too Human, and can't wait for the next Overlord. PS3? I almost convinced myself to buy Little Big Planet... but why? Online is the best component and it's broken.

TheArcade
TheArcade

.mgs4, killzone 2, little big planet, heavy rain, uncharted: drake's fortune, resistance 2, warhawk, SOCOM, Gran Turismo 5, ratchet and clank......all 360 has is ninja gaiden, halo 3 but thats really old, gears of war and fable....thats it.......and plus according to the official xbox magazine, GTA5 is going to be a ps3 exclusive because rockstar wants a bigger map, better graphics and more buildings that can just be walked right into, 75% of buildings to be exact.[/i]" AHEM! Allow me to correct you on that PS3 does not have more exclusive games than any other console. The Playstation consoles which came before the PS3 hold more exclusives. Then there are the other brand systems from past years that have tremendous amounts of exclusives to make them comparable with PS3's. You should do some research before making such a false statement. Now, regarding 360 not having as many exclusives as the PS3 here is what we are looking at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Xbox_360-only_games That tiny amount you've listed trembles in comparison to 360's. PS3-only games are out numbered and have been for a while.

frazzle00
frazzle00

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

frazzle00
frazzle00

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

marcopolo4212
marcopolo4212

it all comes down to people just watching t.v., seeing an xbox commerical and not doing any research into what console would best be suited for them, if this wasnt a factor than i think the ps3 be easily be outselling the xbox 360 right now and btw, ps3 has more exclusives than any other console.mgs4, killzone 2, little big planet, heavy rain, uncharted: drake's fortune, resistance 2, warhawk, SOCOM, Gran Turismo 5, ratchet and clank......all 360 has is ninja gaiden, halo 3 but thats really old, gears of war and fable....thats it.......and plus according to the official xbox magazine, GTA5 is going to be a ps3 exclusive because rockstar wants a bigger map, better graphics and more buildings that can just be walked right into, 75% of buildings to be exact.

nintendokid
nintendokid

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

frazzle00
frazzle00

Amen dude. I have a PS3 as well, and there are games on it that I enjoy like Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, Heavenly Sword and Ridge Racer 7 (yes I know it's an acquired taste : P). However the Xbox 360 has so many more exclusives available that I, remember opinion is subjective, also enjoy. Couple that with the fact that multi-platform titles are usually better on the 360 easily makes it my console of choice. Based on American sales figures it seems there are plenty of people out there that agree with me :D.