NPD: US game industry slips 16% in August, PS3 sales nearly double

1.9M units of EA's footballer couldn't prevent double-digit decline; analysts believe Sony has hit "sweet spot" with $299 PS3 Slim; Arkham Asylum, Wii Sports Resort score, while Wolfenstein, G.I. Joe flop.

The PS3 Slim's early launch boosted the console's sales from 121,800 units to 210,000 units.

The US game industry began August on a low note, after suffering double-digit declines in March, April, May, June, and July. Unfortunately, it ended the month on the downside as well, with combined sales of non-PC game hardware, software, and accessories dropping 16 percent year-on-year to $908.72 million. That was a slight improvement from July, which saw a dramatic 29 percent year-on-year drop and $848.9 million in sales.

On the hardware front, sales sunk 25 percent year-on-year to $297.60 million and were barely up from $280.94 million in July. The ever-popular DS was again on top, selling 552,900 units, followed by the $249 Wii with 277,4000 units. In third was the Xbox 360, which saw its 215,400-unit total rise only slightly month-over-month after the Elite model's price dropped to $299.99 on August 28. However, NPD's August reporting period ended August 29, meaning it was only two days' worth of sales.

By contrast, the fourth-place PlayStation 3 got a big bump last month. Though the $299.99 Slim wasn't supposed to go on sale until September 1, many retailers began selling the console during the last week of August. As a result of that and older PS3 models being marked down, the platform's sales nearly doubled from 121,800 units in July to 210,000 in August.

"These PlayStation 3 figures show that the new $299 price point is a definite sweet spot for the console and I expect the momentum gained in August to continue through the holiday season," Electronic Entertainment Design and Research director of analyst services Jesse Divnich told GameSpot this afternoon. "August also marks the first month the PlayStation 3 has shown year-over-year growth in 2009, and we expect similar growth for the remainder of 2009."

However, Sony's other two platforms continued to bring up the rear. Despite Dissida: Final Fantasy cracking the software top 10 (see below), the fifth-place PSP sold only 140,300 units, followed by the PlayStation 2 and its 105,900 haul.

Much like Brett Favre, Madden doesn't have the same spring in its step.

On the software side, Electronic Arts' Madden NFL 10 was the big winner, taking first place (360 - 928,000 units), third place (PS3 - 665,000 units), and sixth place (PS2 - 160,000). However, those figures were down overall from August 2008, when Madden NFL 09 sold 1 million units on the 360, 643,000 units on the PS3, and 424,500 units on the PS2. The Wii version of Madden, which sold 115,800 units last year, didn't even make the August 2009 top 10, selling just 67,000 units. However, according to NPD, the game sold 1.9 million copies across all platforms--hardly a bust.

Besides 10th-place game Fossil Fighters (DS, 92,000 units), Nintendo took second place with the still-strong Wii Sports Resort (754,000 units), eighth with Wii Fit (128,000 units), and ninth with Mario Kart Wii (120,000 units). The rest of the chart was occupied by another Japanese publisher, Square Enix, and its recently purchased British subsidiary, Eidos Interactive. The Xbox 360 edition of Batman: Arkham Asylum took fourth with 303,000 units, just ahead of the 290,000-unit haul of the PS3 version, which boasts exclusive content. The PSP made a rare appearance in the top 10 with Dissidia: Final Fantasy, which sold 130,000 units.

Fossil Fighter's low bar of 92,000 units didn't bode well for several titles missing from the top 10. Activision was completely shut out of the list, meaning the reboot of the Wolfenstein series underperformed. The game's lack of success was first hinted at last month, when its developer, Madison, Wisconsin-based Raven Software, was hit by layoffs. Also missing in action was the critically drubbed movie tie-in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

Today's numbers were slightly larger than predictions given to GameSpot earlier in the week by analysts such as Divnich, who thinks the Madden decline isn't as serious as it might seem. "Madden sales came in-line with expectations, but again, I do not believe this is a negative reflection on the series," he elaborated. "With the PlayStation 3 gaining a tremendous amount of steam and the continued success of the Xbox 360, we are confident that Madden NFL 11 will show a positive increase. Growth over the last 12 months among the core next-generation systems was simply not large enough to sustain growth for the Madden series."

He continued, "Batman: Arkham Asylum met our expectations and the PlayStation 3/Xbox 360 SKU ratio was in-line showing that exclusive content can drive a significant amount of sales for the platform receiving the exclusive content. I would not be surprised if we begin to see Microsoft and Sony approaching publishers on delivering future exclusive content to their platform. It would certainly be cheaper and just as effective than paying for pure exclusivity."

Looking at the current month, Divnich believes that the shrinking rhythm game market--down 46 percent year-to-date--will see a turnaround, thanks to a certain foursome. "I am more than confident that September sales will post a positive comparison. Guitar Hero 5 sales are in-line with expectations and Beatles sales are on track to significantly exceed my previous estimates."

US VIDEO GAMES INDUSTRY - AUGUST 2009
Hardware: $297.60 million (-25%)
Software: $470.32 million (-15%)
Accessories: $137.96 million (+2%)
Total Games: $908.72 million (-16%)

TOP-SELLING HARDWARE - AUGUST 2009
Nintendo DS: 552,900
Wii: 277,400
Xbox 360: 215,400
PlayStation 3: 210,000
PSP: 140,300
PlayStation 2: 105,900

TOP-SELLING SOFTWARE SKUs - AUGUST 2009
Title / Publisher / Units**
1) Madden NFL 10 (360) / Electronic Arts / 928,000
2) Wii Sports Resort w/ Wii Motion Plus (Wii) / Nintendo / 754,000
3) Madden NFL 10 (PS3) / Electronic Arts/ 665,000
4) Batman: Arkham Asylum (360) / Square Enix (Eidos) / 303,000
5) Batman: Arkham Asylum (PS3) / Square Enix (Eidos) / 290,000
6) Madden NFL 10 (PS2) / Electronic Arts / 160,000
7) Dissidia: Final Fantasy (PSP) / Square Enix / 130,000
8) Wii Fit (Wii) / Nintendo / 128,000
9) Mario Kart w/ Wheel (Wii) / Nintendo / 120,000
10) Fossil Fighters (DS) / Nintendo / 92,000

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

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Discussion

225 comments
Kashmiro
Kashmiro

I already have a PS3 and it's a pretty good console, I buy all multiplayer games for 360 cause I like Live better... but I'd go out right now and buy another PS3 if they released a backward compatible one!

buffdaddy69
buffdaddy69

@ Zerosumgame No place is safe to travel. everywhere you go, you will always have a small chance of getting killed, raped or getting you're ass beat. there are billions of way for one person to die.

buffdaddy69
buffdaddy69

@slaggo The reason Nintendo is even doing somewhat alright this generation, is because all the little kids can't handle getting their asses beat on xbox live and PSN.

buffdaddy69
buffdaddy69

Not to sound like a ****, I both a 360 and one of the rare BC PS3's, but I've been saying it for a long time, Whenever Sony decides to do a decent price drop on the PS3, it's sales will double and low and behold.

D4NZEL-709
D4NZEL-709

IMO i think everyone looks at the PS3 and 360 sales cuz wii sells a lot and i dont knw why maybe when sony and MS say look at us we have everything the wii has and more titles which they will soon, well not ms but sony will with the wand. SONY should make a bundle for like 350-400 for a game(PLAYsports) and wand with camera.

ali-009
ali-009

Nuk1euz: the PS2 uses a hardware that is diffrent than the PS3 hardware,if you want PS2 games to work on PS3 you will need the full hardware inside (the same thing like having two consles),so buy the PS3Slim and buy PS2 and it will be almost the same price as the old 80GB PS3 (the one that can play PS2 games),you can't use an update for playing PS2 content,and why sony would do that since everybody is buying PS2 and then PS3.

ali-009
ali-009

Ps1-2-3: you got a very big imagination,this is the war of gaming (the war of money before you say something insane),they all fight for money,no one will lose his company for someone else,it began since the PSOne and Dreamcast days and this war continues with PS3 and Xbox 360,tommorow it will be the war of PS4 and Xbox 720,it just goes like that you can't stop it.

windBurn333
windBurn333

I have a 360 and DSi....the DSi is really a fun device for the train rides...so easy to use and the girls love it....just look at your local departmental store....the women's section takes like 80% of store space...so think about it...

OwnageGuy
OwnageGuy

its good to see the ps3 sales going up to where it should be; matching xbox360 sales. i don't really give a crap about wii or ds.

Ps1-2-3
Ps1-2-3

Wouldn't it be great if Playtation 3, wii and xbox 360 conbined to make the...PlayBoxWii60!!! And Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft combined to make....SonTendoSoft!

Ps1-2-3
Ps1-2-3

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

slaggo
slaggo

@snakes3425: sure, there are a bunch of baby games for Wii and DS....and those machines are STILL kicking xbox's and ps3's ass since release. the DS ALONE does just that single-handedly with the combined sales of xbox & ps3 (not counting ps2 & psp) nice numbers for PS3....coming back up, finally. i don't see the fuss in the console wars crap.....i own both xbox and ps3 and even though i prefer the ps3, the xbox is a great machine too (totally lookin' forward to ODST and Unchartered 2 coming out soon) stupid kids AND adults let their egos flutter in their arguments about their "favorite" console.

BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

I'm not too surprised on how the market is going for the gaming industry. Personally I believe it could take a few years to get the old girl up and running again but hopefully until the market is back up again we as gamers will still get some good games here and there through until this nasty global recession equals out....

brendanhunt1
brendanhunt1

ps3 to me only needs one more thing, backward compatabilty. it makes it a very easy choice for people who own a ps2 and are ready to move to ps3. also great if sony would put a ps2 store on the psn.

brendanhunt1
brendanhunt1

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

brendanhunt1
brendanhunt1

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

brendanhunt1
brendanhunt1

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

cajunstrike
cajunstrike

Agreed. PlayStation 3 price drop was necessary to spur sales, particularly now that Nintendo is set to follow suit at a $199 price point.

-Definition-
-Definition-

The gaming industry as a whole is taking a turn for the worst. I personally like the PS3 myself but that doesn't stop me from playing my WII or XBOX 360. Every console has its selling points. One of the 360's is XBOX Live which is a great online service for gaming. So that turns to friends wanting to play with friends which sells more consoles. It sells more controllers for WII, and well... PS3 can do the same as 360 but with its late release, it comes up short. BUT I do enjoy the exclusive games on PS3 alot more than other consoles, along with its other features. To each his own.

Nuk1euz
Nuk1euz

Oh, and after seeing the Wii's numbers, if PS3S manages to sell 500k this month, They would beat the Wii in sales as well, and maybe even the DS (that might be an iffy perdiction, DS is a monster seller) AND THESE ARE JUST SALES IN THE US. Im kinda happy that PS3 is selling a lot more because i really want more people to play online, and more people to get on Home. I remember playing NBA2K8 for PS3, and the online leagues sucked. The online in general sucked, because not many people would get online. Hope it changes for NBA2K10, and other games of course.

Nuk1euz
Nuk1euz

Sony is beating out the 360 because of PS2 sales. Microsoft only has 360. The original Xbox is dead, whereas the PS2 is still kickin. As long as people keep buying the PS2, the PS3 will NOT HAVE BACKWARDS COMPATIBILITY. But i think it will inevitably happen, it might come out as a firmware update because they had emulation software in the 80GB model if im not mistaken. The 20GB was the only one with hardware emulation, but it wasnt cost-efficient so they took it off. If these numbers are only of first week sales of PS3S, then i would like to see the numbers for the whole month of September, considering 200k in a week, it might exceed 500k in PS3S sales for September, outselling 360 2:1

jwg373
jwg373

PS3 is worth it strictly for it's ability to play Blue Ray

puffadell
puffadell

man u an unbias gamer with a comment like dat ha insults and all man just face it we all know what the best is by now

Zerosumgame
Zerosumgame

@GreenMage7 I guess you do live in a basement. There are more than 2 countries in this planet dude. rofl. Let me guess, you are comparing Japan and the US here. I am not really interested in that argument but if you do want to compare, get this. Which country do you think is more safe to travel for tourist. Crime rate? rape? lol. one word of advise. Get yourself out of the cave and explore the world out there more often. You travel much?

brendanhunt1
brendanhunt1

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

xeridae
xeridae

@FallenAngel First of all it takes many people to make a game so if I had all the time and money in the world I could just hire those people to make a better game. Secondly just because Forza and GT are racing games does NOT mean they are even remotely comparable because there are different genres of racing and different depths to each game. Gran Turismo is called the real driving simulator and so I think everyone including me expects it to be more robust and include a lot more than Forza. That alone should be reason enough to not even compare the two games because that's not what Forza is trying to achieve for one thing and for another thing it's not always about 360 vs PS3. That's the last time I am going to explain it because you've clearly forsaken logic. Also the GT series is good. It's so good I don't think you can compare it to any other racing game it stands alone. They have exclusive license rights with just about every car maker and race team out there to boot so how the hell do you even compete with that?

scryren
scryren

"...the new $299 price point is a definite sweet spot for the console..." The sick thing is it took them three years to realize what we already knew. $300 ftw.

D3A7HJ0K3R
D3A7HJ0K3R

wow to many 360 fanboys trolling around thinking their superior when their console is an oven that over heats every month or gets a disk drive malfunction or error code. And no games?, the ps3 has great gamees better than any kind of bull halo can provide. people only play halo or gears, maybe left 4 dead. And now the PS3 outweighs the 360 in everything except online play, and i'd much rathar have a free online service without autistic 12 year olds running around every miute.

kamizuka
kamizuka

thats in US only not worldwide you know

TevoxZi
TevoxZi

Chief_Kuuni Hopefully you know that this is of August. PS3 Slim was out in the last week of August [in some places, not everywhere as the official release date was September the 1st], meaning it sold close to 360 just in a week, when thinking of Slim's sales. Just wait till October and then we'll see NPD's September -report. Hopefully you also know these are the US Sales, worldwide PS3 sold more than 360 after the pricecut. :p

Pwnd56
Pwnd56

time to grab a soda and just watch the fanboy carnage!

keith577500
keith577500

sells are good but profit still ain't good hopefully sonys profit gets better

FallenAngel
FallenAngel

@xeridae Not really, even if you had all the time and money in the world if you're not talented you wouldn't make a game better than Forza. Plus GT 5 Prologue is of course overpriced, but it still plays beautifully. Did I buy it? No. Did I rent it and enjoy it more than I enjoyed my copy of Forza on my X360? Absolutely. They're both racing sims. So the comparison is valid.

RedSoxfan67
RedSoxfan67

exactly why i like both systems, i remain neutral from retarded fanboy comments

Custodian405
Custodian405

"Also missing in action was the critically drubbed movie tie-in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. " ...really? the analysts are surprised that a movie to game adaptation that got really low scores from every site, as expected, is not on the top 10? :facepalm: oh noes!! it looks like the consumers have realized that these cheap and horrible movie adaptations are only created to milk some quick cash!! This is really interesting because at the same time NPD reported that children only account for about only 24% of the gaming market now and apparently this is taking a toll on the cheap money grabbers which would have been usually bought by clueless parents (not anymore) for their young children.

xtremeflem2day
xtremeflem2day

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

ThisNameIsDumb
ThisNameIsDumb

ps2 sales = 105900 ps3 = 210000 sony says it doubled its sales... doesn't that mean the ps2 would have sold more had there not been a price drop? odd Lol the ps2 is a beast

Chief_Kuuni
Chief_Kuuni

well looks like the PS3 still has a lot of catching up to do, doubling it's #'s and it's still selling smaller then the 360 doesn't bode well for sony, kinda too bad but hopefully it's making a profit at least

GreenMage7
GreenMage7

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

dogpigfish
dogpigfish

They must have taken Wii Play out of the Number 1 Spot because they don't consider it a game.

ForsakenWicked
ForsakenWicked

Wow. This month was truly hard for the gaming industry.

babalol
babalol

@xtremeflem2day Fanboy and what r u ?

xtremeflem2day
xtremeflem2day

@JimmeyBurrows: Never heard of an xbox live party have you? Plenty of games that are released on ps3 and xbox 360 get better reviews on 360, so you do have a wider selection of games. You should read half the comments for you ps3 fanboys, who boast about having blu ray. Know what you are talking about and you will make some sense.

NuKkU
NuKkU

lol to think the PS3 sold that much when it wasnt even supposed to come out in september and alot of people didnt even know about the early release lol thats just crazy

xophaser
xophaser

Sadly I got more games this year then last, since I got more time because of layoff. 6 already this year compared to 3 all of last year. Plus the older games are getting cheaper too.

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

gotta love the arguements... Everyone naturally forgetting that their oppinion is only theirs and not an outright fact. I personally prefure the PS3 for a few reasons, but they are my reasons alone... the reason you don't understand why someone would buy it, is because you prefure the 360 for your own reasons. Found this to be amusing... "If you to chat with your friends while you play games, and have a wide selection of games, then xbox 360 is the way to go. If you like graphics, and blu ray, then ps3 is the way to go. If you got a wife and kids who are in elementary school, then go play mariocart as a family." Trying to sound right, but throwing your own oppinions at everyone... Your points about each console are no reason to buy them... all 3 consoles allow you to chat to friends while you play, they all have a wide selection of games... You just put the most boring ones for the consoles you don't like... Who wants a console for it's blu ray player? Rofl... Most people still buy DVD's anyway.

xtremeflem2day
xtremeflem2day

PS3 Fanboys= Idiots who are stuck up, and they know that its not any better than the other consoles but can't accept it. Every unbaised comment made to say all consoles are good just get marked down by these trolls.

tarvin
tarvin

How is the DS still selling so well, everyone in the world should have one by now lol :P

xtremeflem2day
xtremeflem2day

Who cares about sales? If you like a console, then stick with it. Personally i would never give up halo 3, its just too great of a game, but im thinking of getting a ps3, and if I do then ill enjoy MGS4 and KZ2. If you to chat with your friends in parties while you play games, and have a wide selection of games, then xbox 360 is the way to go. If you like graphics, and blu ray, then ps3 is the way to go. If you got a wife and kids who are in elementary school, then go play mariocart as a family. Not everyone is going to like every console.