October sales not up to expectations

US software sales for the month up less than 1 percent; overall industry growth closer to 15 percent.

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The industry-tracking NPD Group released its sales figures for October's US console hardware and software sales yesterday, and the industry continued its run of year-over-year improvement, but just barely.

Where analysts like Pacific Crest Securities' Evan Wilson and Lazard Capital Markets' Colin Sebastian had expected game sales to be up sharply for the month, the numbers were actually more or less flat. Last month, US software sales accounted for $369 million, an increase of less than 1 percent over October 2005's $366 million take.

NPD industry analyst Anita Frazier noted that the number of games sold actually jumped by 4 percent, but the average retail price of games dropped about $1 from last year. Part of that is due to the success of generally cheaper handheld titles and the reduced cost of many PlayStation 2 new releases, which generally go for $40 instead of $50 now. Frazier said both of those factors are offsetting the $60 price tags of most new Xbox 360 games.

Domestic hardware sales were more robust, as NPD reports an October tally of $207 million, a jump of 56 percent over last year's $133 million for the month prior to the Xbox 360 launch. Combined with sales of accessories, the industry's total take for the month was $642 million, up more than 15 percent from last October's $556 million.

"A lot of people thought that consumers would be holding their dollars in anticipation of a pricey hardware purchase, and I think that the results show that this is anything but true," Frazier said. "Entertainment is consumable by nature, and I never thought consumers would put off being entertained in the present for the promise of future gratification. It's just not a common trait of entertainment consumers...I think we've learned a lot with this transition--that if you build the right content, consumers will continue to buy it and transitions don't necessarily have to be as painful as previously thought."

Discussion

35 comments
monsefuz
monsefuz

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SaitouZero
SaitouZero

November will be through the roof though, I mean there's FFXII, FFIII, FFV, Yoshi's Island 2, Rainbow 6 Vegas, Gears of War, Sonic, WWE SvR2007, Call of Duty 3, plus all the PS3 and Wii launch games. Software sales will soar this month.

Fiku42
Fiku42

Hmm..... believe it or not I'm as of now satisified with my PS2. I have yet to get Okami and Xenosaga 3. and am Current busy at the moment with FFXII. Next Gen wont be on my mind till 2007 because there is no way I'm getting any next gen console this year the PS2 still rocks. But hey I'll probaly still be picking up a few ps2 games when I have a ps3 next year.

racing5112
racing5112

well maybe PIRACY has gone up! LETS ATTACK PIRACY WHICH HAS BEEN DECLINING AS WELL.

sigma8
sigma8

NFunSpoiler: "well, im KINDA surprised, considering many big DS titles came out (EBA, Contact, Starfox Command, ect). Not to mention FF12." EBA came out in November, these stats were for October. FF12 came out on October 31st... so...yeah... I don't think one day is enough time for it to hoist up all of October, lol And WTF, Starfox Command came out in late August, so most of its sales would be during September. DONT YOU PEOPLE RESEARCH BEFORE YOU SPEAK?

sigma8
sigma8

That quote in the final paragraph, that people aren't holding back in preparation for new purchases in november, because entertainment is "consummable" and entertainment consumers don't hold back...... sounds ridiculous to me. Does she not realize that with the majority of games sold, that they can continue to entertain after purchase for more than a few hours? I realize if someone releases a AAA title, everyone will buy it. If Halo3 came out in october, sales would definitely have spiked...but I don't think you can just say conclude that Halo3 is "the right content". That's exceptional content, and stuff like that cannot be counted upon to happen every month.

chrisdojo
chrisdojo

Dolacide said: Not every month is going to be great. EXACTLY.

Dolacide
Dolacide

Not every month is going to be great.

cjcr_alexandru
cjcr_alexandru

I think this month and the next one we will see record sales.

MrNacaa
MrNacaa

November will skyrocket tho.

makaid
makaid

I agree. I am sure once the newer sytems are established on the market game software purchases will go back up.

faizali86
faizali86

the consoles this gen are so expensive, people are forced to save for hardware purchases.

NFunspoiler
NFunspoiler

well, im KINDA surprised, considering many big DS titles came out (EBA, Contact, Starfox Command, ect). Not to mention FF12.

wonkisjones
wonkisjones

also, everyone is saving for the ps3 and the Wii... what did they expected?!

seaniefresh112
seaniefresh112

Well the thing is that FFXII, NFS:C, and GTA: VCS came out on Oct. 31 which is outside the reporting schedule so we are looking at Bully, Splinter Cell D.A., PSU, Killzone PSP, Tiger 07, Scarface, Clubhouse Games and Marvel Ult. Alliance as the new titles looking to carry the load for Oct. In November you got Gears, FFXII, GTA:VCS, WWE 07, Yoshi, FFIII, Rainbow 6, CoD3, Eragon, NFS:C, Resistance, Zelda Wii, Excite Truck, and Red Steel to name a few. Enjoy.

WolfSkill5544
WolfSkill5544

There wasn't that many triple A titles on oct. except maybe for FF XII. Maybe Nov. is gonna get better.

REVOLUTIONfreak
REVOLUTIONfreak

well with so many hot releases this month Id say November will be a good month

holenjd
holenjd

Well, look at the lack of games that came out in October. What did they expect when they hold out most triple A titles for the holidays.

Boo_looDODO
Boo_looDODO

Mmm why cant all of us just get along? I mean there are millions of people around the globe dashing out money for games and hardware (sry NPD that people only spent $3 millions more than last year). Its not like all of us have money lying around waiting to be spent on games. November is going to be huge and the industry will continue to grow. I really dont get it, oh well hopefully someone will agree with me :)

KingofTrolls
KingofTrolls

People are just Nickel and Diming because of the HUGE cost here in November

RaiKageRyu
RaiKageRyu

Well, I guess everyone is saving up for November.

spidey008
spidey008

Gears of War will pick up November sales. PS3 and Wii releases will also help.

Generic_Dude
Generic_Dude

I'm surprised that expectations were that high. Sony had Final Fantasy XII... other than that, all their activity starts happening in mid-November. Likewise with Nintendo... except they didn't even have a big release. MS had Tony Hawk and, most notably, Gears Of War, but MS's lineup is fairly scant until early 2007 for some inexplicable reason. But one big release for two out of the three big systems isn't enough to carry a month. I don't know what these analysts were expecting to happen.

Hondje89
Hondje89

Oh well, there aren't that great games to come at the moment, FF 12 and GoW with CoD 3 maybe...

seaniefresh112
seaniefresh112

I don't know, this certainly did not live up to the analysts expectations. Remember this headline: "Analyst expects October sales up 25 percent" or "Where last October pulled in $365 million, Wilson expects this year's tally to reach $456 million." The 360 once again had a very slow month as did the PSP. In fact most of the numbers are down with the DS Lite still selling strong. November should be huge but October certainly was disappointing.

Zonelezz
Zonelezz

well the only huge hit title in october was FF 12..

spazzx625
spazzx625

November has releases for like 6983425987 games (rough estimate) of course October is slow.

Schillinger
Schillinger

Everyone's saving their money for Christmas, what's the big deal?

Toadstool1969
Toadstool1969

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crumble114
crumble114

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crumble114
crumble114

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