While Sony and Microsoft battle it out on the hardware front, Ubisoft and Nintendo are raking in the cash on the software side.
Gamers spent $736.4 million on new physical gaming products at U.S. retail in June, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. That’s up 24 percent from $593.5 million in the same period last year. The new consoles once again were the big driver of that revenue, as more and more gamers rush to upgrade to Xbox One and PlayStation 4. While hardware performed well, software was down despite a strong second month for Watch Dogs and Mario Kart 8. That’s because new games released last month didn’t do much at retail.
“Sales of launch titles in June 2014 did not compare favorably to those launched in June 2013, which included the PS3 exclusive The Last of Us, along with Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and a retail version of Minecraft for the Xbox 360,” said NPD analyst Liam Callahan.
Gamers spent $286.8 million on new games at retail in June. That’s down 3 percent from $296.1 million year-over-year.
The Last of Us is a tough act to follow, and it doesn’t help that a ton of consumer spending was tied up in $292.7 million for new hardware. That number represented a 106 percent increase over June 2013.
As always, we like to point out that the NPD figures are not comprehensive. They only include new games sold at physical retailers in the U.S. That means no pre-owned sales, no digital distribution, and no mobile. That said, it is a decent snapshot of how the market is behaving.
Alright, with that out of the way, let’s get to the top-selling games.
Watch Dogs was the big winner. Ubisoft revealed that is has already sold 8 million copies of the game worldwide, which is an astounding number. It’s no surprise that the open-world hacking game topped the list at U.S. retailers, but it is a bit of a surprise that the Xbox 360 version outsold the Xbox One game. All we’ve heard since November is that gamers want new-gen games. That’s still true for PS4, which was the top platform for Watch Dogs.
Another big winner in June was Mario Kart 8. Nintendo’s mascot racer snatched the No. 2 spot despite availability on just one platform. The only other single-platform exclusive game to make the top 10 was also a Nintendo release: the social-life simulator Tomodachi Life.
Minecraft at No. 3 still shows the strength of that phenomenon. While the physical PS3 version only debuted a few weeks ago, the year-old Xbox 360 version is still outselling it.
The rest of the list is sports or violence … sometimes both. UFC debuted at No. 4, Wolfenstein: The New Order returned at No. 7, and and Grand Theft Auto V hit No. 10.
“In terms of software titles, many of the top games in June 2014 mirrored those of May 2014, with six of the same games ranking in the top ten,” said Callahan. “Three of these top ten games were also new launches from May 2014 — Watch Dogs, Mario Kart 8, and Wolfenstein: The New Order — indicating the weakness of new launches in June.”
Finally, the World Cup gave EA Sports’ FIFA 14 a boost up to No. 5.
We’ve reached out to Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo to ask how well their hardware sold, and we’ll update this story with any new information.
NPD noted that home-console sales were the big reason for the increase in spending.
“The 106 percent increase in hardware sales versus June 2013 was lifted entirely by console hardware sales, which were up by over 200 percent,” said Callahan. “The strong sales performance of console hardware helped to offset the declines seen in portable hardware.”
Sales of the new-gen devices are also brisk enough to suggest gamers are still rushing out month after month to upgrade.
“Combined sales of Xbox One and PS4 are over 80 percent higher than the combined totals for Xbox 360 and PS3 – an indication of the strength of the start of this new console generation,” said Callahan.
PS4: #1 best selling 269K
3DS: 150K (up 55% over May)
Wii U: ~140K (up 233% over last June)
PlayStation 4 was #1 in sales for the sixth consecutive month and remains the cumulative leader for next generation game consoles.
PlayStation 4 was #1 for next generation software sales, with PS4 leading two of the top three titles.
PlayStation was #1 in combined home console hardware sales (PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3) for the month.
The biggest next generation software titles, including Watch_Dogs, UFC and FIFA 14, were #1 on PlayStation 4, further demonstrating that PS4 is the platform of choice for blockbuster games.
Xbox One Sales More Than Double in June with New $399 Option and Unveiling of Holiday Games Lineup
Over the past month, we’ve seen a strong spike in interest in our Xbox One console options, including the new $399 offering, and the amazing lineup of games announced during E3. Since the new Xbox One offering launched on June 9th, we’ve seen sales of Xbox One more than double* in the US, compared to sales in May, and solid growth in Xbox 360 sales.
We’re excited to welcome so many fans to Xbox this summer and we can’t wait for them to get their hands on the wide selection of new games available this year on Xbox One, including Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Sunset Overdrive, Forza Horizon 2, and Ori and the Blind Forest. Xbox One is the only place you can play these games along with creative independent titles and blockbusters such as Assassin’s Creed Unity, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Destiny, Evolve, Grand Theft Auto V, and dozens more. We’re honored that Xbox One was awarded with the best games line-up of 2014 by game critics at E3 and our fans have a lot of amazing new games to look forward to in the coming months.
Starting in August with the release of Madden NFL 15, new blockbuster hits will launch for Xbox One at an incredible pace throughout the fall, as we head into the holiday season. Gamers love the holidays and we are lining up incredible deals and special promotions to celebrate. The fun is just getting started and we can’t wait to share more exciting news soon.
*- Internal data based on retail calendar and sold through numbers
Titanfall couldn't do it will this be the 2nd embarrassing moment this year for MS ?
with the games, games, games MS E3 press conference, pricecut and kinectless 399$ SKU Xbone should receive a HUGE sales bump!
Nintendo with their killer E3 and MK8 should also receive a sales bump! they could outsell Xbone this month "LOL"
the real question is will playstation still be king ? the Xbone has even a greater chance of outselling ps4 this month if you consider the beautiful ooking white ps4 destiny edition.
i say playstation will dominate once again! i predict lemmings and sheep will avoid this thread also this month will be the same as titanfall month with massive meltdowns and noshows. CANT WAIT!
with E3 behind us this month result will be a do it or die moment for both MS and nintendo!