Domestic industry sales slide 23% as THQ's MMA debut pounds out 1 million units on PS3 and 360; DS hardware king as Nintendo's console marks another domestic sales milestone.
The industry-tracking NPD Group released its US retail sales figures for the month of May today, and the numbers fell more or less in line with analyst expectations. Combined domestic sales of non-PC game software, hardware, and accessories suffered year-over-year decreases for the third straight month, as the research firm reported a haul of $863.3 million last month--down 23 percent from May 2008's $1.12 billion.
Hardware sales suffered the steepest decline, dropping 30 percent to $302.5 million for the month. Nintendo's DS handheld, bolstered by the recent launch of the camera-enabled DSi, managed to sell a strong 633,500 systems, but all other platforms were down sharply from the previous year. Where the Wii racked up 675,100 units sold for May 2008, last month's tally was a relatively meager 289,500. Even so, the total was enough to push the Wii's lifetime-to-date US sales above the 20 million milestone, according to Nintendo.
Despite the decline in Wii sales, Nintendo's console was the second best-selling platform for the month, as the Xbox 360 sold 175,000 units, the PlayStation 3 moved 131,000, and the PSP barely broke 100,000. The newly $99 PlayStation 2 actually surpassed its handheld counterpart for the month, selling 117,000 systems for the month.
Electronic Entertainment Design and Research analyst Jesse Divnich told GameSpot it was the Wii's worst sales month since January of 2008, when Nintendo was hamstrung by supply constraints. Even so, Divnich wasn't overly concerned about the system.
"When you look at the Wii number, it's bad on an absolute basis, but relative to the PS3 and 360, Nintendo is still matching them combined," Divnich said. "I think the biggest concern is just the hardware market in general. We're due for a round of price cuts, and I think all three manufacturers have reached saturation at current price points."
Software fared better, posting a 17 percent year-over-year drop to $448.9 million, down from $540 million. THQ's UFC Undisputed was the clear success story of the month, selling 679,600 copies on the Xbox 360 and another 334,400 on the PS3 to put its combined tally above the 1 million mark. Wii Fit maintained its stranglehold atop the nontraditional games genre with 352,800 sold, but new competitor EA Sports Active was close on its heels with 345,800 sold. Other high-profile debuts included Infamous in fifth place with 175,900 sold, and Punch-Out!, which moved 156,900 copies, enough to put it in eighth place.
While UFC took home the sales title, Divnich called special attention to this month's top runners-up, Wii Fit and EA Sports Active. Any game that targets the mainstream will have longer legs at retail, he said, so gamers should get used to seeing these sorts of titles on the charts.
"I think the fitness category is here to say as long as additional substance can be added on a regular basis," Divnich said. "But you just can't release a similar fitness title and expect the same numbers. Each new title has to be innovative. You need a gimmick."
Despite the down sales figures, NPD analyst Anita Frazier was guardedly optimistic in her assessment of next month's sales prospects.
"Looking ahead to June, there are some promising games coming out this month between Sims 3 (PC), Prototype, Red Faction, Virtua Tennis, Ghostbusters, Transformers, and Tiger Woods just to name a few," Frazier said. "At E3, it was notable how many games were targeted to the 'tween' girl demographic, and this June will see a number of games introduced for girls as well. June comparisons are still likely to be tough, but the wide variety of new content could help reinvigorate things somewhat."
US VIDEO GAMES INDUSTRY - MAY 2009
Software: $448.9M (-17%)
Hardware: $302.5M (-30%)
Accessories: $122.0M (-25%)
Total Games: $863.3M (-23%)
TOP-SELLING HARDWARE - MAY 2009
Nintendo DS: 633,500
Xbox 360: 175,000
PlayStation 3: 131,000
PlayStation 2: 117,000
TOP-SELLING SOFTWARE SKUs - MAY 2009
Title / Publisher / Units**
1) UFC 2009 Undisputed (X360) / THQ / 679,600
2) Wii Fit w/ Balance Board (Wii) / Nintendo / 352,800
3) EA Sports Active (Wii) / EA / 345,800
4) UFC 2009 Undisputed (PS3) / THQ / 334,400
5) Infamous (PS3) / SCEA / 175,900
6) Pokemon Platinum (DS) / Nintendo / 168,900
7) Mario Kart Wii with Wheel (Wii) / Nintendo / 158,300
8) Punch-Out!! (Wii) / Nintendo / 156,900
9) X-Men Origins: Wolverine (X360) / Activision Blizzard / 120,700
10) Wii Play w/ Remote (Wii) / Nintendo / 109,800
** = Figures include Collector's Editions and non-hardware bundles.
ginrog my mates and i get into MMA and have been watching uc since ufc1. now not many people have been around the scene that long and i can tell you: we are into MMA for the spectacle but for ourselves, its self defence. yes it has many disciplines entwined, but if someone wants to start a fight with you on the street its alot more practical to put thier arm behind them to shut them down within 10 seconds than exchange blows and risk getting injured. Elitle world athletes participate in the ufc and the lesser cages and rings, but my mates and i arent getting into the octagon any time soon for sport
sony needs to change something to get all three of their systems away from taking the lowest three spots in hardware sales (that rumored ps3 price cut will help ease the pain). it must be a little embarrassing to know that ps2 sales are only 14,000 off the ps3, and are actually ahead of the psp. kudos to the ps2 though.
I think some price cuts are in order. Particularly for the Wii and PS3. The Wii has pretty much reached market saturation at its current price. Considering that PS2 features DVD playback at $100 and Wii has last-gen graphics, it's really not asking Nintendo alot to drop it to roughly $180-$200. They're making a damn killing as it is. Sony is just gonna have to cut their damn losses with PS3. They're gonna have to drop the 80GB model to $350, allow PS2 emulation and/or ride out this gen for a decade. 360 can't really do much better nor worse.
mariokart64fan From 340,000 in April to 289,000 in May. You call that a good thing? Hardware sales are declining and you think that's good. Okay, Why did Punch-Out sell only 157,000? I don't think Nintendo expected that, they probably expected 500,000.
Most people who are training in MMA are training for sport not self-defense. MMA encompasses a lot of different disciplines therefore self-defense would not be the main reason to get into MMA. Way too much for a person to learn to just protect themselves. Wrestling, Ju-Jitsu, Boxing, Karate, Muay Thai, Sambo, Judo and the list goes on. I really don't think you are as informed as you claim to be kavadias1981. I also think you are more the half-wit then the fans(which include me and I am by no means any less a wit than you).
You know what though guys, let's just leave it there and just agree to disagree. I oppose it, you are for it. End of. Not like it changes anything in the end is it?
@crossdx True, it isn't right for me to generalise and I apologise for that. Can I also mention that you train in the martial arts so you of course understand that the purpose of it is self defence and discipline not for entertainment sports.
Wii is still outselling the PS3 2:1 after being on the market for 2 years. lol!! That's just sad. XBox 360 is still rolling right along. Another price cut $150 XBox 360 should send sales into the stratosphere come this holiday.
@kavadias1981 I'm glad that you, an individual that clearly doesn't care for combat sports, can at least see that aspect of the sport. And please, don't generalize the MMA fanbase as well just because most mainstream fans tend to act like they're at a drunken frat party. It's the same in every sport that involves a lot of testosterone. I've seen much rowdier fans at football matches, not to mention the violence/hooliganism that takes place there. Also, I don't condone fighting outside of a sporting environment. I hope you can at least understand, that this is all for sport. I have never been in a street brawl or bar fight in my life, but I train in Martial Arts and compete for my own personal development and discipline.
Halfwit idiots? That is what you come up with kavadias1981? Because they were cheering athletes who are competing in a pure sport? So the rabid football fans who paint their whole bodies the color of their team and stand in the freezing cold shirtless are intellectual geniuses I suppose. Those smarties are watching a lot of 'men' beating each other up over a ball...
@crossdx I understand entirely the commitment that the fighters put into their sport and that they have respect for each other. Almost every time a fighter won I witnessed them checking up on their opponent; they would usually have a little cuddle too. I have full respect for that part of it. It is everything else I have a problem with. But you know what, it doesn't seem to matter what I say anyway. The majority of people seem to think that fighting is ok and that really saddens me.
@ginrog I noticed a lot of halfwit idiots watching two "men" beating each other up. Not too many of what I would call an adult though. @VivaRevolucion Yes, that is exactly what I will do. Thank you for your intelligent advice and contribution to the discussion. @joke_man I don't buy into anything anyone says. I create my own informed decisions based on my own knowledge and experience. Heck, I believe that almost everything we hear in the media is manipulated in some way before it reaches our ears and eyes. @nintendokid I wish.
I dont no why people are getting worked up. Good luck to THQ they brought out a very good game, which i enjoy playing. Theres alot of things they need to improve on, but thats what makes me soo exctied for the next one.
@ginrog: Right on, man. I immediately thought that statement I made in my post was a bit much as soon as I hit the submit button. I guess I was caught up in the moment there. You're absolutely right, you don't need to be an athlete, fighter or martial arts expert to appreciate MMA. Most of my friends are fans of the sport without ever actually training in any combat disciplines, unless you count fighting videogames to improve their hand/eye coordination and reaction times. There's an art to that too, as we all know. :)
@kavadias1981 The real televised thuggery is the misguided propaganda that people buy into everyday--The US Media conglomerates. FYI, and last time I checked, there are more serious injuries and deaths with nearly every other mainstream sport compared to the UFC. I'm not defending the UFC, because I don't watch it, nor do I have time to if I wanted to; however, you should get your facts in order before rampaging on about it.
Adults not into UFC? Hah. That is funny. When you watched these events kavadias1981 did you not notice the amount of adults in the crowd? I am an adult, as is my wife and all my friends, and we all love MMA. You do not need to train in MMA to know the effort that goes into the training for a fight crossdx. All you need to be is reasonably intelligent to realize the dedication it takes. I don't need to train for a triathlon to realize how difficult it is and how much blood, sweat and tears go into making it in the sport.
Ah, an MMA debate in the comments section of this news bit... lol Good decision to let it go, nintendokid. There's no point in arguing with someone who's already made up their mind about the sport. And yes, it is a sport no matter what strong opinions some may have on the topic. MMA is regulated by state athletic commissions and while the sport is obviously violent, it has a better safety record than many more "wholesome" sporting events. Watching several UFC bouts doesn't make you an "informed" individual on the sport. Unless you've trained in one of the martial arts represented, you can't really know how much effort and dedication go into each competitor's training to reach the top of their game. Most fighter's have a tremendous amount of respect for each other for this, among other reasons( a few cases here and there of bad sportsmanship shouldn't generalize the entire MMA community and the sport as "thuggery"). I've watched many bouts where the first thing a fighter would do after winning was check on the condition of his fallen opponent to make sure he was alright, and sometimes even help him up, shake his hand. Real villains, these guys are. It might be hard to believe for some, but there can be honor and I dare say some nobility in the art of fighting. It's a philosophy carried over from the Martial Arts background of many fighters competing in the sport. Back on topic, it's nice to see strong sales figures for the first good MMA game to come out in a while.
@nintendokid "Prius driving, granola bar eating, animal activist, fake vegan, welfare supporting, liberal pinhead." Amazing how you divined all that from his dislike of the UFC.
inFamous is awesome. Glad to see that its sold 175k in just 5 days. It will be nice to see how well it does in the long run.
It's funny to say, but it looks like at this point, the only way Sony could make any money from its games is to start releasing them on the 360. Personally, I think the PS3 has some fantastic first party exclusives, but for some reason, most PS3 owners don't seem interestest in them. I guess the PS3 really is being bought mainly as a Blu-ray player.
@nintendokid Believe me when I say that I am not uninformed. I have seen the show myself and formed my own opinion based on those viewings. So don't sit there and claim that I haven't. After all, I wouldn't have formed my own opinion if I hadn't.
@kavadias1981 You are still sold on that anti-UFC/MMA propaganda, after all these years?! I respectfully say that you are uninformed and have been misinformed. It's just snobbery at its best. It happens in all competitions, from bass fishing to stage dancing. Even though the early UFC tagline was "No Rules!", the #1 way to victory was submission, either rear naked choke or arm bar - no blood or eye gouging whatsoever. Seven or so out of the first ten UFC championship bouts were won by submission, barely any striking and no bloody noses. Obviously, if you attempted to watch or learn about the sport before you came to a conclusion, you would know all this.
@Sins-of-Mosin Adults? I can tell you that I have never met another adult anywhere that is remotely interested in UFC. When I was 17 I knew a couple of guys who were into it; both of them were complete idiots. The type of immature boys that guffawed at women and thought that two men beating each other up was entertaining. No, to me a sport is not one where the aim is to beat your opponent to a bloody pulp. That is called televised thuggery.
@238GameAddict Lol dude keep in mind those are US figures only. Off course UFC sells more on the 360 in the US. On a sidenote Infamous figures are only from 5 days and not a full month. The game was released on the 26th of may. At the end of June we can get a clear picture on how it did and so far it looks promissing :)
I bought UFC Undisputed its amazing game great for fans of the sport but if ur not dont buy it cause its career mode isnt very good and its online play is laggy but still they nailed down what UFC is and i love the game but i say only a buy for the true fans like me
Strong numbers for ufc. Usual multiplatform release on 360 outselling ps3 by 2 to 1 in line with expectations.
lindbergh why should nintendo be concerned when all 3 felt the impact wii still sold double what 360 and ps3 did this month,
people had days to buy infamous, and didnt. so they are gonna buy more as time passes? ps3 price cut when?
@kavadias1981 - Or they are adults who enjoy sports. Hate all you want but the game and the sport will continue to grow and grow. UFC 99 tomorrow, sweet!
Oh My God! The Wii has fallen under 300,000 this has got to be a concern for Nintendo. This is the second month in a row that wii hardware sales have declined. If June is the same maybe even worse( and no one expects it to be.) Then Nintendo should re think thier casual gamer plan. Oh and "Punch-Out Wii, flopped too? I really wish people would take these hardware sales figures seriously instead of trying to spin this for the benifit of thier favorite company. Hardware sales are declining, and this is the second month in a row.
You have to take into account that Infamous came out at the tale end of the month. It would have ranked higher if it came out earlier. Same thing happened with Killzone 2.
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