NPD: US game industry grows 31 percent in June

Software shows modest year-over-year growth compared to soaring console hardware and accessory revenues.


The industry-tracking NPD Group today released its US retail sales figures for June, and the results came in at the high end of analyst expectations. US software sales for last month hit $543 million according to NPD numbers, 22 percent higher than the $443.9 million sold for June 2006. Overall sales were up 31 percent to $1.1 billion, compared to June 2006's take of $843.6 million.

Hardware sales were up more dramatically, with the NPD Group showing a 34 percent year-over-year bump to $398.6 million, and accessory revenues up 58 percent to $161.3 million. Console sales were up 69 percent to $268 million on the strength of the Wii and the PlayStation 3 (neither of which had been released last June), while portable hardware sales actually slipped 6 percent from the year before, down to $130.6 million.

That's not to cast doom and gloom on the portable market, as last June's numbers were buffered by the launch of the DS Lite in the US. Nintendo's twin-screened portable was still the top-selling system of last month, racking up roughly 561,900 sales, with the Wii trailing a bit at 381,800 units sold for the month.

The rest of the field played out as it regularly has in recent months, with the PlayStation Portable (230,100 sold) leading the Xbox 360 (198,400 sold), and Sony's PlayStation 3 bringing up the rear with 98,500 systems sold. That might change somewhat for the next batch of NPD numbers, as the July announcements of a PS3 price cut, a redesigned PSP on the way, and the extension of the Xbox 360 warranty program could affect all those systems' sales performances.

[UPDATE] The NPD Group has since corrected its figure for PSP hardware sales, saying the system actually sold 290,100 units last month.

For the first half of 2007, software sales are up 24 percent from where they were last year at this time, all the way to $2.9 billion. Console hardware sales are nearly doubling last year's pace, up 98 percent to $1.7 billion from $853.5 million. Overall, the industry is up 43 percent over last year's numbers, hitting $6.1 billion in US retail sales for the first half of 2007, compared with $4.25 billion for the same period of 2006.

As for the games, Mario Party 8 for the Wii once again led all comers, this time with 426,200 copies sold. Nintendo's lock on the top slots of the chart was again retained, with the Wii Play and controller bundle selling 293,200, and the DS Lite Pokemon Diamond and Pearl moving 288,400 and 214,700 copies, respectively. Microsoft's racer Forza Motorsport 2 broke the Nintendo streak by coming in fifth with 197,400 copies sold, right ahead of Activision's Guitar Hero II bundles for the PlayStation 2 (197,350 sold) and Xbox 360 (177,600 sold). The top 20 games of the month are as follows:

1. Mario Party 8--Nintendo--Wii
2. Wii Play with Wii Remote--Nintendo--Wii
3. Pokemon Diamond--Nintendo--DS
4. Pokemon Pearl--Nintendo--DS
5. Forza Motorsport 2--Microsoft--Xbox 360
6. Guitar Hero II bundle--Activision--PS2
7. Guitar Hero II bundle--Activision--Xbox 360
8. Pokemon Battle Revolution--Nintendo--Wii
9. Resident Evil Wii Edition--Capcom--Wii
10. The Darkness--2K Games--Xbox 360
11. Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 2--Namco Bandai--PS2
12. Transformers: The Game--Activision--PS2
13. Tenchu Z--Microsoft--Xbox 360
14. New Super Mario Bros.--Nintendo--DS
15. Tomb Raider: Anniversary--Eidos--PS2
16. Super Paper Mario--Nintendo--Wii
17. Transformers: The Game--Activision--Xbox 360
18. MLB '07: The Show--SCEA--PS2
19. Big Brain Academy--Nintendo--Wii
20. DiRT--Codemasters--Xbox 360

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