Red Dead Redemption rides high in June, US game sales drop 6%

NPD reports Rockstar's Western sells nearly 1 million as Xbox 360 tops Wii; Tiger Woods 11, Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker fail to crack top 10; industry down 9% year-to-date.

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Game industry watchers must be feeling a sense of deja vu today. Two weeks after the NPD Group reported Red Dead Redemption was May's top game, the NPD Group reported that Red Dead Redemption was June's top game. Rockstar Games' critically praised open-world Western sold 582,900 units on the Xbox 360 and 380,300 units on the PlayStation 3, for a total of 963,200 units--down just over a half-million units from its overall haul the month before. The figure now makes it the best-selling game of 2010 to date, according to NPD.

Red Dead Redemption is turning into a Grand Theft Auto-sized hit for Rockstar Games parent Take-Two Interactive.
Red Dead Redemption is turning into a Grand Theft Auto-sized hit for Rockstar Games parent Take-Two Interactive.

That wasn't the only way the two months resembled each other. May saw overall US sales of game software, hardware, and accessories fall 5 percent, an unexpected drop. June saw overall game sales of $1.1 billion, a 6 percent slip from the prior year's $1.17 billion haul.

That's where the similarities end, however. While May saw hardware sales fall 20 percent, June saw them rise 5 percent, thanks to the introduction of the new slimline Xbox 360. Though still behind the DS's 510,700-unit tally, Microsoft's console sold 451,700 units, beating the Wii's 422,500-unit total. The PlayStation 3 was in fourth with 304,800 units, followed by the PSP with 121,000 units.

"Hardware sales saw a notable uptick from May on an average sales per week basis, and all three current gen console systems saw unit sales increases over last year; in particular, the Xbox 360 and the PS3," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier. "The Xbox 360 experienced its second largest non-holiday month after September '07 when Halo 3 launched, and the PS3 has now garnered 11 consecutive months of year-over-year unit sales increases."

Also in contrast to May's 4 percent software spike, June saw software plummet 15 percent. A major factor in this was weak sales of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11, which failed to even crack NPD's top 10. Also MIA were such June releases as Green Day: Rock Band, Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker, and Transformers: War for Cyberton.

"The new Tiger Woods release sold only 32 percent of what last year's release sold in its introductory month at retail," summarized Fraizer. "That said, last year's game saw a huge sales increase over previous versions, but still, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 did not break into the top 10 games for the month."

Indeed, NPD's top 10 looked a lot like May's, with the Xbox 360 version of Red Dead Redemption riding high. Behind it was Super Mario Galaxy 2 with 548,400 units, followed by the PS3 edition of Red Dead Redemption. In fourth was New Super Mario Bros. Wii, which sold 200,900 units eight months after it was released last November. Another release from that month, Ubisoft's Just Dance for the Wii, rounded out the top five with 174,800 units.

The final five of the top 10--which NPD does not provide sales figures for--were Wii Fit Plus, Toy Story 3 for the DS, UFC 2010 Undisputed for the 360, Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 for the Wii, and UFC 2010 Undisputed for the PS3.

June 2010 US GAME SALES

OVERALL DOLLAR SALES
Games: $1.1 billion (-6%)
Hardware: $401.7 million (+5%)
Software: $531.3 million (-15%)
Accessories: $169.6 million (+6%)

HARDWARE SALES
DS: 510,700
Xbox 360: 451,700
Wii: 422,500
PlayStation 3: 304,800
PSP: 121,000

TOP 10 GAMES (by SKU)
Title / Platform / Publisher / Release Date / Units sold
1. Red Dead Redemption / 360 / Take-Two Interactive/ May-10 / 582,900
2. Super Mario Galaxy 2 / Wii / Nintendo / May-10 / 548,400
3. Red Dead Redemption / PS3 / Take-Two Interactive/ May-10 / 380,300
4. New Super Mario Bros. / Wii / Nintendo / Nov-09 / 200,900
5. Just Dance / Wii / Ubisoft / Nov-09 / 174,800
6. Wii Fit Plus (with Balance Board) / Wii / Nintendo / Oct-09 /
7.Toy Story 3 / DS / Disney Interactive Studios / Jun-10
8. UFC 2010: Undisputed / 360 / THQ / May-10
9. Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 / Wii / Warner Bros. / Jun-10
10. UFC 2010: Undisputed / PS3 / THQ / May-10

Source: The NPD Group. Sales numbers only provided for top five titles.

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