Aug'11 U.S. Video Games Retail Sales
Analysis from NPD analyst, Anita Frazier
August 2011 sales saw a decline versus August 2010 in all categories except for portable games hardware. In software, the bulk of the decline can be attributed to the shift of the annual Madden release from August to September (8/30 release falls within NPD's September 2011 reporting period).
Even though year to date performance of the new physical portion of the industry is down 5%, more than half of industry sales in this channel are still to be realized in the back four months of the year. Given the strong release schedule in the coming months, new physical retail sales could still be flat to slightly up once full year sales are tallied.
All platforms (if you combine DS and 3DS) saw unit sales increases over July. The 3DS price cut drove portable hardware sales into positive territory, to a year-over-year increase in both unit and dollar sales. The PS3 price cut also drove a notable uptick in sales of that platform.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution, was the top title for the month with just five days in the market before the end of the August reporting period. In September, it is likely we'll see Madden take the top spot.
Just Dance: Summer Dance Party, hit the market in July but just missed making the top 10. Sales of this title increased enough in August to capture a spot on the top 10 list.
NCAA Football '12 did better in its second month at retail than did NCAA Football '11 in August 2010, which could be an indication of Madden fans looking to get their football fix elsewhere due to the delay in the release of that title.
Games fans have a huge variety to choose from in September, especially for fans of games in the sports genre. Those interested in more core gaming experiences have both Resistance 3 and Gears of War 3, among others, to look forward to. Yes, some of these are already out in the market but we'll get our first picture of their combined sales performance in the new physical retail channel when we release those figures on October 13.
There was a lot happening outside of new physical retail as far as content is concerned. Fruit Ninja became available to download for the Xbox 360 and a new Call of Duty map pack was available as well.