NPD: Hardware Surges On Strong Xbox 360, But Software Drags

July's NPD results saw a surge in Xbox 360 consoles leading the hardware market to a 12 percent gain -- but despite key titles, game software declined 8 percent, spelling a month down one percent year over year.
For the month of July 2010, tracking firm NPD showed an increase over last year's U.S. retail console hardware revenues, even with console price reductions, reporting a 12 percent increase year-over-year to a figure of $313.8 million. Retail console game sales are still down by 8 percent over last year to $403.3 million, despite the release of several key titles -- which means that even taking into account the hardware gains, the overall U.S. console/handheld retail industry, including accessories, still declined 1 percent year over year to $846.5 million. Software: The top selling game across all platforms in the month of July was NCAA Football 11, selling 692,000 units in total. It was also an exciting month for PC owners with the launch of the latest installment in Blizzard's popular real time strategy title StarCraft II, which sold 721,000 units at retail. LEGO Harry Potter was the second best-seller for July, with 401,000 units across all platforms. It bested its intro month sales in June of 355,000, although it came out late in the month. NPD analyst Anita Frazier commented on the figures, saying "While video game retail sales show a very slight decline versus last July, we have to consider the success of StarCraft II this month, which helped the PC games category to realize a 103 percent increase in dollars over last July." She noted that in total: "PC games and video game industry sales combined for an increase of 4 percent in revenues as compared to July '09." The total U.S. console retail game sales for July are as follows: 1. NCAA Football 11 (Electronic Arts, Xbox 360), 368,000 2. NCAA Football 11 (Electronic Arts, PS3), 298,000 3. Crackdown 2 (Microsoft, Xbox 360), 208,800 4. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Nintendo, Wii), 193,000 5. Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (Warner Bros Interactive, NDS), 141,700 6. Red Dead Redemption (Take-Two Interactive, Xbox 360) 7. Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (Warner Bros Interactive, Wii) 8. Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies (Nintendo, DS) 9. New Super Mario Bros Wii (Nintendo, Wii) 10. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Activision Blizzard, Xbox 360) Hardware The PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360 platforms both saw significant increases over July 2009. Xbox 360 took the honor of being the top selling console of the month, even beating the Nintendo DS. It was likely driven by the sales of the new slim-format SKU. The Xbox 360 previously topped platforms overall in 2007 during the launch of Halo 3. U.S. hardware sales for the month of July by units were as follows: 1. Xbox 360: 443,500 2. Nintendo DS: 398,400 3. Wii: 253,900 4. PlayStation 3: 214,500 5. PSP: 84,000

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