It's a mixture of good and bad news for hardware sales in the video games industry, according to the latest data released by the stats trackers at the NPD Group. June 2009 sales numbers have been released; across the board, all platforms saw a monthly hardware sales increase over May, but year-over-year, June 2009 was a tough one, the largest year-over-year decline since September 2000.
The numbers, TheFeed readers:
- Nintendo DS: 766,500 (up from 633,500)
- Nintendo Wii: 361,700 (up from 289,500)
- Xbox 360: 240,600 (up from 175,000)
- PlayStation 3: 164,700 (up from 131,000)
- PlayStation 2: 152,700 (up from 117,000)
- PSP: 163,500 (up from 100,400)
Keep in mind: June is a five-week tracking period, compared to May's four weeks os tracked sales. There was more time for each hardware system to sell during this tracking period, which accents for some of the sales increase we're seeing here.
"This is one of the first months where I think the impact of the economy is clearly reflected in the sales numbers," commented NPD analyst Anita Frazier alongside the release of the numbers. "While the aggregate of content may not be as strong as what we saw in the first half of last year, and while the consumer base willing to spend dollars on hardware at the current price points may be thinning, the size of the decliine could also point to consumers deferring limited discretionary spending until a big event (must-have new title, hardware price cut) compels them to spend."
Frazier's analysis matches the mood of the economy. Prices are dropping for entertainment objects, often considered a luxury, across the board. Consumers may be waiting until companies announce holiday-related and price adjustments before picking up a new console. Such an attitude is reflected in the software sales, as well; Prototype selling more than 600,000 copies in its first month bodes well for a new franchise, but signals a weakened industry when its biggest game tops at 600,000.
And with that, let the commenting begin.