The July NPD results are out and once again, and hardware sales overall were down 29 percent compared to last year. The Xbox 360 continues to lead the U.S. console market, becoming the top selling console for the fifth month in a row. The Xbox 360 currently holds 45% of the console market share, and sold 277,000 units in July.
In spite of outselling other consoles, it wasn't a banner month for the 360: "As for hardware, following months of huge momentum, Xbox 360 finally saw a year-over-year decline," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier. “This was the first month that the Xbox 360 saw a year-over-year decline since December 2009. This is more of a reflection of robust sales last July, which was the biggest month for unit sales of the 360 in 2010 outside the holiday months (November and December). Last year’s sales of the 360 hardware platform were driven by the introduction of the Kinect-ready slim form factor SKU,” Frazier noted.
Microsoft attributes this month's success not only to its games, but also to its Microsoft Kinect motion peripheral. According to MS, Kinect Fun Labs, a free program within the Kinect interfact, has garnered more than 1 million downloads in two months. With Gears of War 3 and the other major holiday launches coming to the 360, Microsoft intends to maintain their console lead throughout the rest of the year.
Console sales in general were $223 million, down 29% from $313.8 million only a year ago. Accessory sales were $127.8 million, down 8% from $183.1 million a year ago.
What's interesting is that this time last month, Microsoft had sold a staggering 507,000 units. With only a four week period, kids outside (maybe?) for summer, and quite a drought of huge titles, it makes sense that the numbers dropped so substantially, so don't worry Xbox fans.
I plan on picking up a new console in the next few weeks, and it isn't going to be a Xbox 360. What about you? Do you plan on getting a new Nintendo 3DS now that the price has dropped to $170, or are you going to be nabbing a PlayStation 3 or an Xbox 360 to play some of this fall's exclusive titles? Let me know in the comments.