Today, the NPD Group released its January sales figures, and the beginning of 2012 was not good at all. Total consumer spending on video games fell 34 percent to $750.6 million in the US. Video game hardware sales totaled only $324 million, down 38% year over year. That's the worst it's been since January 2004.
"One factor for the double digit declines in new physical software was the lack of new launches, according to NPD analyst Anita Frazier. "New launches in January 2011 represented 13 percent of dollar sales and new launch performance dropped 99 percent in Jan 2012. Games like Dead Space 2, Little Big Planet 2, and DC Universe Online ranked within the top ten last year."
The Xbox 360 came out on top once in sales over other consoles. "Historically, after several years in the console life cycle there is a softening of demand, but Xbox 360 continues to defy that convention," said Microsoft in a atatement.
According to MS, they sold more than 270,000 units in January, marking its thirteenth straight month at the top of the console sales list. However, Xbox 360 sales are down 29% from last year due to the low amount of games released in January for the system. As the Xbox 360 held 49% of the console hardware sales share, this means that the Wii and PlayStation 3 sold 281,000 combined units, a huge drop from their numbers last year at this time.
Could the bad sales be due to the lack of games, the fact that so many people already have the hardware now, the possibility that many consumers were waiting for the announcement of new consoles at CES 2012, or something else?
Because everything is better with charts, enjoy this chart of the best selling games and a breakdown of January's sales numbers.
JANUARY 2012 US GAME SALES
OVERALL DOLLAR SALES
Total retail sales: $750.6 million (-34%)
Non-PC hardware: $199.5 million (-38%)
Non-PC software: $355.9 million (-38%)
Total software: $379.6 million (-37%)
Accessories: $195.2 million (-18%)
TOP 10 GAMES FOR JANUARY 2011
Title (Platforms) - Publisher
1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (X360, PS3, PC) - Activision
2. Just Dance 3 (Wii, 360, PS3) - Ubisoft
3. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (360, PS3, PC) - Bethesda Softworks
4. NBA 2K12 (360, PS3, PS2, PSP, Wii, PC) - Take-Two
5. Battlefield 3 (X360, PS3, PC) - EA
6. Madden NFL 12 (X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP) - EA
7. Mario Kart 7 (3DS) - Nintendo
8. Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure (360, PS3, Wii, 3DS, PC) - Activision Blizzard
9. Zumba Fitness 2 (Wii) - Majesco
10. Saints Row: The Third (360, PS3, PC) - THQ
'Fess up, did you buy a console in January, and if so, which one did you buy?