November NPD: Black Ops Sells 8.4 million; DS and Xbox 360 Lead the Hardware Charge

While November is usually a month for strong hardware and software sales--thanks in part to Black Friday and the upcoming holiday season--this past November featured one of the best ever, in terms of "new physical retail sales."

According to the monthly (slimmer) NPD Group report, sales in November 2010 trampled that of November 2008--the "height" of the music/dance genre's popularity--by "roughly $30 million."

Versus last year, all categories were up, excluding portable hardware and software. Still, Nintendo announced that the DS handheld sold "over 1.5 million" units last month, taking top honors versus all current systems. Xbox 360 took second place. According to Microsoft, the Xbox 360 sold 1.37 million units in November--an "incredible 68% increase" over last November, according to NPD analyst Anita Frazier.

According to Bloomberg, Nintendo Wii sales increased 0.8% percent (versus last year) to 1.27 million units while the PS3 hardware sales fell 25% (compared to 2009) with 530,000 units sold.

Surprising no one, Treyarch's Call of Duty: Black Ops led software sales in the U.S. for the month with 8.4 million units sold across three platforms (digital sales excluded). The new game in the military shooter franchise has become the "7th best-selling game of all time, life-to-date" and accounted for 25% of all video game software sold in the month.

Other notable software appearances in the month's combined platform top ten list include Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (#2), Donkey Kong Country (#6), and Gran Turismo 5 (#8).

Kinect was the best-selling video game accessory in November and has jumped to "the top-selling accessory item in terms of dollar sales on a year-to-date basis." Not surprising, since each single unit is priced at $150. The motion-sensing peripheral has sold over 2.5 million units since launch.

    Top Ten U.S. Titles (All Platforms) - reporting Oct. 31 to Nov. 27
  1. Call of Duty: Black Ops (X360, PS3, Wii, PC, NDS)
  2. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (X360, PS3)
  3. Just Dance 2 (Wii)
  4. Madden NFL 11 (X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP)
  5. Fable 3 (X360)
  6. Donkey Kong Country Returns (Wii)
  7. Need for Speed Hot Pursuit (PS3, X360, Wii, PC)
  8. Gran Turismo 5 (PS3)
  9. NBA 2K11 (X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP, PC)
  10. Wii Fit Plus (Wii)

    Note: The NPD Group no longer lists software as individual platforms. Sales for all platforms will now be combined when listed in the "Top Ten" and no figures will be released to the public from the NPD Group. Listing counts new physical retail sales only.)

The NPD Group's Anita Frazier also noted that the music/dance genre "increased 38% in unit sales" over the same month last year, "fueled by Just Dance 2 and Dance Central." Although it does not appear in the "new style" top ten list, Frazier says that Halo: Reach would have found itself in tenth spot if the list was compiled based on per console unit sales, rather than combined platform totals.