November NPD: Hardware in decline, in spite of Wii U launch

This month's top 10 software sales are quite predictable, with Call of Duty, Halo, and Assassin's Creed rounding out the top three spots. However, how has the launch of Wii U changed this year's figures? Apparently, even Nintendo's new hardware couldn't stop the video game industry from contracting from last year.

Hardware sales dropped 13% from $962.2 million to $838.9, year over year. Retail software sales also dropped 11%, from $1.6 billion to $1.43.

Wii U sold 400K units in the first week following its November 18th launch. When viewed from a strictly dollar perspective, Nintendo generated 21% more revenue with Wii U at launch than Wii. NPD's Liam Callahan points out that "with an average price 35 percent higher for the Wii U at launch compared to the Wii, this is an example of how consumers are willing to come out and spend when they see the value of the product."

Microsoft is still console king, with Xbox 360 being the dominant platform in the US for the 16th consecutive month. 1.26 million consoles were sold in November, with 750,000 of those coming during Black Friday week. While impressive, it still doesn't come close to the 1.7 million units sold last year.

Sony has yet to reveal official sales numbers for its consoles, but we do know that 525K PS3s and 160K Vitas were sold during Black Friday week. According to NPD, "November 2012 was the second highest month of sales on a unit basis for the PS Vita since launch."

Software sales are rather predictable, but here's an interesting point: "Half of the software dollars sold in November 2012 were for the Xbox 360, which gained 8 share points in overall software sales from last November." The Xbox-only Halo 4 certainly had a lot to do with that. Here's the rest of this month's charts:

    Top 10 Games (New Physical Retail only; across all platforms including PC)

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops II (360, PS3, PC, Wii U)
  • Halo 4 (360)
  • Assassin's Creed III (360, PS3, Wii U, PC)
  • Just Dance 4 (Wii, 360, Wii U, PS3)
  • Madden NFL 13 (360, PS3, Wii, PSV)
  • Skylanders Giants (Wii, 360, PS3, 3DS, Wii U)
  • Need for Speed: Most Wanted 2012 (PS3, 360, PSV, PC)
  • NBA 2K13 (360, PS3, Wii, PSP, PC)
  • WWE 13 (360, PS3, Wii)
  • FIFA Soccer 13 (360, PS3, PSV, Wii, 3DS, PSP, Wii U)

Losing their top-10 position this month: Resident Evil 6, Pokemon Black and White 2, Dishonored, Medal of Honor: Warfighter, and Borderlands 2.

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