January NPD: Far Cry 3, Ni no Kuni make surprise moves

First, let's get the unsurprising news out of the way. Xbox 360 dominates the console sales charts again for the 25th consecutive month. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is still the #1 selling game on the charts. And the industry is still shrinking, with overall hardware sales down 17% YOY.

But there were quite a number of surprises in this month's NPD report. For example, Far Cry 3 took the number two position on the chart, ranking even higher than when it made its debut in December. According to NPD analyst Liam Callahan, this is the first time since 2002 where a December release was able to reach a 2nd place finish in January. (No wonder Ubisoft is calling Far Cry its next big franchise.)

PS3-exclusive JRPG Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch also managed to reach the 11th spot. "Performance of new SKUs this year versus last was six times as high, lifted by the success of titles like DMC: Devil May Cry and Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch," Callahan noted.

Here's the chart:

    Top 11 Games (New Physical Retail only; across all platforms including PC)

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops II (360, PS3, PC, Wii U)
  • Far Cry 3 (360, PS3, PC)
  • Just Dance 4 (Wii, 360, Wii U, PS3)
  • NBA 2K13 (360, PS3, Wii, PSP, PC)
  • Madden NFL 13 (360, PS3, Wii, PSV)
  • DMC: Devil May Cry (PS3, 360)
  • Halo 4 (360)
  • Assassin's Creed III (360, PS3, Wii U, PC)
  • Skylanders Giants (Wii, 360, PS3, 3DS, Wii U)
  • FIFA Soccer 13 (360, PS3, PSV, Wii, 3DS, PSP, Wii U)
  • Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch (PS3)

Do note that "these sales figures represent new physical retail sales of hardware, software and accessories, which account for roughly 50 percent of the total consumer spend on games." In fact, digital games are growing quite significantly as evidenced by the rapid growth of point and subscription cards.

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