February is usually a slow month for game releases, but this particular February showed a slump in both hardware and software sales due to some unflattering comparison to last year.
Hardware spending was down 23% according to the NPD Group, due largely to a sharp 58% drop in portable hardware sales. That's mostly because the New 3DS launched in February 2015, making it difficult for this year to catch up. Console hardware did a little better, with a 23% drop. The last generation had a whopping 77% drop, while the new generation suffered a much more reasonable 6% drop.
The New 3DS launch last year also impacted comparative software sales, since its portable software dropped 30% compared with a month that launched Majora's Mask 3D. Last-gen consoles also dropped 52%.
Far Cry: Primal led the month, and topped Far Cry 4 if adjusted for number of sale days. The NPD Group also notes that while only Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright appeared in the top ten, Fates would've hit the number three spot if all three versions of it were combined. Finally, Nintendo was right to pat itself on the back. NPD says that the first month sales of Fire Emblem Fates more than tripled the same period for Fire Emblem: Awakening.
February Top 10 Games (New Physical Retail only; across all platforms incl. PC; new releases in bold)
- Far Cry: Primal (PS4, XBO)
- Call of Duty: Black Ops III (XBO, PS4, 360, PS3, PC)
- Grand Theft Auto V (PS4, XBO, 360, PS3, PC)
- Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 (PS4, XBO)
- NBA 2K16 (PS4, XBO, 360, PS3)
- Lego Marvel Avengers (PS4, 360, XBO, NWU, PS3, 3DS, PSV)
- Street Fighter V (PS4)
- Minecraft (360, XBO, PS4, PS3)
- Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright (3DS)
- Fallout 4 (PS4, XBO, PC)