NPD: U.S. Hardware Sales Continue Decline, Xbox Holds Strong

Illustration for article titled NPD: U.S. Hardware Sales Continue Decline, Xbox Holds Strong

It was another depressing month for the video game industry in the United States, the fifth consecutive monthly drop in a row. Hardware sales fell across the board, with the Wii, PSP and PlayStation 3 seeing the biggest year-over-year declines.

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While Nintendo managed to dominate on the portable front—the Nintendo DS and DSi sold 538,900 units combined according to the NPD Group—the Wii didn't have a great July. It sold a little more than a quarter million units last month, less than half of what it did in July of 2008.

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PSP and PlayStation 3 sales tell a similar story. Sony's handheld platform sold 122,800 in July, with its PS3 lagging just behind with 121,800 units sold. A stark change from last year, when the PlayStation 3 was enjoying better sales than the Xbox 360 during the summer. This July, however, Microsoft's console dipped only slightly in comparison to its competitors.

Will rumored hardware price drops on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 help reverse the video game industry's fortunes?

Here's how the hardware race went down in July, according to the NPD Group.

  • Nintendo DS - 538,900
  • Wii - 252,200
  • Xbox 360 - 202,900
  • PSP - 122,800
  • PlayStation 3 - 121,800
  • PlayStation 2 - 108,000

All told, U.S. consumers snapped up $280.94 million worth of video game hardware in July. That's a 37% drop from the year prior, likely ensuring that the industry won't come close to matching its record breaking revenue in 2008.

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"Hardware sales have slowed considerably on nearly every platform," NPD analyst Anita Frazier points out. "The Xbox 360 is the only console system showing a unit sales increase year-to-date, while the NDS has the highest sales of all hardware platforms both for the month, and year-to-date."

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DISCUSSION

komrade-kayce-old
Komrade Kayce

I'm half expecting this 2:1 sales gap the 360 has over the PS3 to be completely shattered if they drop the system down to 299. Like, destroyed. All the 360 holdouts will go 'awwwwyeaaaaah!' and gobble up the second system.

I mean, they might not buy many games for it and just justify it as a blu-ray player, but at least the install base will be bigger forcing devs to take a better look at the system.

If the Slim hits at 399... I'm gonna pull a Mike Patcher and predict big sales, but it'll probably just put it to about equal to the 360 instead of blowing it out of the water. It'll bring over *some* holdouts, the ones who were going 'I'll wait for the better ones' but not the 299 crowd.

I dunno what it is with that number, 299. It seems like a console has to hit that or under to become a good purchase in the majority of peoples eyes.