U.S. video game sales fell 7.6 percent compared with a year ago but “still produced enough revenue to make this month the second-best November in industry history,” NPD analyst Anita Frazier said in her firm’s latest report on the industry.
Year-to-date sales are up 7 percent over 2007, reinforcing the breakout nature of 2008, she noted.
Price cuts drove console sales, with most buyers opting for the Wii, which sold 1.26 million units. Next was the Xbox 360, selling 819,500 boxes during the month, followed by 710,400 PlayStation 3s sold, the third-best month for Sony’s latest console.
Microsoft chimed in, saying $838 million was spent during the month on “Xbox 360 hardware, software and accessories, making it the best November in Xbox 360 history.”
A Sony spokeswoman called out its highlights, noting that “PS3 was the only hardware console to see any growth when compared to last November, experiencing an 88 percent lift and a 122 percent increase from the previous month.”
On the software front, NPD said “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2” sold 6 million copies in the 19 days it was available last month, beating the “Halo 3” daily sales rate at launch by 16 percent. “Halo 3” sold 3.3 million copies in its first 12 days.
Frazier said one hit doesn’t mean everything’s rosy.
“While this year’s top-selling item bested last year’s by 283 percent, it couldn’t make up for softness elsewhere,” she said in commentary released with the data. “The top 50 games this year sold 5 percent less units than did the top 50 last year.”