Despite the big success of Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which earned $310 million in one day and has shipped at least 6 million copies, the video game industry took a punch in the gut last month, according to the market research group NPD. Sales took a dive all across the board, resulting in a 7.6 percent drop, down to $2.7 billion from $2.92 billion in November 2008. Software sales were down 3.1 percent; hardware fell 13 percent; and accessory sales slid 5.5 percent. The drop continues the slump started in October sales.
The decline of hardware sales can be explained by the price cuts we saw this year. Sony's PlayStation 3 went to $300, Nintendo's Wii fell in price to $200, and the Xbox 360's most expensive model dropped to $300 (the PlayStation 2's price tag was also cut). So while consumers can now nab their preferred consoles on the cheap, respective companies noticed a decline.
Nintendo, as always, stole the show: the DSi handheld gaming system sold 1.7 million and the Wii clocked in a respectable 1.26 million. The Xbox 360 took second place in the console race with 819,500 units sold, and the PlayStation 3 moved 710,400 consoles.
When it came to games, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 edged everyone out by selling 4.2 million copies for the Xbox 360 and 1.87 million for the PS3. The complete list:
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (360) / Activision / 4,200,000
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (PS3) / Activision / 1,870,000
- New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii) / Nintendo / 1,390,000
- Assassin's Creed II (360) / Ubisoft / 794,700
- Left 4 Dead 2 (360) / Electronic Arts / 744,000
- Wii Sports Resort (Wii) / Nintendo / 720,200
- Wii Fit Plus (Wii) / Nintendo / 679,000
- Assassin's Creed II (PS3) / Ubisoft / 448,400
- Dragon Age: Origins (360) / Electronic Arts / 362,100
- Mario Kart Wii (Wii) / Nintendo / 315,000
But it's not all doom and gloom -- the NPD said that sales were so phenomenal during last year's holiday season that the numbers would've been nearly impossible to beat. Last month is still considered the second-best November on record.