The lights are on
The January 2014 NPD report is out, and while the industry appears to be down significantly in the first month of the year, the situation isn’t nearly as dire as it seems. This month represents a five-week reporting period (required to maintain seasonal reporting integrity), so we’ll be sharing normalized data along with the comparison against the same month in 2013.
Also, as a reminder, the NPD reports on new, retail purchases in the United States. The organization attributes this as approximately 50 percent of the total consumer spending, the remainder of which includes used and digital purchases.
Overall, the industry is down 21 percent year-over-year from $835 million to $664 million. However, normalizing for a four-week period, the drop would only be approximately 1 percent. Hardware was up 17 percent due to the new consoles (normalized to 47 percent). NPD confirms PlayStation 4 sales exceeded Xbox One sales, though the specific numbers are not disclosed. (Update: Sony Computer Entertainment of America marketing vice president John Koller says that PlayStation 4 sales were nearly double that of the "nearest next-gen competitor.")
Software sales are down, attributed to a lower number of titles released during the month of January. 2013 also had two big performers in Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch and DmC: Devil May Cry.
Good news for Nintendo fans. 3DS and Wii U software sales were up 6 percent and 26 percent when normalized for a four-week month. Interactive toys (Skylanders and Disney Infinity) were also up, as were point and subscription cards.
The top four sellers (and eight games on the top ten list in total) in January were multi-platform, cross-generation titles. Rounding out the top half of the list is the continuing strong performance of Grand Theft Auto V.
Our TakeI’m still eager to hear from Sony on the number of PlayStation 4 units it sold. Supply is starting to pick up, and the landscape is starting to take shape. Still, Sony is off to a very impressive start, and both companies are proving that console gaming is far from dead.