The lights are on
Hardware sales grew in February compared to a year ago, fueled by the two new consoles on the market. Both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One reported strong sales, with PS4 enjoying a slight lead, but all platforms performed strongly at retail.
According to NPD's Liam Callahan, "February 2014 hardware sales increased by 42 percent over February 2013 due to an over 60 percent increase in console hardware sales. Within console hardware, we continue to see strong year-over-year increases due to the success of the Xbox One and PS4. PS4 led hardware sales in February 2014, but by a narrow margin with Xbox One selling over 90 percent of what the PS4 sold in terms of unit sales. However, with Xbox One's higher price point, it led hardware sales on a dollar basis."
Xbox One sold 258,000 units in the United States in February, putting the PlayStation 4 at no more than 287,000 units. However, the good news wasn't confined to these new console: "The majority of hardware platforms experienced double-to-triple digit increases compared to January 2014."
For once, there was also good news for Nintendo's Wii U, which saw software sales rise on the back of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (which was the fourth highest selling single sku). The 3DS also experienced software gains fueled by Bravely Default. Wii U hardware sales also saw growth, climbing 25 percent over February 2013.
Software sales were strong, but the lower-than-average price points of games like The Lego Movie Video Game and Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare meant that total dollar sales were slightly down. Microsoft shares that it sold 772,000 Xbox One games in February, with a 2.75 attach rate for the console. Inclusive of Xbox 360 sales, Microsoft owns 48 percent of total software market share.
February 2014 Top 10 Games (Physical Retail)
Call Of Duty: Ghosts (360, PS3, XBO, PS4, NWU, PC)
The LEGO Movie Videogame (360, PS3, 3DS, NWU, XBO, PS4, PSV)
Warner Bros. Interactive
NBA 2K14 (360, PS4, PS3, XBO, PC)
Thief (PS4, XBO, 360, PS3)
Grand Theft Auto V (360, PS3)
Battlefield 4 (PS4, XBO, 360, PS3, PC)
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (360, PS4, PS3, XBO, NWU, PC)
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (PS3, 360)
Bravely Default (3DS)
Our Take:It's great to see solid growth in the industry, and to see that consumers seem to be embracing the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. We'd expect this trend to continue when we get the sales data from March next month, considering both systems have big exclusives releasing in Titanfall and Infamous: Second Son.