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March 2014 NPD: Hardware Moves, Software Slows

The NPD Group has released its report on the video game industry for the month of March 2014. The sector saw growth during the four week period in hardware and accessories, but software dipped year over year.

Notably, NPD estimates total consumer spending at $1.66 billion, representing a three-percent increase. Hardware sales are up 78 percent year-over-year. Accessories are up four percent with controllers for PS4 and Xbox One leading sales. Software is down 27 percent, though.

The NPD top 10 sellers for the month can be found below. Note that this does include collectors' editions, game of the year versions, and bundles, but not games that are packed in with hardware. That means that any Titanfall copies sold in the limited edition Xbox One package are not included. Despite that, PlayStation 4 outsold Xbox One for the third month in a row.

Together, both new consoles are trending ahead of their last-generation counterparts by double at this point in the life cycle. We know that Sony has sold seven million PlayStation 4 units to consumers as of early April. Microsoft announced today that it has sold-in five million Xbox Ones to retailers. PS4 is currently in 49 territories versus Microsoft's 13.

Titanfall won the month, and is now the second highest selling Xbox One game.

  1. Titanfall (Xbox One, PC)
  2. Infamous Second Son (PS4)
  3. South Park: The Stick Of Truth (PS3, 360, PC)
  4. Call Of Duty: Ghosts (PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, PS3, 360, PC)
  5. Dark Souls II (PS3, 360)
  6. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (PS4, Xbox One, PS3, 360)
  7. NBA 2K14 (PS4, Xbox One, PS3, 360, PC)
  8. Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster (PS3, Vita)
  9. The Lego Movie Videogame (PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, PS3, 360, Vita)
  10. Minecraft (360)

Missing from this list are Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, which sold 2.7 million units in its first week. It was the top selling PC game. Yoshi's New Island (3DS) was the 10th best selling SKU, but did not place at the aggregated title level.

Please note that the NPD report only measures retail sales traffic in the United States. NPD tells us that this is actual retail data and not derived from a survey of retail establishments.

Our Take
Without digital factored in, it's hard to gauge what an all-encompassing list would look like. I expect we are missing a large number of Titanfall and Infamous sales, especially. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes would also likely be further up the list. NPD is an imperfect measurement, but it is currently the only third-party assessment available in a notoriously data-protective industry.

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