The lights are on
Not much has changed since last month with the front runners still holding strong in sales. In December, we saw Call of Duty: Black Ops III and PlayStation 4 at the top, and they're still leading the pack.
Sony is in great shape with the PlayStation 4 still being at the top of the charts for both platform and software sales. Sony issued the following statement, "Thanks to our fans and partners for making PlayStation 4 the top-selling platform and software sales leader in January, according to NPD. PS4 also saw impressive year-over-year growth in both hardware and software sales. We appreciate the support and will continue to deliver on our promise to bring the best entertainment experiences to gamers."
Microsoft also has reason to celebrate with the Xbox One's own victories and are hoping the upcoming line-up builds even more excitement for the console. " In January, the total number of hours spent gaming in one month on Xbox One worldwide surpassed 1 billion hours. Looking ahead to this spring, fans can enjoy more great games with the upcoming releases of ‘Quantum Break,’ ‘Rocket League’ and ‘Tom Clancy’s The Division.’ We can’t thank our fans enough for their continued support and passion for Xbox, and we’re looking forward to bringing more of the games and experiences our fans want most in 2016," says corporate vice president of Xbox Marketing Mike Nichols.
That being said, sales were slightly down, 5 percent from 2015 in combined video game sales across new physical software, hardware, and accessories. All sales were down for hardware, but as expected last generation's consoles are slowing down the most, with people heading toward the new consoles for purchases and the decline in revenue there is due to price cuts. According to the NPD, “As we enter 2016, the majority of console hardware sales will occur on eighth generation consoles as evidenced by the 96 share of console hardware sales from eighth generation consoles, up from 84 percent in January 2015.”
Software also saw a decline, but it's being chalked up to the new games available in January. While January usually is a slow month for releases, NPD also shows that last year at least had some stronger titles. "For example, the top new launch last year, Dying Light, generated 239 percent more unit sales than the top launch of January 2016, Lego Marvel Avengers," says the report. Interesting enough, this is the third consecutive January that Grand Theft Auto V was a top 5 title, and continues to move up the charts. For example, in 2014 it was fifth, in 2015 it was third, and this month it's the second-best selling game.
The only video game area that saw growth was accessories which rose 14 percent; this includes point and subscription cards, headset/headphones, controllers, etc. January 2016 also marked the highest sales for point cards, rising 6 percent from the highest which was in January 2014.
Here is the full top ten list for January 2016:
Note: When ranking software on a SKU-basis, 3DS Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam would rank in the top 10 for January 2016.
Our TakeThese reports are always fascinating. Declines are always expected once the holidays are over and January never brings with it the strongest line-up. Still, it does say something that Lego still made it into the top 10, despite not having the power that Dying Light did last year. I'm not too shocked by anything listed here, but I did find it interesting that Grand Theft Auto V continues to move up in the rankings, perhaps Grand Theft Auto Online is paying off in more ways than one.
Email the author Kimberley Wallace, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.