NPD Sales Results for March 2009


Expansive Ellipses
Data care of NPD Group

PlayStation 2 112K
PlayStation 3 218K
PSP 168K
Xbox 360 330K
Wii 601K
Nintendo DS 563K

RESIDENT EVIL 5* (360) 938K
HALO WARS* (360) 639K
MLB '09: THE SHOW (PS3) 305K

(*includes CE, GOTY editions, bundles, etc. but not those bundled with hardware)


Dollar Sales figures

                Mar-08*         Mar-09           CHG  Quarter 1 08     Quarter 1 09   CHG
Video Games     $1.72 Billion   $1.43 Billion    -17% $4.24 Billion   $4.25 Billion   0%   
VG Hardware     $552.04 Million $455.55 Million  -18% $1.41 Billion   $1.43 Billion   1%   
VG Software     $952.14 Million $792.83 Million  -17% $2.24 Billion   $2.21 Billion  -2%   
VG Accessories  217.55 Million  $185.67 Million  -15% $588.92 Million $604.47 Million 3%
(* Easter fell on 3/23/08 last year, which accounted for $121M in sales. This year, Easter fell on 4/12/09, most of which will hit April data.)


Analysis from NPD's Anita Frazier:

Anita Frazier said:
While it might be tempting to jump to the conclusion that the sky is starting to fall on the video games industry given this months results, it's important to remember that two very big things are different this year than last. First, Easter fell in March last year whereas it fell in April this year, and last March included the release of Super Smash Bros.: Brawl, which went on to become the fourth best-selling game in 2008.

You might not think that Easter is that big of a gift-giving holiday, but our consumer data shows that 8% of industry unit sales were purchased for the Easter occasion in March 2008, accounting for $121M of that months' sales. We expect that most of Easter sales this year fell into the April reporting period and we'll see that reflected in next month's data.

This is very much like September of last year, which did not compare favorably to September of 2007 as the result of a huge game launch, Halo 3. Besides March 2008, this month's sales are 31% higher than the previous highest March which was March of 2007, so it was a pretty healthy month for sales, overall.

If there was one area that surprised me this month, it was hardware sales. While it's not unusual for March hardware sales to be lower than February, I thought we'd see higher unit sales on most platforms. The Xbox 360 was the only platform to achieve a year-over-year unit sales increase.

The PS2 price decrease occurred on April 1, so this month included only 4 days of sales as the new retail price. We would expect to see an increase in PS2 hardware sell-through in the April data.

Wii and NDS hardware sales remained brisk, taking the top two spots for the month in hardware unit sales. It's important to keep in mind that the Super Smash Bros. Brawl effect from last year impacted hardware sales as well, so while the year-over-year comps are down for the Wii, the sales are still impressive.

Core gamers had something to cheer about last month with the release of Resident Evil 5. The title sold over 1.5 million units across all SKU's which is a record-breaking launch for that property.

The top-ten software list includes three games for each of the new platforms as well as Pokemon Platinum for the DS. I think this shows that there doesn't have to be one winner of the console battle - in fact software for all the platforms can enjoy retail success.
PS3 sales are tragic.

KZ2 held good, MLB opened really good, and RE5 Pwned.

Awesome Pokemon sales, and Wii and DS and 360 always pwn.

Chinatown Wars?
The Show 09 outselling MLB2K9. Im so happy for team San Diego. Quality finally prevails.

Expected hardware numbers, nothing surprising.

And killzone :D

EDIT: What were last year numbers for The Show?
What the hell happened to all of the console sales? It would seem the extra week didn't boost sales at all, which would also indicate that all of the consoles have cooled off from last month.
Halo Wars sold more in one NPD than Killzone 2 did in two of them. Yowtch. :lol

Also, shocked that RE5 360 was almost double the PS3 sales. I thought, like SFIV, that was more of a franchise people identified with Playstation.
everything went down hardware-wise despite being a 5-week month?
oh boy, my predictions got royally fucked this time.

at least the software side looks good..


Wastes hours checking old Famitsu software data, but that's why we love him.
Wow, low low hardware sales.

Recession actually starting to have an impact?

Fair to say Wii demand has peaked/been met?

And nutso Resident Evil number. Crazy.
the only thing that surprised me was the insane resident evil numbers, everything else is pretty much how I expected.
semi-wow at Halo Wars (console rts sales).
GameGamer said:
So we've finally seen the peak of the Wii?
well, in what regard? It's not going to stop selling, and it will be over 600k during the holidays for sure. We might have hit a peak for non-holiday sales, though, if that's what you mean.