The NPD’s for June are out, and things have turned out pretty much the way that most people expected them to: The Last of Us has ridden the wave of nearly unanimous critical acclaim all the way to the bank, the 3DS continues to prove that it’s not dead, and despite a promising start, it appears that interest in the Ouya indie console has begun to taper off.
Surprising nobody, Sony and Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us was the best selling game of the month. Sony says that they’ve shipped almost three and a half million copies of Naughty Dog’s gritty post apocalyptic epic since it launched last month. The game was met with nearly universal praise from critics and gamers alike, and some are already pegging it as an early Game of the Year shoe-in.
Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Leaf came in at a distant second with over half a million copies sold, which is a pretty respectable number when you consider that some elitist gamers wouldn’t even consider Animal Crossing to be a “real” game (those people would be wrong, by the way.) While the original Animal Crossing was a bit of a sleeper hit, Nintendo’s experiment in “communication games” has evolved into one of their biggest and most profitable franchises: besides the half million sold in the US last month, New Leaf has also managed to sell about 4 million copies in Japan.
The only other new release from June to crack the top 10 was High Moon Studios’ Deadpool game. June’s other big new release, Remember Me, seems to not have sold well enough to chart.
The rest of the top 10 is made up of older titles, including NBA 2k13, which continues to profit off of being the only NBA game on the market; Injustice: Gods Among Us, which was finally knocked off the #1 spot that it had occupied for the last two months; and the latest Call of Duty and Battlefield games, which always seem to have a permanent spot reserved for them on the list.
The full top 10 is as follows:
- The Last of Us
- Animal Crossing: New Leaf
- Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition
- Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
- NBA 2k13
- Injustice: Gods Among Us
- Donkey Kong Country Returns
- Battlefield 3
- Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon
The 3DS was once again the best selling piece of gaming hardware in June. According to Nintendo, 3DS hardware sales are up 40 percent when compared to this time last year, and software sales are up a whopping 105 percent. Nintendo attributes to the system’s Phoenix Wright style comeback to the popularity of the system’s line-up this year, including hits like Fire Emblem: Awakening, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, Donkey Kong Country Returns,and now, Animal Crossing: New Leaf.
While Sony took home the gold for software and Nintendo sold the most hardware, Microsoft still has plenty to be happy about: while the 3DS dominated overall hardware sales, the 360 is still the best selling home console for the month, having sold about 140,000 units. Not bad for a system that’s eight years old.
While the Ouya sold out at most retailers on its launch day, it appears that interest in the crowd-funded, indie focused system has cooled off. NPD analyst Liam Callahan attributes the public’s tepid response to the Ouya to the system’s lack of exclusive software. “Retail sales for Ouya were relatively light for a new console… This may be due to the lack of a major marquee title driving consumers to seek out the console, low awareness due to Ouya being a new brand, or low inventory volume due to manufacturing constraints.”
According to recent rumors, Google (and perhaps Apple as well,) are closely monitoring the Ouya’s situation as they decide whether they should launch a gaming console of their own.
Looking forward to next month, July looks like it’s going to be another quiet month for the industry — the highest profile release is Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection, a compilation of all of the past Metal Gear games. Besides MGS, July will also see the release of some niche targeted J-RPGs, such as Atlus’ Shin Megami Tensei IV (which I’m playing right now and really enjoying — expect a full review soon, but definitely pick it up if you’re into old school dungeon crawlers,) and Nippon Ichi’s Time and Eternity, which uses extremely high-res 2D sprites to simulate the look of an anime series. With the next gen consoles set to launch in just a few months, we’re definitely in the calm before the storm, so here’s hoping people use this time to give some of smaller titles a shot instead of just buying triple-A releases. As always, check back next month for another summary of the NPD charts.