NPD sales date for the month of November has just been released, and there’s no surprises this month: Call of Duty Black Ops 2 and Halo 4 predictably dominated software sales, while Microsoft’s Xbox 360 was once again the best selling console of the month.
While this year’s Black Friday was record breaking in terms of overall economic impact, the games industry didn’t quite fair as well as other commodities: sales across the industry on all platforms was once again down when compared to last year, though the decline this month was noticeably less than in previous months this year. Still, it’s now definitely clear that the current crop of consoles aren’t drawing the shoppers in anymore, and the next-gen will need to arrive soon if the gaming industry ever wants to see positive growth again.
Of course, it’s not all bad: despite not selling as many systems as they sold last year, the Xbox 360 was still the top selling console of the month, with Microsoft moving over 1.2 million 360’s into new homes over the course of November. The Xbox 360 has been the best selling console for most of 2012, and it looks like it’ll continue that trend well into the next year. The Wii U managed to put in a strong showing as well, especially when you consider it was only on the market for a week when these sales numbers were tallied: Nintendo sold 420,000 units of their new console, in addition to about half a million 3DS’s and 370, 000 DSi’s. The Wii U’s launch week numbers are just under what the 475,000 the original Wii sold during it’s launch week. Sony has yet to release sales numbers for their systems for the period, though judging by the amount of PS3’s they sold on Black Friday, it’s safe to assume that the PS3 performed somewhere between the 360 and the Wii U.
Software sales were just as predictable: Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 proved that people aren’t tired of CoD yet, as the game easily nabbed the top spot for the month. Second place goes to Microsoft’s Halo 4, which proved that Halo could still be a critical and sales success even without the input of the series’ former developer, Bungie. Assassin’s Creed 3 took home the third spot on the list, which isn’t surprising, given that publisher Ubisoft was already boasting about how much money the game had made within days of its release date. If you want to know what I thought of AC3, you can read my review here. Casual phenom Just Dance 4 and Madden 13 rounded out the top 5.
No Wii U titles managed to crack the top 10, but that’s understandable considering it just launched and its installed base after one week on shelves is obviously miniscule compared to the seven and six year old 360 and PS3. Sales data for most Wii U software hasn’t been released, but Nintendo did mention that Super Mario Bros. U sold 273,000 copies, which means that more than half of the people who bought a Wii U also bought the latest Mario game along with it.
Here’s the full list, in case you’re curious:
- Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
- Halo 4
- Assassin’s Creed 3
- Just Dance 4
- Madden NFL 13
- Skylanders Giants
- Need for Speed: Most Wanted 2012
- NBA 2K13
- WWE 13
- FIFA Soccer 13
I can already predict pretty confidently that sales will probably decline again in December, as Ubisoft’s Farcry 3 seems to be the only big budget, triple A release for the month that I can think of. 2012 was a rough year for the gaming industry, and it seems like all the major video game publishers and hardware manufacturers are just glad to have survived the year. With the Wii U finally out and the PS4 and next Xbox poised to be released sometime next year, let’s hope that the coming of the next generation of consoles will be enough to pull the industry out of 2012’s steady decline.