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Games again defy economy (CVG 20/3/09)

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Games again defy economy (CVG 20/3/09)

Post by VampiricPadraig on Fri Mar 20, 2009 12:58 pm

The videogame industry in February showed again its ability to be recession proof.

As the economy continues to struggle, retail sales of games, hardware and accessories rose 10 percent to $1.47 billion, driven by sales of Nintendo products and Capcom's Street Fighter IV.

Hardware sales were $532.7 million, an 11 percent increase year-on-year. The Nintendo Wii once again led hardware sales with 753K units sold, up from January's 679K. The DS followed with 588K sold.

Xbox 360 enjoyed a year-over-year boost with 391K sold, up 53 percent from a year ago. PS3 sold 276K, down from 281K a year prior, while PSP sold 199K.

"The Xbox 360 realized its biggest non-holiday sales month, save for September 2007, when the Halo 3 release brought in a large group of new owners," NPD analyst Anita Frazier said. "Compared to last month, the PS3 realized the greatest month-over-month unit sales increase of all platforms."

Software was up 9 percent to $733.5 million. Wii Fit topped the charts for another month, although Street Fighter IV sold the most units across the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions with 849K total during the month.

The highly-anticipated PS3 shooter Killzone 2 sold just 323K units, but it released at the very end of the month. March results will show any impact that the game may have had from a software and hardware sales perspective.

"Consumers picked up nearly 20 million units of video game software in February, a 14 percent increase over February 2008," said Frazier. "The average retail price for games is 4 percent lower than last year, which is why the dollar sales increase is not quite keeping in pace with the increase in unit sales."

Revenue from accessories was $207.1 million, up 13 percent.

The top 10 SKUs for February are below. (*Includes, special editions and bundles, but not those bundled with hardware.)

1. Wii Fit w/ Balance Board Wii 644K
2. Street Fighter IV 360 446K
3. Street Fighter IV PS3 403K
4. Wii Play w/ Remote Wii 386K
5. Killzone 2 PS3 323K
6. Mario Kart Wii Wii 263K
7. Call of Duty: World at War 360 193K
8. Mario Kart DS DS 145K
9. New Super Mario Bros DS 144K
10. Guitar Hero World Tour Wii 136K

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