NPD Instant Analysis: Things You Should Note

If you are not careful, you will soon be cornered by some know-it-all who knows everything about US video game sales in March 2010. Before walking away, drop some knowledge on them - might we suggest a few talking points?

Fact: Four PlayStation 3 games were in the March top 10. Sony software hasn't had the strongest showing in sales figures, but a flow of high-quality games early in 2010 has been accompanied with a strong software showing. God of War III in the #1 spot (as long as you're not adding Pokemon games together), Final Fantasy XIII in the #3 spot, Battlefield Bad Company 2 in the #8 and MLB 10: The Show in #10. That's two internally developed games and two third-party titles.

Possible Analysis:

1) Exclusives matter, what with the #1 and #10games, God of War III and MLB 10: The Show, both made by Sony and released in March, in the top 10. Rival platform Xbox 360 had no exclusives in the top 10, and, what do you know, it released no major disc-based exclusive games for the month.

2) Final Fantasy is more of a Sony kind of thing. More than 800,000 copies of Final Fantasy XIII sell on the PS3, to just under 500,000 on the Xbox 360. And while it's easy to jump to the conclusion that that proves Sony fans are more into the Square-Enix saga than Microsoft owners, we have no way of knowing whether a lot of these consumers were dual-console owners who preferred the version of the game that was released on fewer discs.

3) Sony games are just more fun than any other games.

Fact: The PSP barely outsold the PS2, 120k to 118k.

Possible Analysis

1) The great PSP push of 2009 was a flop and not Rock Band, Assassin's Creed, LittleBigPlanet nor the PSPgo could raise this thing's fortunes. Time for PSP 3D or some other new PSP in 2010, because the current model is not cutting it.

2) The PSP is lying in wait, ready to explode when that next big PSP game is coming out... you know which one. (And would you please tell me what it is?)

3) Celebration! The PSP sold 100k in January. It's already back! (Oh, it sold 133k in February. Never mind.)

Fact: Silver is way more popular than Gold, at least in terms of March Pokemon releases, 1.02 million to 760,000.

Possible Analysis

1) Despite being more expensive, gold is tacky. Silver is classy. Gamers know this.

2) Gamers preferred the dragon thing on the front of the Pokemon SoulSilver box to the bird thing on the cover of the Pokemon HeartGold box. (Oh, I know the names of those Pokemon. I am just testing you.)

3) Nothing odd here at all. In April 2008, the last time paired Pokemon games launched in the US, Pokemon Diamond sold one million to Pokemon Pearl's 712,000. Hey, those numbers like kind of similar... as if this was planned.

Notable new releases that failed to make the overall software top 10 (With no console or handheld version selling more than 171,200 units in the US by April 3: MLB 2K10 (March 2), Yakuza 3 (March 13), Just Cause 2 (March 23), Red Steel 2 (March 23), WarioWare D.I.Y. (March 28)


    Sony bombed. Major releases and still 3rd place.

    Don't try to sell this any other way.

      How is it that you came to the conclusion SONY bombed?

      It had four out of the Top 10 for the month of March. The top seller, God of War III was only only sale for half on the month and shifted over a million units.

      The 360 had two titles in the Top 10, Final Fantasy XIII and Bad Company 2, both of which also appear in the Top 10 for the PS3. Final Fantasy XIII on PS3 sold almost double the amount of units than it did on 360. Bad Company 2 for PS3 didn't fare as well, as it was outsold 2:1 by the 360 version.

      Nintendo had the remaining four with Wii Fit Plus and Super Mario Bros Wii the most recent of Nintendos work-horse franchises securing positions.

      The final two games are DS remakes of of 10 year old Game Boy games! How these are shifting so many units amazes me.

        Mark's point is that despite dominating software sales in March, Sony hardware was still outsold by Nintendo and Microsoft.

        If I were a Sony exec, I'd be a little concerned about that.

          Sony had shortages until two weeks into March

          But its gaining momentum. We knew from day one it'll be slow, but so was the boulder in indiana jones. Love that boulder.

          We was I? Oh yes. I could go a cheap shot and point out the amount of hardware failures each month and unit sales each month.

          Wii's like that kid who button-mashes in StreetFighter II. Cant stop him no matter how hard you rage.

          Yeah, for some reason console sales for Sony never seem to reach the amounts that the Wii or 360 does.

          You would have thought that the sales for the Wii would have plateaued by now, but it still continues to sell incredibly well.

          Hopefully there's still a large loyal Sony user base who is yet to upgrade to the next generation of consoles. A possible price drop with the release of the Move and some third party Wii developers jumping ship to develop HD motion controlled games could maybe swing things in Sony's favour in the future.

      If your definition of bombed is making billions of dollars, I wouldn't mind being bombed.

    I admit Sony is gaining momentum but really i think the biggest stumbling block it is going face is when it launches Move in Australia. Lets be realisitic - who the hell is going to buy a PS3 at $400-600 and then on top buy most likely a $100-$150 controller combo as well as some launch games at about $80 each. Not many. I have a feeling that the move is going to fail harder then the go did at launch.

    Now that is a statement :P

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