Sales of video games as well as game systems set another record in the USA in March, according to data by NPD market tracking company. Both dollar-wise and unit-wise sell-through figures of entertainment hardware and software increased dramatically last month with Nintendo Wii being the platform to benefit the most from the raise.
“You’d never know that the U.S. economy was under distress by looking at the video games industry sales figures. Year-to-date growth is a rock-solid 27% through March 2008,” said NPD analyst Anita Frazier in a statement.
With no supply constraints and with incredible demand, Nintendo Wii managed to increase its sequential sell-through figure by 66.9% to 721 thousand units sold in March, up 178% year-over-year. Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360 game console managed to recapture its second place with 262 thousand units sold to gamers from Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.’s PlayStation 3, which was acquired in the quantity of 257 thousand. Sony PlayStation 2 posted weaker sequential result, but remained relatively strong with 216 thousand units shipped.
Despite of the fact that Microsoft Xbox 360 merely recaptured its second place from Sony PlayStation 3, the company still indicated that it could not supply enough game consoles to the market throughout the whole month.
“Going into March, some key U.S. retailers were still experiencing the trickle down effect of Xbox 360 console shortages. By the end of March, supply issues had improved and we expect retailers to be fully stocked with Xbox 360 consoles in time for the Grand Theft Auto IV launch,” said Microsoft representative said.
Portable game consoles also faced strong demand in March ‘08 with 698 thousand Nintendo DS and 297 thousand of Sony PlayStation Portable devices sold through, NPD figures show.
“Across hardware, software, and accessories, the Wii contributed the most to total industry sales, representing 31% of total industry dollars for the month,” Mr. Fazier added.
Video game console hardware sales – including both non-portable and portable systems – grew 46% year-over-year to $551.3 million. Unit sales increase of full-sized game machines increased 63% annually from 890 thousand to 1.456 million, NPD data shows. March software sales saw a 63% increase year-on-year to $945.6 million.
“Nintendo systems represented 58% of all video game hardware sold in March in the United States. We expect our momentum to continue with big upcoming game launches like Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, Mario Kart Wii and Wii Fit,” said Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America vice president of sales in Nintendo.