Despite of economic recession as well as generally weak seasonality, the market of console video games demonstrated consistent growth in the USA, recently release figures by NPD claim. The success of video game industry can be attributed to increasing value of games as well as to the increasing amount of novice gamers, who only start to play.
In Spite Expectations, Console Video Game Market Shows Further Growth
“Even in these tough economic times, the fact that total sales were able to realize a 13% increase in revenue (compared to January ‘08) speaks to the continued strength of video games as one of the leading entertainment industries in the U.S.,” said Anita Frazier, an analyst for NPD Group.
The market was indeed growing fast in January: sales of video game consoles reached $445.4 million, up 17% year-over-year, which is a huge surprise; shipments of video game software soared 10% to $676.6 annually; whereas revenues obtained from video game accessories topped $209.9 million, an increase of 11% over January ‘08.
“Accessory sales were up 11% over last year, and strong hardware sales usually are accompanied by strong accessory sales as consumers pick up additional peripherals to help them enjoy their gaming experiences,” said Ms. Frazier.
News Consumers Continue to Come… for Wii and Xbox 360, but Not for Sony PlayStation 3
Considering the fact that the so-called hardcore gamers have already acquired their desired video game systems, sales of hardware are mostly controlled by people seeking for game consoles that suit them the best way.
Nintendo Wii almost tripled its sales numbers from the last January with 679.2 thousand devices sold thanks to increased supply, according to NPD. Xbox 360 also demonstrated significant increase in sales with 309 thousand units sold through due to recent price-cuts as well as boosted supply. Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 3 needs a price-cut badly as this is the only new-generation video game console that showed year-over-year drop in terms of units.
“At this point in the console lifecycle, we would expect to see a greater percentage of total industry sales generated by software sales, but the continued strength in hardware sales is changing that scenario a bit. This will have a long-term positive impact on the industry as the user base expands. Software sales still increased 10% over last January, indicating that continued strong hardware sales are not occurring at the expense of software sales,” the analyst for NPD said.
Nintendo DS handheld video game device shipments achieved 510.8 thousand in January, while Sony PlayStation Portable was sold through in 172.3 thousand quantity.
Old Games Dominate Software Sales – New Gamers Incoming
Although sales of video game software were up 10% annually, they seem to cause more questions than answers: it appears that only Skate 2 and Lord of the Rings: Conquest are the new titles in the top 10 chart, meanwhile, all the other titles have existed for months, if not years. This may be an indicator that hardcore fans are indeed reducing their expenses on video games. Still, broadening of the audience is good in general.
“Only two of the top 10 games this month were new releases. The continued strength of games that have been in the market for some time clues us into just how many new consumers are coming into the industry. This broadening of the audience for gaming will help buoy the industry through these tough economic times, provided they have enough compelling content to keep them interested,” Ms. Frasier explained.