Video game industry set for a good year despite November sales fall

According to the latest US video games sales results from the NPD Group, the month of November was down 7.6 per cent in a year-on-year comparison, but the industry is still on track to record an impressive $20 billion in sales for 2009.

Anita Frazier, NPD analyst, said that the result was still one of the best on record, but doesn’t compare to the stellar 2008 performance.

“The industry declined 7.6% versus last November, but still produced enough revenue to make this month the second-best November in industry history,” she said.

“Year to date the industry is still up 7% over 2007. I think we all have to realize the incredible year that was 2008.”

Frazier was confident the industry will reach upwards of $20 billion for the entire 2009.

“Based on seasonality the industry looks like it will reach $20 billion for the year, which means December would have to be up over last year by 11%. More positive economic news combined with ‘frugal fatigue’ could positively impact industry sales during these last weeks of the holiday season,” she said.

According to the results the Nintendo DS was the top seller with 1.70 million units sold for November followed by the Nintendo Wii with 1.26 million units and the Microsoft Xbox 360 with 819,500 units.

Sony’s Playstation 3 also had a strong month with 710,400 units. The PSP and Playstation 2 sold 293,900 and 203,100 units respectively.

Frazier was very impressed by the performance of the PS2 and how it has managed to hang around in a very crowded market.

“All hardware systems realised an increase over October but one would expect that from seasonality alone. I was really impressed by the performance of the PS2, which after 109 months in market is still experiencing strong sales,” she said.

“While there has been a lot of focus on Wii sales as compared to last year, the system was still the best-selling console system by a margin of 54%. At this same point in the PS2 lifecycle, the PS2 was down in unit sales by 23% over the previous year, but as history has shown, it continues to have a great deal of life left in it.  So focusing on a comparison to Wii’s stellar 2008 performance masks the reality of just how well this system is selling.”

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