Sep 13, 2013
Despite the popularity of digital sales, physical copies boosted up 21% to $305 million in August, according to the NPD group. This comes as a shimmering beacon of hope for the industry, and a great omen before the next generation descends upon us.
Total industry sales are up one percent, which is promising considering the fact the current generation is essentially coming to an end. These sales mean that physical shops, with many companies dropping like flies, may have a longer future than perhaps we dreaded. These statistics do not take into account online purchases such as Amazon and Steam, and so if shops can manage these sales, they are still very relevant for the average consumer.
However, hardware sales have decreased by 40%, but this is only logical. The next generation of consoles are only a few months away, and fans are obviously waiting to spend their money on newer pieces of equipment. PS3 and Wii U price drops and low cost bundles seemed unable to combat this decline, but this shall pick up when the eagerly-awaited PS4 and Xbox One are released in November. And with a surge of new games and eager fans, the industry is sure to pick up once more. The 2DS and lower priced Vita are not yet implemented, but this may boost hardware sales.
Some highly popular titles were launched during the month, with Madden NFL 25 proving popular, (always certain in America). Also Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist, and Saints Row IV helped boost sales during the month. This looks like a good omen coming up into the holiday season, when a whole new host of stellar games are on offer, including Battlefield 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts, and Assassin’s Creed IV, all certain to sell a heap of copies.
Accessory sales were up 7%, to $136.7 million, showing that this recent trend is growing, surely bolstered by the success of Disney Infinity. Certain characters are now becoming a rarity to find in figure form, and shows the huge demand for this craze. Toys “R” Us report running out of figures upon release, as parents and children alike scramble for their favourite figures. If anything, this shows digital gaming cannot yet entirely eclipse physical sales, as accessories and discs still sell in vast quantities. How long this accessory fad will last (look what happened to Guitar Hero) is unpredictable.
This influx of sequels is worrying, but ensures retail game sales are only going to increase, with the summer months famously being a dry season for new games. It also marked the first time a Wii U game has reached the top 10, with Pikmin 3, which is great news for Nintendo, with what is a rather small number of Wii U owners out there. 8 of the top 10 were initially launched in August, which is good for retail sales, and that people are not scared to spend money on titles they truly want, without resorting to the used game market.
This news shows that the current generation is not yet obsolete, as there is a huge user base of whom are ready for new games. This ensures that the current platforms may have more life in them yet.