March is a very interesting month for NPD numbers. Not only are there 5 weeks (to the usual 4) in the reporting period, but the end of the fiscal year means that developers and publishers are rushing to get their big titles out. The numbers reflect this sudden jump in releases: software sales (and the sales of one console) were in the black last month!
- Bioshock Infinite
- Tomb Raider
- Gears of War: Judgment
- God of War: Ascension
- Call of Duty: Black Ops II
- Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon
- MLB 13: The Show
- NBA 2K13
- The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct
- Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3
Bioshock Infinite won the month with at least 750k physical copies sold in a week and a half. This isn’t super surprising, given the colossal Bioshock hype train that has been roaring through the industry since 2011. However, I am curious to see how wide the gap is between Infinite and Tomb Raider, another big name title that released at the beginning of the month.
It’s important to note that, while the “sales are down, videogames are doomed” narrative continues to dominate the airwaves, Tomb Raider and Bioshock Infinite had the biggest launches in the history of their franchises last month. Assassin’s Creed III did the same thing for its franchise last October.
Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon is a very welcome addition to the middle of the charts, with over 300k copies sold. Nintendo’s latest handheld is finally showing its marketshare muscle.
I would also like to take a moment to shake my head at everybody that bought The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct. It’s my column and I’ll do what I want.
- Xbox 360 (261k)
- Nintendo 3DS (230k)
- PlayStation 3 (211k)
- Wii (91k)
- Wii U(67k)
- PS Vita (33k)
The Nintendo 3DS is the only console to show growth last month, with a 9% increase in year-over-year sales. This is largely due to recent hits like Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon and slow burners like Fire Emblem: Awakening. The PS Vita, on the other hand, sold less than 10k units per week, and has no notable titles on the horizon.
The Wii U continues to disappoint. While Nintendo diehards might find solace in their latest console “beating” analyst Michael Pachter’s prediction of 50k units sold, 67k is nothing to be proud of. All eyes are on Nintendo for their Wii U focused press event on the 24th of this month. They have proven that they can bring things around with the 3DS, let’s see if they can win back console owners before the generation begins for real this holiday.