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U.S. Video Game Sales Up 15.5% in April 51

Posted by Zonk
from the lots-of-people-in-tamriel dept.
kukyfrope writes "According to The NPD Group, game sales are up 15.5% for April 2006 thanks to strong PS2 sales, Xbox 360 availability and the release of popular titles such as Kingdom Hearts II, Oblivion and Tomb Raider: Legend. GameDaily BIZ talks in-depth with analysts Michael Pachter (WMS) and Anita Frazier (NPD) on the current trends of the industry and whether this last month was just a fluke or an upswing for the industry. 'We are completely baffled by the sales trend reversal for current generation software,' said Pachter."
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U.S. Video Game Sales Up 15.5% in April

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  • Xbox 360 (Score:4, Informative)

    by Erwos (553607) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @03:58PM (#15353508)
    The answer seems clear to me: the huge jump in Xbox 360 sales is starting to drive software sales again. The 360 is finally the best-selling console, and consumers are buying new games for it. If there's continued demand for the 360 (and I doubt they've hit anything near saturation yet), game sales should keep on going up.

    We'll see.

    -Erwos
    • Re:Xbox 360 (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ByteGuerrilla (918383)

      This is true. I an my friends watched the E3 coverage over the 'Net. Beforehand, we were pretty keen on the 360, quite psyched for the Wii, and, as usual, fairly ambivalent towards the PS3. Afterwards, we're all getting 360s and definitely getting Wiis.

      I think the trend identified here is set to continue well into the year. The 360 has some really top notch games coming out, with Gears of War and Chrome Hounds just two of them. Huxley is also shaping up quite well, even though it has recieved mixed r

    • Re:Xbox 360 (Score:4, Insightful)

      by badasscat (563442) <basscadet75@nospAM.yahoo.com> on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @04:23PM (#15353704)
      The answer seems clear to me: the huge jump in Xbox 360 sales is starting to drive software sales again.

      The "huge jump" in Xbox 360 sales was only to 295,000 units. 295,000 units in a whole month, after MS said they were shipping more than a million to retailers. And this after there was supposedly so much pent-up demand caused by the shortage. I think a lot of people had assumed there were literally millions of people out there who just couldn't get an Xbox 360; well, now they can, and only 295,000 of them showed up.

      It is true that the 100,000 or so extra Xbox 360's sold probably do mean another 150,000 or so games added to the tally for the month too. But from MS's point of view, that's really got to be a pretty disappointing number. They're still barely even outselling the PlayStation 2, for god's sake, a last-generation system, and by MS's own numbers, there's now a whole bunch of unsold inventory out there.

      In other words, whether or not this is sustainable is still up in the air.
      • MS wanted to ship a million 360s. They never got that many out the door because Celestica(or whoever the new manufacturer was) didn't get in as early as MS would have hoped. 360s sold out in April, and finally in May the shortage looks to be over.
      • Re:Xbox 360 (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Erwos (553607) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @04:50PM (#15353939)
        They're outselling the PS2 by 50% - surely, that shouldn't be described as "barely outselling".

        As for the low number compared to what we expected, I suspect it's because the supply channel problems were only resolved near the middle of April. There's no serious evidence that there are piles of 360s in shops everywhere - indeed, someone recently mentioned that it was only last week that Newegg was even able to get any.

        There's no hard proof that this is sustainable, but after Sony's poor E3 showing, I suspect 360 sales will be even stronger in May. But that's only my opinion...

        -Erwos
        • A friend of mine got a 360.. we where all skeptical about it.. but honestly that on a 1080i plasma. is truly nice.. some games where designed alot better than others (to be expected) but to be honest i never liked consoles.. but if i had the money and the time to play i would defintly get one
      • A few points:

        * NPD data covers US sales only
        * NPD data does not account sales of all retailers in the US
        * "Big" shipments started to hit retailers at the end of April

        Or, conversly:

        * NPD data does not include sales from Europe
        * NPD data does not include sales from Canada, Mexico, etc
        * NPD data does not include figures from retailers like Walmart
        * "Big" shipments weren't occuring during the sampling period
      • Re:Xbox 360 (Score:3, Interesting)

        I've never understood comparing how many PS2s are selling now compared to how many 360s are selling now. The markets for them at this time are completely different, the prices are completely different, and the library of games are completely different. Just seems a VERY strange comparison.

        The PS2 was the fastest selling console ever upon release reaching 10 million in just under 13 months. Despite people waiting to see the other consoles before committing, supply issues, and all that the 360 is on pace
      • Re:Xbox 360 (Score:3, Informative)

        by Serapth (643581)
        It is true that the 100,000 or so extra Xbox 360's sold probably do mean another 150,000 or so games added to the tally for the month too. But from MS's point of view, that's really got to be a pretty disappointing number.

        Not really sure where you learned math, but wasntit 295,000 units sold. On top of that, even if it was only 100,000 units, the attach rate with the 360 is close to 4 games per unit. That adds up closer to 400,000 extra games sold using the 100,000 number and 1.18 million games sold us
  • As for me... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MudButt (853616) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @04:01PM (#15353533)
    "'We are completely baffled by the sales trend reversal for current generation software,' said Pachter."

    Well, I can tell you that I just bought 6 new gamecube games for myself & the kids for summer break. I can't be the only one getting ready for that, right?
    • Which is especially amusing since the industry typically considers summer to be a low point because everyone is supposed to be outside playing in the sun or on vacation away from their consoles. Summer usually sees the lowest number of new releases.
      • Which is especially amusing since the industry typically considers summer to be a low point because everyone is supposed to be outside playing in the sun or on vacation away from their consoles. Summer usually sees the lowest number of new releases.

        They forget that so many gamers are pasty distant cousins of vampires, with an acute allergic reaction to the big yellow approximately-point light source in that blue room on the other side of the door.

        The freaks don't even know their own customers.
    • Take your kids outside you bastard... Hate to have you as a dad.
      • Take your kids outside you bastard... Hate to have you as a dad.

        LOL, have some unresolved issues with your parents? Your reply honestly made me laugh out loud, I'm not just saying LOL. And yes, we have locked them in their rooms with bags of candy, soda, and video games. They're not allowed to come out until they've mastered all the games. Also, I've covered the windows with tin foil as to not let any natural light into their rooms. And they're not allowed to bathe either. If I'm particularly impres
        • OK, maybe I am being a tad cynical. I know there are people out there who treat their kids like this (not to the same extent that you just described, but letting the tv entertain their kids during the holidays), and I feel the need to speak up against this sort of thing. (Because I like being a pain in the ass)
          • OK, maybe I am being a tad cynical. I know there are people out there who treat their kids like this (not to the same extent that you just described, but letting the tv entertain their kids during the holidays), and I feel the need to speak up against this sort of thing. (Because I like being a pain in the ass)

            This was a very rational and well thought out response. Let me reply in the same vein now...

            My wife and I limit the time allowed on the Nintendo to an hour a day. Maybe that's still too much, I d
  • by Pluvius (734915) <pluvius3@NosPaM.gmail.com> on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @04:02PM (#15353539) Journal
    I wonder when people are going to get tired of predicting another video-game crash every time there's a dip in sales.

    Rob
  • Idiot analysts (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Strong PS2 sales caused by Kingdom Hearts 2? 360 sales caused by Oblivion? Go figure. No games no sales, isn't that obvious?
  • by BTWR (540147) <[moc.oohay] [ta] [3robignacirema]> on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @04:04PM (#15353559) Homepage Journal
    It's very simple: release great games, people will buy them. This [thewiitalk.com] looks like a great game, and I'll buy it. See? Very simple strategy.

    Guy 1: Hmmm, so weird. We released Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness, and it tanked!

    Guy 2: Yeah, then we released a new Tomb Raider that was actually pretty decent, and not bug-ridden, and it sold well. Weird!

    Guy 1: I know! SO weird!

    • Guy 2: Yeah, then we released a new Tomb Raider that was actually pretty decent, and not bug-ridden, and it sold well. Weird!

      No, no, no! You're looking at this from a developer-nerd POV. Everyone who's taken Marketing 101 could tell you this is totally wrong.

      A correct analysis and outlook by key analysts would go like this:

      Guy 1: Hmmm, so weird. We released Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness, and it underachieved optimum sales forecasts!

      Guy 2: Yeah, then we released a new Tomb Raider that was also called T

  • by cdogbert (964753) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @04:20PM (#15353680)
    Every time a string of quality games are released that a lot of people like, sales go up! It's baffling!
  • I dunno (Score:5, Funny)

    by UES (655257) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @04:20PM (#15353684)
    "'We are completely baffled by the sales trend reversal for current generation software,' said Pachter."

    Yeah, it's a real question for the ages

    LOWER PRICE POINT FOR CURRENT GEN

    why are so many people in such a rush to buy games lately?

    LOWER PRICE POINT FOR CURRENT GEN

    Surely the greatest minds in the country should attach this vast problem.

    LOWER PRICE POINT FOR CURRENT GEN

    If only there was some kind of economic analysis possible, perhaps some kind of law of supply and/or demand that says what happens when demand is high and prices come down.
    • LOWER PRICE POINT FOR CURRENT GEN

      If only there was some kind of economic analysis possible, perhaps some kind of law of supply and/or demand that says what happens when demand is high and prices come down.


      Man, you got me there.

      So, in April my son and I bought three really cheap games for the xBox and the Gamecube, and I got a Sims 2 Open For Business expansion for my laptop.

      You think there's a pattern there?
  • Right... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Brothernone (928252) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @04:22PM (#15353700) Homepage
    Well, lets hope they actually take this as a clue that GOOD QUALITY and FUN are what drive game sales. This is not the movie industry, we are not going to spend money on shit we don't want. The sooner the publishers and producers figure this out, the happier we'll all be. Then we'll also have games WORTH spending the money on again.
  • Tax refunds? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by caesar-auf-nihil (513828) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @04:30PM (#15353763)
    I wonder how much the upswing in sales is due to serious gamers spending their tax refunds on more games? While taxes weren't due until mid-April, those who got their taxes done early in Febuary would be getting their refunds in early April, and, those who went to H&R block got their refunds instantly.

  • I Wouldn't at all be surprised if we see a continued boost in current gen game sales following the announcement of the PS3's price point. Most last gen gamers who owned the PS2 where eying the PS3, and the large price of the new console could easily make some considering blowing the money they were saving on current gen titles figuring it'd be years instead of months before they'll be able to afford the PS3.
  • ...the soaring gasoline prices.

    It's much cheaper to buy a console/PC and a stack of games to stay home at night, forget about eating and take your mind off how you can barely afford to go to work the next day.

    • It's much cheaper to buy a console/PC and a stack of games to stay home at night, forget about eating and take your mind off how you can barely afford to go to work the next day.

      You're a half-full kind of guy, aren't you?
    • Egads, how much driving do you do? At $3 per gallon, assuming you are driving the average number of miles per day (30) at a meager 20 miles per gallon will run you $135 per month. Compare that to the $90 per month you'd spend in the same conditions if gas were $2 per gallon. $45 won't even buy a used Gamecube and certainly wouldn't buy a new game.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    it's all the fault of piracy!!!!
  • by binaryspiral (784263) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @10:41PM (#15355782)
    So if you make some good games - people buy them. Lots of people buy them and sales go up?

    Hrm.. interesting. Why hasn't anyone thought of that before?

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