NPD: Hardware and software suffers in April

The US saw an 8 per cent year-on-year decline in hardware sales while software tumbled 23 per cent, according to data provided bythe NPD group.

Physical software sales stood at $510.74 million, a significant drop from the 660.1 million during April 2008.

However, NPD analyst Anita Frazier was quick to mention that two blockbuster titles, GTAIV and Mario Kart Wii, were both released in the April month last year.

This really illustrates the impact of comparing against a month when there were several new blockbuster titles new to the market," she said.

As Grand Theft Auto IV sold 2.85 million units in April last year, the highest-selling game this year was Wii Fit, clocking up 471,000 units. The best-selling new release was The Godfather II, which sold above 246,000 units.

Frazier added that April would have been a great month to release a big new game because there weren’t a lot of high profile new releases.”

As GTAIV and Mario Kart Wii boosted hardware sales last year, it’s unsurprising to see that this maonth saw hardware revenues shrink 8 per cent over 2008.

Overall hardware sales reached $391.6 million, far behind the $426.9 million clocked up in April 2008. It was a particularly concerning performance when taking into account the new release of the DSi, and the new low price for the PS2.

"The NDS platform accounted for 31 percent of total industry unit sales this month across all categories," said Frazier, commenting on the 1 million DS units sold in the month, nearly doubling last year’s performance.

Yet the 360, PS3 and Wii and PSP all failed to rise above last year’s performance. The PS2, meanwhile, saw sales jump to 172,000 units following the announcement from Sony that the console willbe cut in price to $99.

[The increase in units sold] is a testament to the impact a price reduction can have on hardware acquisition, with price being only second to compelling new content as a catalyst for hardware sales," concluded Frazier.

Software sales top ten for April follows:
Wii Fit – 471,000 (Wii)
Pokemon Platinum – 433,000 (DS)
Mario Kart Wii – 210,000 (Wii)
Wii Play – 170,000 (Wii)
The Godfather II – 155,000 (Xbox 360)
Resident Evil 5 – 122,000 (Xbox 360)
New Super Mario Bros – 119,000 (DS)
Mario Kart DS – 112,000 (DS)
Guitar Hero Aerosmith – 110,000 (Xbox 360)
The Godfather II – 91,000 (PS3)

Hardware Sales figures for April follows:

Nintendo DS: 1,040,000
Wii: 340,000
Xbox 360: 175,000
PlayStation 2: 172,000
PlayStation 3: 127,000
PSP: 116,000

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