The US video games market at last recorded a month of growth in March, climbing six per cent year-on-year to reach a value of $1.52bn.
NPD says that it was the third best non-holiday month on record. However, the numbers weren't enough to reverse the slow sales recorded in January and February, with year-to-date sales down seven per cent year-on-year at $3.96bn.
It was strong software sales that drove the welcome performance, with sales climbing ten per cent to $875.3m. However, total software sales for the year-to-date are still five per cent down on the year before.
Hardware sales didn't manage to better March 2009's performance, hitting $440.5m – four per cent down on last year. Year-to-date hardware sales are down 15 per cent at $1.22bn
Excluding Sept '09, which was up close to one per cent, March 2010 represents the first overall revenue increase for the industry outside of the holiday timeframe since Feb 2009,” NPD's Anita Frazier stated.
Drilling into the data, we see prices were down 16 per cent for console hardware; flat for console software; and up for all other categories. Lower prices exacerbates decline in dollar sales for console hardware, so while unit sales down only 5 per cent, dollar sales were down 12 per cent due to declining average retail prices (ARP).
In terms of total revenue, March 2010 is the third best non-holiday month on record behind March 2008 and June 2008.”
Here are the raw numbers:
March 2010: $1.52bn (+6% year-on-year)
Year to date 2010: $3.96bn (-7%)
Hardware 2010: $440.5m (-4%)
Year to date 2010: $1.22bn (-15%)
Software 2010: $875.3m (+10%)
Year to date 2010: $2.11bn (-5%)