Spin-free: November NPD hardware numbers

Even though the monthly NPD data is used by all game companies to gauge sales and successes, we have to be mindful of how those numbers are presented. This highly competitive industry has quickly learned how to take something negative and make it sound amazing, and likewise, they’ve become skilled at making an enemies’ victories look like total failures. Figures that should be completely straightforward become confusing when extra data is interjected, and press releases these days seem to be full of it — and I mean that in more ways than one. We’ll just try to give it to you straight.

November’s NPD numbers are impressive for all parties, and it’s safe to say that the industry in general is up. Hardware and software sales were up 41 and 62 percent respectively, and total industry sales came in at an amazing $2.63 billion, up 52 percent from last year.

So who sold the most systems? Nintendo. All systems saw major increases from the previous month, but the DS sales almost tripled, with a total of 1.53 million units sold. The Wii came in second, with 981,000 units — its best month ever. Who knows how many more units would have been moved if the supply wasn’t so limited.

Microsoft managed to move 770,000 Xbox 360s, more than doubling the previous month’s sales. We’ll never know for sure they actually managed to outsell the PS3 2-to-1 during Black Friday week, but as far as monthly totals go, they just missed the double mark.

Sony’s three consoles may be sitting at the bottom of the sales charts, but don’t let those other guys tell you that this equals victory over Sony. If anything, they’re one to watch out for; the PS3 had the largest sales increase of any console, with sales jumping 285 percent over October’s numbers (466,000 units). That being said, the PSP (567,000) and PS2 (496,000) saw similar jumps, and each managed to outsell the PS3 in November. For those playing the home game, that’s over 120 million PS2 units sold total.

Lastly, there’s the non-console hardware. Naturally, Wii controllers dominated. Strangely enough, the Wii Zapper ranked within the listing, with 232,000 units sold. Also, It seems that all of the new PS3 owners needed new controllers, as second place was taken by the PS3 controller sales, with 282,000 units sold. 

If you think November’s numbers are crazy, wait until December’s! 

Dale North