Posted By Robert G. about 9 months, 1 week ago
Retail sales throughout 2012 have been in a slump compared to last year, it seems. Despite the typical summer lull, which was nearly devoid of good titles, U.S retail has been down for months, with the trend continuing this August, according to the NDP Group.
Overall, the NDP Group reports that the August sales for 2012 were $515.6 million in August, which is a 20% decrease when compared to the 2011 numbers. However, the numbers are slightly misleading. Overall, consumers spent approximately $989 million in gaming in August, factoring in rental sales, digital downloads, and used game sales across the board. As for software, Darksiders II was the top seller for the month, with 247,000 units sold since its August 13th release. Sales overall for software sat at $252.8 million, an 11% decrease from last year.
Perhaps the most disappointing sales figure was hardware, which suffered a 39% drop for the month. Only $150.6 million in hardware would be sold in August, with the Xbox 360 leading the pack at 193,000 units. It should be noted that all hardware other than the 3DS and the PlayStation 3 saw a decrease in units sold, but with the recent retail release of the 3DS XL making up 44% of 3DS numbers, it is mostly a wash for the Nintendo handheld.
Sales across the board have been suffering, and the blame has been put upon the fact that there have been few solid release titles in 2012, according to NDP analyst Anita Fraizer. Frazier stated that August saw “more new titles when compared to last year; titles with sales that were significantly better than last year’s launches. So, what we’re seeing impact August results is the domino effect of the light release schedule from earlier in the year. That lack of new releases has had a significant impact on subsequent month’s sales.” Frazier also noted that the current fatigue for the current console generation is causing hardware numbers to plummet, and is anxiously awaiting to see how the Wii U performs during this holiday season.
Personally though, the numbers are down not just due to saturation or a weak game lineup from the core studios back in April and May, but also due to the economic climate in the United States. The fact that used and digital downloads made up a huge bulk of overall game sales with a staggering $989 million, it seems clear that everyone is looking for a good deal to get a little extra mileage out of their disposable income. It’s clear the gaming market is far from recession proof, and to me that the cause for the lower sales is a mixture of tightening the belts and waiting for something big to happen. Thankfully, September onward will see a plethora of releases across the board, and it is doubtful the domino effect Fraizer predicts will come into fruition by the time 2013 rolls around.