As video game sales slump, and the Xbox 360 beats both the Sony PS3 and the Nintendo Wii in February console sales, in the USA, news has emerged that Sony is seriously considering either relaunching or killing off their struggling PSP Go which is being shunned by consumers right round the world including Australia.
New research from the NPD Group, reveals that sales of video games were $1.26 billion in February of this year, compared with $1.48 billion in 2009. When broken out by category, sales of hardware dropped 20 percent, from $534.2 million in 2009, to $426.4 million; software dropped 15 percent, from $736.7 million, to $624.4 million; and accessories dropped a mere 1 percent, from $206.1 million, to $204.7 million.
Nintendo DS was the best-selling hardware unit, with 613,200 units sold. Xbox 360 was next (422,000), followed by Wii (422,000), PlayStation3 (360,100), PlayStation Portable (133,400) and PlayStation2 (101,900).
Anita Frazier, NPD analyst, said in a statement regarding the figures: “The industry realized another month of decreased sales as compared to last year. In fact, for most categories, unit sales declines were greater than dollar sales. Higher average retail prices on all categories except console hardware boosted dollar sales performance somewhat.”
Fraizer said, “Honestly, I had expected the industry to perform somewhat better this month. Nonetheless, strong new releases, and Easter gift-buying bodes well for industry performance in March.”
The best-selling software title was BioShock2 for the Xbox 360.
In January the Xbox 360 sold 333k units, a 7 percent year-over-year gain. Last month, Microsoft sold 422k units, an 8 percent year-over-year gain, or further indication the system’s making small if steady gains.
On the other hand, Sony sold 277k units in January (+36%) and 360k units in February (+30%), much larger year-over-year- gains, though you could argue that’s because Sony’s had nowhere but up to go after years of depressing monthly numbers.
In an email, Microsoft called February 2010 its “biggest February in Xbox 360 history” and attributed that to “a stellar portfolio of exclusive blockbuster games, a fresh pipeline of new content on Xbox LIVE and high anticipation for controller-free gaming and entertainment with ‘Project Natal’ for Xbox 360.” Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Business COO Dennis Durkin believes February’s NPD results indicate 2010 will be the company’s “biggest…and best…in Xbox history.”
News has also emerged that Sony is considering either killing off or relaunching their new PSP Go which has been described as “the biggest failure in recent video gaming history”.
In Japan last week which is the biggest video game market in the word Sony was only able to sell 1,275 units of the PSP Go according to Tokyo-based research firm Media Create.
The Nintendo DS Lite (not the DSi or the XL) found 4,316 buyers in the same time frame. The regular PSP (the best portable gaming device ever in my opinion), on the other hand, was the No. 1 console, selling 64,808 units in that week.
One Sony source said that Sony was considering the integration of the PSP Go into a new slate type device which will allow the Japanese Company to compete with Apple in the gaming market.