The NPD Group has released its sales figures numbers for November, and it's notable yet again the sheer amount of games and systems consumers are buying this year. November saw a 52 percent gain in gaming sales over last year, to $2.63 billion. "If the year had ended on December 1st, 2007 would be up 5 percent versus last year," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier in a statement. "With the biggest month of the year yet to go, total industry sales are on track to achieve between $18 billion and $19 billion in the US."
Let's take a look at what people were buying in November.
The Nintendo DS had an amazing November, with 1.53 million units sold. That makes the Wii's sales of 981,000 units look almost quaint in comparison. To put this in perspective, the Nintendo DS outsold every single Sony system combined in November.
The Wii did move a good amount of software in November; Super Mario Galaxy took the number two slot with 1.12 million units sold, and the always popular Wii Play came in fifth place with 564,000 units sold. The Wii version of Guitar Hero 3 was a popular title, coming in at number eight with 426,000 units sold. The extra controllers are also a large profit center for Nintendo. "4 of the 5 best-selling accessories for the month were Wii controllers," Frazier noted. "The Wii Zapper, which debuted in November, sold 232,000 units. The second-best selling accessory for the month was the PS3 wireless controller at 282,000 units."
The Xbox 360 had its second best month on record, trailing only last December in terms of sales. The system, with its myriad configurations, sold a respectable 770,000 units. Microsoft has proven yet again that 360 owners are a hungry lot; four of the top ten best-selling games were on Microsoft's platform.
Call of Duty 4 took the number one slot overall this month, with 1.57 million units sold on the 360. The 360 version of Assassin's Creed came in at number three with 980,000 units, Mass Effect was number six with 473,000 units, with Halo 3 at number nine with 387,000 units. Multiplatform games perform incredibly well on the 360: Call of Duty 4 on the 360 outsold its PlayStation 3 counterpart by 1.1 million units, and the 360 version of Assassin's Creed outsold the PS3 version by 603,000 units.
"The combination of the price cut and seasonal lift gave the PS3 the biggest October to November sales increase of any hardware platform," Frazier said of the PS3. Unfortunately, it is the one of the few positive things to be said about Sony's performance in November. Sony's three systems took the rear of the sales charts with the PlayStation 3 selling 466,000 units, the PlayStation 2 continuing to sell well with 496,000 units, and the PSP selling 567,000 units of hardware.
Software was a mixed bag. The PS3 versions of Call of Duty 4 and Assassin's Creed came in at the number seven and 10 slots respectively, but sold far less on the PS3 than they did on the Xbox 360. Uncharted: Drake's Fortune also failed to chart, despite being one of the best games of the year.
A few notes about November: Assassin's Creed was the best-selling new IP in gaming history, with Gears of War coming in at number two. Despite mixed reviews, the game did very well at retail. Call of Duty 4 was another monster hit; the game has only been available for one month, but it's already the number four title of the year. The $170, four-player Rock Band sold 382,000 units; the NPD Group notes that sales may pick up as word of mouth spreads.
November was a huge month for both hardware and software sales; December sales should be positively insane.