Video Game Sales Plummet; Is Nintendo’s Wii U the Solution?

It’s either the best or worst time to release a new video game console. With September 2012 video game sales slipping 24 per cent from a year ago, it means people are either starving for a new experience or just don’t have the cash to spend on gaming.

According to industry research firm NPD Group, sales of game discs, systems, and accessories slipped to just under $850 million last month, a drop of 24 per cent from the $1.1 billion the video game industry took in during the same period in 2011.

Hardware sales suffered the biggest hit, down 39 per cent to $211 million. Software sales weren’t quite so bad, though the 18 per cent drop to roughly $500 million (from over $600 million last year) will certainly be a concerning statistic for major game publishers and developers.

Unsurprisingly, Electronic Arts’ Madden NFL 13 topped the game sales chart, with Borderlands 2 and FIFA Soccer 13 rounding out the top three.

For the twenty-first month in a row, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 led in hardware sales. About 270,000 units sold last month, representing 49 per cent of all console sales.

It’s possible Microsoft’s domination of this sector could change in November, once Nintendo releases its brand new Wii U console. Adding high-definition graphics and a very distinct gamepad equipped with a 6.2-inch LCD screen, the console will sell for roughly $300 (and up). A $350 Deluxe Set package will include the basics plus additional hard drive space, a charging dock, and a copy of the game Nintendo Land.

NPD analyst Liam Callahan says he believes the Wii U “has the potential to reinvigorate retail sales of hardware.”

But I doubt it. As a long-time gamer I can’t honestly recall a hardware launch so unanticipated as that surrounding the Wii U. Few of the gamers I know are in any way interested, with most people looking ahead to releases of a new Xbox or PlayStation in 2013 or 2014.

What do you guys think?

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4 Responses to Video Game Sales Plummet; Is Nintendo’s Wii U the Solution?

  1. “But I doubt it. As a long-time gamer I can’t honestly recall a hardware launch so unanticipated as that surrounding the Wii U. Few of the gamers I know are in any way interested, with most people looking ahead to releases of a new Xbox or PlayStation in 2013 or 2014.”

    They said the same thing about the Wii before it came out. Look at where it is now. Of course, things can change, but nothing is set in stone, yet.

    • Brandon Dimmel
      Brandon Dimmel says:

      Look at where the Wii is now? The Wii is a mess. The games catalog is pathetic. The Xbox 360 tops hardware sales charts every month.

      The Wii was a flash in the pan. I don’t think people will embrace the Wii U in the same way. In my opinion, it’s another Virtual Boy.

  2. Duh look at the economy. Another these consoles are getting long in the tooth.
    Every yr there’s nothing but sequals, its boring.
    Mobile cell phone gaming is blasting forward
    Wii u feels just a new way to play the same old thing…Nintendo has always been good at that.