NPD: Xbox 360 On Top In December

The Xbox 360 did good this year. how good? About $6.7 billion worth of good.

NPD data was released today that cemented Microsoft’s position as the leader of 2011 in video game sales. that $6.7 billion worth of sales equated to Microsoft’s sales accounting for 40 percent of all video game sales in 2011.

The entire industry made between $16.3 and $16.6 billion in 2011. this includes both retail and digital game and hardware sales. the sales are down 2 percent when compared to 2010.

New physical content at retail still accounts for the majority of video game sales. Retail generated about $9.3 billion, an 8 percent decrease from last year.

HD console software sales were up 9 percent in 2011. used games, full-game digital downloads, downloadable content and mobile gaming app sales were up as well.

“Overall industry results are not entirely surprising given that we are on the back end of the current console lifecycle, combined with the continued digital evolution of gaming. Core gamers continue to be engaged and spend on established franchises across both the digital and physical format using multiple devices for different gaming occasions,” Anita Frazier, industry analyst, the NPD Group, said.

This ties into December seeing only 6.3 million console sales, down from 8.4 million a year ago. this is the lowest level since 2005 which was at the end of the previous console cycle. These are usually the signs of a new console cycle starting up soon.

December was the main factor that brought the year’s sales down. December is typically a strong month for software and console sales, but the NPD notes that sales were down across most software and hardware that month. In fact, the only two platforms to see an increase in sales in December were the DS and 3DS.

The top 10 best-selling games in December were:

1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (360, PS3, Wii, PC)2. Just Dance 3 (Wii, 360, PS3)3. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (360, PS3, PC)4. Mario Kart 7 (3DS)5. Battlefield 3 (360, PS3, PC)6. Madden NFL 12 (360, PS3, Wii, PSP, PS2)7. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations (360, PS3, PC)8. NBA 2K12 (360, PS3, Wii, PSP, PS2, PC)9. Super Mario 3D Land (3DS)10. Batman: Arkham City (360, PS3, PC)

The top 10 best-selling games of 2011 were:

1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (360, PS3, Wii, PC)2. Just Dance 3 (Wii, 360, PS3)3. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (360, PS3, PC)4. Battlefield 3 (360, PS3, PC)5. Madden NFL 12 (360, PS3, Wii, PSP, PS2)6. Call of Duty: Black Ops (360, PS3, Wii, NDS, PC)7. Batman: Arkham City (360, PS3, PC)8. Gears of War 3 (360)9. Just Dance 2 (Wii)10. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations (360, PS3, PC)

The December and annual sales, even though they are down, represent the fact that gaming is a huge industry that continues to strive. with the increase in mobile gaming and the proliferation of digital sales, it can only get better.

Also, with new hardware like the PlayStation Vita and Wii U launching this year, there should be some good news and sales for video games in 2012.

NPD: Xbox 360 On Top In December

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