Xbox 360 and NCAA Football 12 lead dismal July sales

The NPD Grouphas released its US video game retail tallies for July, revealing good news for Microsoft and virtual football fans, but depressing news for the industry overall. According to the firm's monthly sales figures, the Xbox 360 held its spot as the top selling console for theseventh month in a row, while NCAA Football 12 topped out July's bestseller list. The bad news? NPD reported total industry sales were down 26% year-over-year, representing the lowest month for gamingin years.

"Video game sales in the new physical retail channel suffered its lowest month since October 2006,” said NPD analyst Anita Frazier, attempting to soften the blow by explaining, "Despite the very rough month, new physical retail sales are down just 4 percent year-to-date and based on seasonality trends observed over the last 10 years, which have been remarkably stable year-in, year-out, industry sales in this particular channel are poised to land in the flat to -2 percent range once the total year is completed."

The 26% landslide is a result of poor performance across the board. Based on NPD's numbers, July saw a 29% year-over-year decline in console sales, a 17% drop for new retail software sales, and a less distressing 8% fall-off for accessories.

Sales dips aside, Microsofthad some words to shareregarding itscontinued console domination, claiming it moved 277,000 units in July and owns a "45% share of the overall current-generation console market." That said, Frazier explained while the Xbox 360 certainlymaintained its grip as the number one console - a position it'sheld for 13 out of the last 14 months - July was the first monththe consoleexperienced a year-over-year decline since December 2009. This, she said, waslikely result of last July's number's being abnormally high due to thelaunch of the Kinect-ready slim model.

On the software end, physical games sales slipped10% year-over-year; adrop-off driven by the fact only 17 new titles were released in July 2011 compared to the 29titles last July. Leading the pack was NCAA Football 12, which saw a 15% increase in sales over last year's edition.

The complete best-seller list is as follows:

1 NCAA Football 12 (PS3, 360)
2 Cars 2 (PS3, 360, Wii, PC, DS)
3 Call of Duty: Black Ops (PS3, 360, Wii, PC, DS)
4 Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game (PS3, 360, Wii, PC, DS, 3DS, PSP)
5 Just Dance 2 (Wii)
6 Major League Baseball 2K11 (PS3, 360, Wii, PC, NDS, PSP, PS2)
7 Zumba Fitness: Join the Party (PS3, 360, Wii)
8 Fallout: New Vegas (PS3,360, PC)
9 New Super Mario Bros DS (NDS)
10 Mortal Kombat (PS3, 360)

It's important to note NPD's numbers do not take into account digital sales which, in this day and age, represent a increasingly large pool of profit. It should also be said GR is not responsible for bodily or emotional harm caused by fanboy conflicts. Because, you know, some people tend to take these numbers way too seriously.

Aug 12, 2011

Matt Bradford wrote news and features here at GamesRadar+ until 2016. Since then he's gone on to work with the Guinness World Records, acting as writer and researcher for the annual Gamer's Edition series of books, and has worked as an editor, technical writer, and voice actor. Matt is now a freelance journalist and editor, generating copy across a multitude of industries.