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March NPD: Hardware Sales Slump

| 16 Apr 2009 23:53
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NPD sales numbers for the month of March don't look too good on the hardware side, but Capcom should be popping champagne bottles for another month in a row with impressive Resident Evil 5 sales.

The Wii once again took first place for hardware sales with 601k systems sold, followed by the DS with 563k, the Xbox 360 with 330k, the PS3 with 218k and the PSP and PS2 with 168k and 112k respectively.

So, Nintendo on top, everyone else behind to varying degrees. Business as usual, right? Not exactly. According to the NPD, the 360 was the only console that showed year-to-year growth for March, moving up to 330k from 262k. Everyone else lagged behind - overall, this March's hardware sales of 1.43 billion were down 18 percent from last year, when sales raked in 1.72 billion.

"If there was one area that surprised me this month, it was hardware sales," the NPD's Anita Frazier said. "While it's not unusual for March hardware sales to be lower than February, I thought we'd see higher unit sales on most platforms."

Frazier postulated that the drop might have something to do with the fact that Easter fell into April this year as opposed to March. According to her, even though it doesn't seem like much of a holiday for giving away videogame systems, "our consumer data shows that 8 per cent of industry unit sales were purchased for the Easter occasion in March 2008, accounting for USD 121M of that months' sales." She expects the April numbers to reflect Easter sales.

All's not doom and gloom, however. Software made some big numbers in March, especially Capcom's Resident Evil 5, which pushed a whopping 938k units on the 360, Nintendo's Pokemon Platinum, which drew 805K Pokemaniacs back into the game (including yours truly) and Halo Wars, with 639k units sold.

Notable absences on the software chart include Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars for the DS and Street Fighter IV, which made a strong debut last month but seems to have fallen off.

Killzone 2, meanwhile, languished between MLB 09: The Show and Wii Play with 296K. Sony recently announced that they've sold more than a million copies worldwide.

(GI.biz, Kotaku)

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