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Microsoft Responds to Soft November Video Game Industry Numbers

12 Dec, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

The NPD Group said November hardware, software game sales dropped 23% and 11%, respectively

Microsoft says November sales of the Xbox One set company records and was the best-selling video game console in the United States and the United Kingdom, based on data from NPD GFK ChartTrack.

The software giant said Xbox One users bought more games in November than any other new-generation game platform (i.e. Sony’s PlayStation 4), with more than 357 million hours of gameplay occurring globally.

Microsoft went on the offensive after The NPD Group’s November video game data revealed that industry-wide sales of hardware dropped 23% ($300 million) to $1 billion compared with the prior-year period.

Sales of new packaged-media games declined 11% ($300 million) to $2.41 billion. Total software sales (less new physical releases) fell 1% ($10 million) to $1.09 billion.

“More fans logged into Xbox Live across Xbox One and Xbox 360, and enjoyed more entertainment, than any other month in the history of Xbox,” Mike Nichols, corporate VP of Xbox marketing, said in a statement. “We are committed to making Xbox the best place to play, with this year’s best games, the best community of gamers to play with, and terrific value.”

Indeed, NPD said cumulative PS4 and Xbox One sales are almost 80% higher than the combined total of previous-generation PS3 and Xbox 360 sales after 13 months on the market.

Key to the revenue decline is the ongoing industry practice of bundling software with hardware, with a number of new (and discounted) bundles in November ranking as the highest-selling hardware bundles in 2014.

“Despite a decline in dollar sales, hardware unit sales for eighth-generation consoles increased by 3% over November 2013,” NPD analyst Liam Callahan said in a statement.

Year-to-date, NPD said sales across hardware, software, and accessories through November 2014 are up 2%.

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