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NPD: Video Game Hardware Sales Declined 19% in March

14 Apr, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Sales of video game systems dropped 19% in March, generating $253.2 million in revenue compared with $311.1 million during the previous-year period, according to new data from The NPD Group. Unit sales fell 17%. Indeed, Microsoft issued a statement focusing on increased time users spent on Xbox One (up 89%) than unit sales.

The decline was offset by a 7% spike in game sales to $433 million (excluding new-release titles) and 9% surge in accessories (video game cards, gamepads, and headsets/headphones) at $285.1 million. New physical release sales topped $964 million, compared with $968.4 million a year ago.

“The difference in [hardware] trends was due to some softening of average retail prices of 2% versus last March,” NPD analyst Liam Callahan said in a statement.

Callahan said portable hardware sales had the highest dollar sales volume decline compared with a year ago, followed closely by eighth-generation consoles. Seventh-generation consoles saw a 78% drop in sales, though those sales represent only 2% of March sales.

Top-selling titles in March included Tom Clancy’s The Division and Far Cry: Primal (both Ubisoft), followed by The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD (Nintendo).

Tom Clancy’s The Division had the best launch month for any Tom Clancy title to-date, having sold 40% more than the next best-selling Clancy title, March 2008’s Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas 2,” Callahan said.

Microsoft said proprietary title Killer Instinct: Season 3 saw record engagement (6 million unique players) across Xbox One and Windows 10 following its March 29 debut. On April 5, Microsoft launched Quantum Break, which it said became the best-selling Xbox game globally.

“It is now the biggest-selling new Microsoft Studios published IP this generation,” said. Mike Nichols, VP of Xbox marketing.

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