NPD: Video game sales plummet by 20 percent during February

kingdoms of amalur the reckoning review

According to a new report from the market researching NPD Group, physical video game sales during February 2012 amounted to just over one billion dollars, but that’s a sharp drop from $1.33 billion during February 2011. Down 24 percent during the month, sales of physical discs amounted to approximately $485 million. However, NPD analyst Anita Frazier estimates that consumers spent between $550 to $600 million on digital distributed video games on services like Valve’s Steam and Electronic Arts Origin, subscriptions to MMORPG games, rentals from Gamefly and Redbox, mobile games on the iPhone, virtual items such as in-game currency and used games. 

Microsoft Xbox 360While Microsoft continued a 14-month streak with the top selling video game console in North America, hardware sales fell by 18 percent compared to the previous year even with the launch of the new PlayStation Vita handheld gaming system. According to Microsoft, the company sold approximately Xbox 360 consoles during February.

Alternatively, Nintendo claims to have sold 262,000 3DS handhelds and 228,000 Wii consoles. While Sony hasn’t released specific numbers for the PlayStation 3, estimates from Sony regarding the PlayStation Vita put the total number of handheld gaming systems sold at approximately 620,000 units between North America, Europe and Australia. 

The top three selling video games for February include Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Square’s Final Fantasy XIII-2 and THQ’s UFC Undisputed 3. Other games within the top ten include Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Just Dance 3, NBA 2K12Soul Calibur VElder Scrolls V: SkyrimTwisted Metal and Battlefield 3. Interestingly, zero PlayStation Vita titles cracked the top ten list.

March is expected to be a strong month for physical video game sales with the launch of Electronic Arts Mass Effect 3, Nintendo’s Mario Party 9, Konami’s Silent Hill Downpour and Capcom’s Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City. According to Electronic Arts, Mass Effect 3 sold nearly 900,000 copies within the first 24 hours of release and the added downloadable content ratio to sales of the game is estimated at 40 percent. Sales of the game alone amount to at least $54 million during the first day of release.

Downloadable content have been a topic of much contention among the gaming community in regards to Mass Effect 3. Just yesterday, the Escapist noted that files for day-one downloadable content are included on retail copies of Mass Effect 3 discs. Bioware game’s director Casey Hudson had previously claimed on Twitter that DLC wasn’t being worked on until the game was “content complete,” a term used to signify that the game is finished and ready for bug-fixing, certification, manufacturing and shipping.


Data found on the game disc includes voice files for the Prothean squad member unlocked within the From Ashes DLC pack in addition to character model and animation files for the extra character. While the files couldn’t be inspected due to encryption, the file sizes were fairly identical to similar files for other characters within the game. If these files were developed after the game was “content complete,” the files would need to be downloaded rather than accessed directly from the game disc. The inclusion of the files on the disc points to a scenario where Bioware and Electronic Arts purposely withheld a game character in order to encourage consumers to purchase the more expensive collector’s edition of Mass Effect 3 or charge Mass Effect 3 fans an additional $10 for the DLC pack. 


Once the dust settles, 'Fallout 76' will be a nuclear wasteland worth exploring

The launch of Fallout 76 has been nothing short of apocalyptic, but that doesn’t mean the game is dead on arrival. Bethesda has a path forward, paved by The Elder Scrolls Online, another game that suffered a rocky start.

Hey, Sony! If you make a PS2 Classic, it needs these games

158 million PS2 consoles were sold worldwide during its lifecycle, making it the most successful video game console of all time. It was hard, but we narrowed down the PS2's vast library of games. Here are the best PS2 games of all time.
Product Review

‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ is an ode to gaming that lives up to its name

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a loving tribute to Nintendo and video game history. It’s a terrific multiplayer fighter that also has plenty for single-player fans to love this time around.

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now, from Super Mario Odyssey to Fortnite.

Where we droppin’ (presents)? Perfect ‘Fortnite’ gifts for the fans in your life

Chances are someone on your holiday shopping list is a fan of Fortnite. As the most popular game on the planet, there are plenty of Fortnite-themed gift options available for purchase in stores and online. Here are the best ones we found.

Have a spooky dance party at an abandoned mansion with Fortnite's new challenges

The Fortnite season 7, week 2 challenges have arrived in Battle Royale. From searching for chests to dancing off at an abandoned mansion, here's how to do them and the rewards you get for completing them.

Sega Genesis classics now playable on Amazon Fire TV, no retro console required

Sega released the SEGA Classics app for Amazon Fire TV devices, allowing gamers to play Sega Genesis classics without having to buy a retro console. The $15 app contains 25 games, including three remastered Sonic titles.

The Super NES Classic is the perfect holiday gift for Nintendo lovers

Whether you're a long-time Nintendo fan looking to relive the 16-bit glory days or just doing some holiday shopping, the SNES Classic -- now in stock at multiple retailers for $80 -- might just be the perfect Christmas gift for gamers of…

Turn your Raspberry Pi into a Steam streaming hub with Valve’s Steam Link app

Valve's Steam Link app is now fully supported by Raspberry PI hardware, meaning that just about anyone with a few dollars to spare can build their own Steam streaming box in a matter of minutes.

Nintendo pulls the plug on making more SNES Classic, NES Classic systems

Nintendo extended production of the NES Classic and SNES Classic into 2018, but once the current supply of consoles is gone, the company won't be making more. Instead, you'll have to use Nintendo Switch Online.

Fancy ‘Kingdom Hearts III’ PlayStation 4 Pro launches alongside game in January

A limited edition PlayStation 4 Pro bundle for Kingdom Hearts III will launch alongside the game in January. The system included has a special design on the side, as does the controller.

Want to share your Xbox One games? Here's how to do it

Sharing games on modern consoles is possible, but it takes a few steps. Here's how to start sharing games on your Xbox One console, so friends and family can easily access your library.

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in 'Destiny 2: Forsaken'

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.

‘Fortnite’ removes the Infinity Blade weapon after player backlash

Following player backlash over the Infinity Blade weapon's inclusion in Fortnite's battle royale mode, Epic Games decided to remove the weapon from the game completely. It was not limited to a special mode.