November NPD Report: Best Month Ever for Current-Gen

It looks like next year may be the best year for current-gen consoles, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Wii U, as November this year was the best month ever for current-gen hardware sales.

In total, according to the NPD Group’s November 2015 report on games industry spend in the US, current-gen hardware sales hit record highs with 3 million sales over the course of the month, thanks – in part, to Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. Of that figure, the PS4 and Xbox One accounted for 2.8 million of those sales.

“8th generation console sales rose by 22% in dollars. 7th generation sales dropped by 76% in dollars, which is sharper than the year-to-date decline of 57%,” NPD’s Liam Callahan said.

So it looks like last-gen consoles are rapidly being phased out by purchases of current-gen consoles, which comes as no surprise considering we’re entering the third year into the life cycle of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

“After 25 months, the combined sales for the PS4 and the Xbox One are 47% higher than the combined sales for 25 months of PS3 and Xbox 360 hardware sales,” said Callahan.

Of those sales, the PlayStation 4 outsold the Xbox One, which comes as a surprise considering the Xbox One did pretty well for itself in November last year, though Sony was pretty competitive when it came to matching sale prices during Black Friday sales.

The two companies released similar statements, both revealing that sales both digitally and of first party titles, were going strong.

Nintendo didn’t release a statement this month.

November NPD Report: Best Month Ever for Current-Gen - n3rdabl3

As for software, reflecting on Sony’s statement about record sales on the PlayStation Store, retail software sales dipped a little. Remember, the NPD Group doesn’t track digital sales so this slow decline likely shows consumers’ growing preference to downloading titles digitally.

According to the report, software sales dipped 7 per cent to £1.02 billion, with portable software showing the steepest decline at 66 per cent. Current-gen software sales actually held up those numbers with a 37 per cent increase, only to be shoved back down by a 60 per cent dip in last-gen sales.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 did pretty well for itself in November, outpacing sales of the 2014 Call of Duty release. Fallout 4 also did pretty well for itself, selling 70 per cent more units than Fallout: New Vegas, and 3 per cent more than Fallout 3. Star Wars: Battlefront also had a good month, with the best first month sales for any Star Wars game.

Surprisingly, considering Sony and Activision have teamed up to offer PlayStation players exclusive access to Call of Duty content early, November sales reports showed that the Xbox One version of the game sold considerably better than the PlayStation 4.

Here’s the full rundown:

  1. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
  2. Fallout 4 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
  3. Star Wars Battlefront 2015 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
  4. Madden NFL 16 (PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3)
  5. NBA 2K16 (PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3)
  6. FIFA 16 (PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3)
  7. Need For Speed 2015 (PS4, Xbox One)
  8. Halo 5: Guardians (Xbox One)
  9. Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
  10. Just Dance 2016 (Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4, PS3)

Industry spend in the US is finally showing some positive growth after a slight decline. It’s up 2 per cent to $2.47 billion. Hardware also grew 11 per cent, as you’d expect with record sales, from $1.02 billion to $1.12 billion. Software however dipped  7 per cent to $1.02 billion. Accessories on the other hand grew 6 per cent to $357 million.