August NPD: Software sales stabilize somewhat, Darksiders 2 takes first place [Update: Nintendo chimes in]

Despite the fact that hardware and software sales in the physical channel are still down when compared to August in 2011, market stabilization in the software sector (along with promising signs from the first week of 3DS XL sales) helps to reassure that 2012's ever-downward spiral may not be eternal.

Hardware sales for August 2012 were down 39 percent, bringing in $150.6 million versus the $248.8 million accrued during the same period in 2011. The Xbox 360 sold 190,000 units and was again the top selling platform of the month, according to Major Nelson, though the 3DS and PS3 both showed increases over July 2011, despite the month being down as a whole. Only one week of 3DS XL sales were recorded, but in that week enough units were sold to account for 44 percent of all 3DS sales in August.

The accessories segment continued its trend of having the smallest percentage amount of year-over-year loss at $127.3 million for the period, which is down seven percent from August 2011's $137 million. Points cards and other physical means of buying online currency continue to drive this segment, according to NPD Group industry analyst Anita Frazier.

As far as software is concerned, August 2012's performance was down nine percent – $237.7 million as compared to $261.8 million during the same period last year. When only looking at software for "high definition platforms," however, the year-over-year difference is only one percent. This signifies market stabilization, says Frazier, but August's sales were worse than they could have been had the months prior not been so devoid of new releases.

Darksiders 2 was the best-selling game during the period, followed by New Super Mario Bros. 2 and Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. As always, August's complete list of the top 10 games can be found after the break.

Nintendo Update: 3DS hardware sales were up 36 percent over July, while 3DS software sales were up 68 percent, Nintendo has said. New Super Mario Bros. 2 sold more than 240,000 copies, making it the best-selling individual SKU for the month of August. Meanwhile, Kingdom Hearts 3D sold over 180,000 copies.
  1. Darksiders 2 (360, PS3, PC)
  2. New Super Mario Bros 2 (3DS)
  3. Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance (3DS)
  4. NCAA Football 13 (360, PS3)
  5. Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (Wii, 360, NDS, PS3, 3DS, PSV, PC)
  6. Sleeping Dogs (360, PS3)
  7. Transformers: Fall of Cybertron (360, PS3)
  8. Batman: Arkham City (360, PS3, PC)
  9. Call of Duty: Black Ops (360, PS3, NDS, Wii, PC)
  10. The Amazing Spider-Man (360, PS3, NDS, 3DS, Wii)
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Sept. 6, 2012

Nintendo News

New Super Mario Bros. 2 Emerges as the Best-Selling Video Game of August

Even with only five days of reported data, Nintendo 3DS XL and New Super Mario Bros. 2 still had major impacts on the August video game market. The new hardware, which features 90 percent larger screens than the original Nintendo 3DS, and the new side-scrolling Mario adventure both launched on Aug. 19 and helped Nintendo achieve the following:

Nintendo 3DS software sales increased by more than 68 percent over sales in July.
Nintendo 3DS hardware sales increased by more than 36 percent over sales in July.
The No. 1 and No. 2 top-selling software SKUs for the month are both exclusive to Nintendo 3DS. New Super Mario Bros. 2 sold more than 240,000 units to finish No. 1, and KINGDOM HEARTS 3D [Dream Drop Distance] from Square Enix sold more than 180,000 copies to finish No. 2.
"Software sells hardware, and no one sells either quite like Mario," said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. "In addition to helping New Super Mario Bros. 2 get off to a great start, Nintendo 3DS XL is driving increased interest in titles such as Kid Icarus: Uprising, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D and Mario Kart 7. These games have been on the market for more than six months but provide a completely new experience on the larger screens. Combine these titles with the upcoming Paper Mario: Sticker Star and a robust list of third-party games, and Nintendo 3DS is poised to be high on holiday wish lists this year."

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This article was originally published on Joystiq.