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Beatles: Rock Band bests Guitar Hero 5 in U.S. Sept. sales


The Beatles: Rock Band's initial U.S. tour at retail has proven boast-worthy for its promoters. Following two promising platform appearances in NPD's top 10 software sales chart for September, MTV Games and Harmonix have declared B:RB "the top selling music video game in the U.S. for September." The Beatles–only game (released September 9) outsold Guitar Hero 5 (released September 1) with 595,000 units to 499,000 units in total U.S. sales for the month, according to a statement released by the NPD*. Additionally, charity-driven purchases of the "All You Need Is Love" DLC track exceeded 100,000 downloads on Xbox 360 in September.

The makers of B:RB have also rubbed in a few seemingly noteworthy facts; namely, (1) U.S. purchases of GH5 in September were eligible for a free mail-away copy of Guitar Hero: Van Halen, and (2) GH5 is available on one additional platform, PS2. Of course, Van Halen isn't exactly the American equivalent of The Beatles, and the PS2 is no longer the dominant platform to stage one's acts upon. Still, despite the staggering odds stacked against its success, B:RB managed to capture the mindshare of U.S. gamers. (And we all know that Americans like to speak their minds with their monies.)

The sales de-feat must feel good for MTV Games and Harmonix -- what with B:RB being burned in the sales competition with GH5 by the kingdom that birthed the band (see: Chart-Track UK September sales rankings posted after the break). What was it? Right: Guitar Hero 5 supposedly outsold The Beatles: Rock Band "2-to-1 in the UK."

So, score a victory for B:RB in the battle of the bands fought in U.S. retail last month. But let's not forget there's a bigger, "World War of Rock" being waged, as well. And our wallets are the oft-unreported collateral damage.

Chart-Track UK – All Formats (All Prices) Weekly Sales Ranks

September 6–12

  • Guitar Hero 5: #1
  • The Beatles: Rock Band: #4
September 13–19
  • Guitar Hero 5: #2
  • The Beatles: Rock Band: #7
September 20–26
  • Guitar Hero 5: #4
  • The Beatles: Rock Band: #13
September 27 – October 2
  • Guitar Hero 5: #6
  • The Beatles: Rock Band: #21

Note: The Beatles: Rock Band released September 9 in the UK; Guitar Hero 5 released September 11.

*Update: While the NPD only publicly discloses U.S. sales numbers for the top 10 bestselling titles (by platform) per month, we can infer that PS3 sales of The Beatles: Rock Band totaled roughly 132,000 units. That is, total sales (595k units) minus sales on Xbox 360 (254k units) and Wii (209k units) leaves us with an approximate PS3 sales total of 132k units.

Unfortunately, with only the total sales (499k units) and Xbox 360 sales (211k units) known, we can't break down Guitar Hero 5 sales by platform. We can only conclude that Wii, PS3 and PS2 platform sales combined for roughly 288,000 units in total sales.

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