Microsoft and the Xbox One got a much needed win in the NPD video game sales charts for October. The month is not typically known for strong sales as consumers wait for November sales, but console bundles, the release of Halo 5, plus a PlayStation 4 price drop drove console sales up modestly for the month.
The Xbox One was the top-selling console for the month of October, edging out the PlayStation 4, which came in second place in one of the rare instances since both consoles launched two years ago. Sales of PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles continued to nosedive, which explains why console sales are up by only 3 percent year-over-year.
“Overall sales across physical software, hardware, and accessories experienced a modest 2 per cent growth in October 2015 compared to October 2014. This was driven entirely by accessory sales, which grew by 18 percent, or just under $30MM,” said the NPD Group’s Liam Callahan, via Games Industry.
The Xbox One Elite controller was one of the primary driver of the accessory sales. The $150 professional-grade controller helped generate a 163 percent increase in Xbox One accessory sales. The other driver was subscription and gift cards for Xbox LIVE and PlayStation Network. That represented the best performance for subscription and gift cards on record.
“Hardware dollar sales were flat from October 2014 to October 2015, with sales totaling $270.3MM,” Callahan continued. “Console sales were up 3 per cent as portables declined 27 per cent due to difficult comparisons to October 2014 sales.”
Sales of the Xbox One shot up by 81 percent over the same period last year and value appears to be the name of the game when it comes to console sales this holiday, just as it has been in the past. Bundles made up 96 percent of October’s console purchase, according to the NPD.
Microsoft has taken the bundle approach for every holiday since around midway through the life of the Xbox 360. It went further this year as part of its “Greatest games lineup in Xbox history” with bundles for Halo 5, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, Forza Motorsport 6, plus an entire slew of bundles that concluded with the release of Fallout 4 and Rise of the Tomb Raider this week.
Meanwhile, Halo 5 topped NPD software sales despite being on sale for only four days in the month of October. This was hinted at when Microsoft announced $400 million in sales for the game in the first week. It managed to beat out Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, which launched a few days before Halo 5.
Software sales were down four percent from last year. The increased bundle sales combined with increased digital sales undoubtedly had an effect, but NPD points to the ever shrinking portable console market as a factor as well.
“In October 2015, new physical video game software sales decreased by 3 percent from October 2014, with trends mirroring hardware as console sales were offset by a 42 percent decline in portable sales. While console sales were up a modest 1 percent, eighth generation consoles had a strong month with 62 percent growth over October 2014, while seventh generation console sales dropped by 63 percent — higher than the year-to-date decrease in sales of 51 percent.”
Here are the top 10 games for October 2015, according to the NPD.
- Halo 5: Guardians (XBO)
- NBA 2K16 (PS4, XBO, 360, PS3)
- Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate (PS4, XBO)
- Madden NFL 16 (PS4, XBO, 360, PS3)
- WWE 2K16 (PS4, XBO, 360, PS3)
- FIFA 16 (PS4, XBO, 360, PS3)
- Destiny: The Taken King (PS4, XBO, 360, PS3)
- Yoshi’s Wooly World (NWU)
- Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection (PS4)
- Rock Band 4 (XBO, PS4)
October was a needed and necessary win for the Xbox One. It would have actually looked bad if the console and Halo 5 did not come in first despite the PlayStation 4 price drop.
[Image via Halo Waypoint]