NPD: Wii U Moves 460K Units, Black Ops 2 Tops, 3DS Stuns With1.25M, And Xbox 360 Is King


The NPD’s results for December, 2012, represents are 22 percent decline year-on-year, but in a testament to how much the industry has grown over the years, December’s results also represents a 10 percent increase compared to 2005. The full quencher’s inside.

Top Ten Games December 2012 (new physical retail, all platforms

  1. Call of Duty Black Ops 2 (PC, PS3, Wii U, X360)
  2. Just Dance 4 (PS3, Wii, Wii U, X360)
  3. Halo 4 (X360)
  4. Assassin’s Creed 3 (PC, PS3, Wii U, X360)
  5. Madden NFL 13 (PS3, PSV, Wii, Wii U, X360)
  6. Far Cry 3 (PC, PS3, X360)
  7. NBA 2K13 (PC, PS3, PSP, Wii, Wii U, X360)
  8. Skylanders Giants (3DS, PS3, Wii, Wii U, X360)
  9. New Super Mario Bros. 2 (3DS)
  10. (FIFA Soccer 13 (3DS, PS3, PSP, PSP, Wii, Wii U, X360)

Top Ten Games 2012 (new physical retail, all platforms)

  1. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (PC, PS3, Wii U, X360)
  2. Maddeen NFL 13 (PS3, PSV, Wii, Wii U, X360)
  3. Halo 4 (X360)
  4. Assassin’s Creed 3 (PC, PS3, Wii U, X360)
  5. Just Dance 4 (PS3, Wii, Wii U, X360)
  6. NBA 2K13 (PC, PS3, PSP, Wii, Wii U< X360)
  7. Borderlands 2(PC, PS3, X360)
  8. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (PC, PS3, X360)
  9. Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (3DS, DS, PC, PS3, PSV, Wii, X360)
  10. FIFA Soccer 13 (3DS, PS3, PSP, PSV, Wii, Wii U, X360)

Said the NPD:

These sales figures represent new physical retail sales of hardware, software and accessories, which account for roughly 50 percent of the total consumer spend on games. When you consider our preliminary estimate for other physical format sales in December such as used and rentals at $217 million, and our estimate for digital format sales including full game and add-on content downloads including microtransactions, subscriptions, mobile apps and the consumer spend on social network games at $765 million, we would estimate the total consumer spend in December to be over $4.1 billion. Our final assessment of the consumer spend in these areas outside of new physical retail sales will be reported in February in our Q4 Games Market Dynamics: U.S. report.

An apt historical comparison for this this month is December 2005, which was the first December of the previous console generation. As a testament to how much the retail market has grown, overall physical dollar sales in December 2012 are up 10% when compared to December 2005.


While overall hardware performance declined 21%, high-definition consoles fared better and experienced softer declines of 7%. Remaining platforms decreased much more sharply at around 30%, which represented over 80% of the overall unit decline in hardware.

As consumers look more and more for deals over the holidays while purchasing hardware, bundles which include software grew by 26%, while hardware selling alone with no games declined by 37%. Consumers are becoming more savvy and realizing they can get a lot more ‘bang for their buck’ with bundles typically offered for a limited time over the holidays.

Microsoft Boasts Xbox 360′s Dominance 

Xbox 360 sold 1.4 million units during the month of December, which is more than double the amount of its closest competitor, Microsoft claimed, although Sony hasn’t released its official numbers.

Nintendo’s Wii U

Wii U sold 460,000 units during the month of December, bringing total US sales to 890,000 after only 41 days on the market.

Said Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing Scott Moffitt:

While the Wii launch established new benchmarks in the United States, Wii U has surpassed its predecessor in perhaps the most important category: revenue generation. The demand for the Deluxe SKU, which was essentially sold out at retail this holiday, and the strong attach rate of New Super Mario Bros. U, shows that we have the value and the games to drive momentum in 2013. We look forward to offering great new experiences and bringing smiles to millions of new faces throughout the year.

3DS Leaves Its Mark

Unlike PS Vita that’s struggling, Nintendo’s 3DS has managed a strong bounce back after sales began lagging early last year. The portable machined sold 1.4 million units in December 2012, outpacing the diehard DS by miles, which only sold 470,000 units, with life to date sales at 53 million.

What We Think

Nintendo continues to show strength even while sales of Wii U weren’t where the company had hoped, and we believe the firm will see sustainable, not exponential growth throughout 2013.

As for Microsoft, the firm is in the strongest position in the U.S., a spot it hopes will work in its advantage later this year, when the Xbox 720 is announced.

Lastly, Sony isn’t doing bad, but the firm has a lot of work to do once PS4 is announced, especially if it hopes to neutralize Microsoft’s hold on the U.S. market.

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Author: Ernice Gilbert View all posts by
Ernice Gilbert here. Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Gamesthirst. Thanks for stopping by, make yourself at home!

2 Comments on "NPD: Wii U Moves 460K Units, Black Ops 2 Tops, 3DS Stuns With1.25M, And Xbox 360 Is King"

  1. benzo January 11, 2013 at 9:16 am -

    Good job MS! Way to conquer the US! Sony is just taking the world! I’m sorry, but I had to say it! I get sick of MS waving its c*** every month about US sales. There is a whole world out there people.

  2. Mezzo January 12, 2013 at 10:30 pm -

    100% agreed with Benzo.

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