With the down economy doing its best to be the Grinch this past December, the entire industry has Nintendo to thank for single-handedly saving the Christmas shopping season, a game-industry analyst said today.
Every month, the Electronic Entertainment Design and Research (EEDAR) releases an analysis of the previous month’s sales results. The predictive report comes before NPD releases actual sales figures, but it’s often pretty accurate and generally includes some interesting analysis. This month’s includes a look forward, but most intriguing was a statement by Jesse Divnich, EEDAR’s Director of Analyst Services, who said succinctly “Nintendo saved Christmas.”
Divnich’s report also indicates that the based of hardcore gamers that has sustained the industry for so many years is growing at a much slower rate than that of the so-called casual gamer.
“Every next-generation system — except for the PSP — is expected to post year-over-year software unit sales increases in the double digits. In terms of pure dollar and unit growth, the Nintendo systems are expected to lead the way by an unprecedented amount,” said Divnich. “In fact, Nintendo Wii and DS software unit and dollar sales will account for over 50 percent of all games sold in December. Without these sales, the industry would have likely felt the full wrath of the recession — much like other industries closely linked to gaming.
“We believe their simple to use design, cheaper and wider variety of software titles, and the already ‘hot effect’ in place on both systems, all played a role in driving both the Wii and the DS to the top of their segments,” Divnich continued. “Simply put, Nintendo saved Christmas.”
According to the EEDAR report, this is how December 2008 will shake down when the numbers are finally released:
- 145 titles are likely to exceed 100,000 units; the highest on record for a single month.
- Nintendo Wii is expected to sell 3.2 million units in the United States in one month; the highest on record for any single console platform.
- Four third-party titles will likely place in the top 10 for unit sales on the Nintendo WIi; four on the Nintendo DS; eight on the PlayStation 3; nine on the Xbox 360.
- Nintendo is expected to have the most titles in the top 30, with 11 of them. Second will be EA (with six), followed by Activision (with four). (Note: EEDAR counts each Guitar Hero SKU separately, at three per platform. Only two made it into the top 30.)
Looking ahead to the coming year, EEDAR expects high single-digit increases for software sales, an upward trend but a decrease from the upticks for the past two years.