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The Lund Report: Black Friday 2012 NPD

In an uncharacteristic moment of sharing, the big three gaming companies have all released their Black Friday sales figures. While it will be a few weeks before we get the full NPD numbers for November, it’s safe to say that Black Friday makes up the lions share of sales for the month.

Console sales (November 18 – 24)

  • Xbox 360 – 750,000
  • PlayStation 3 – 525,000
  • Wii U – 400,000
  • Wii – 300,000

Handheld sales (November 18 – 24)

  • Nintendo DS – 275,000
  • Nintendo 3DS – 250,000
  • Vita – 160,000

In terms of raw unit sales, Nintendo takes the top spot for the holiday by pressing 4 unique and distinct product lines, selling a grand total of 1,225,000 pieces of hardware. The bad news for Mario is that, in their heyday, both the Wii and Nintendo DS would have exceeded that total number each on their own. November 2009 for example saw the Wii sell 1.25 million and the NDS move 1.7 million. Dropping to just 300,000 and 275,000 respectively is a huge downward slide. Wii U sales might have been limited to stock on hand, but it’s also 200,000 units less than the Wii sell-out in 2006. Shy of the higher price, it seems like Nintendo simply made fewer Wii U machines to avoid being left with stock on hand.

For single platform sales, the Xbox 360 is on top again with 750,000 units sold. That’s over 200,000 more than the PS3 and 50,000 more than the Wii and Wii U combined. It’s too soon to say if Microsoft will add yet another consecutive month in the top spot, but it seems more likely than not. Last year, in the entire month of November, the 360 sold 1.7 million machines, so there’s potentially another million or so units as yet uncounted. Of course sales this year have been down so there may not be much more to be had than that 750,000 figure.

Sony rolled out all the stops for their holiday season, introducing a PlayStation 3 bundle that included Uncharted 1 and 2 and Infamous 1 and 2 for $200. Considering each of those exclusive games originally retailed for $60, that’s quite a gaming package. While 525,00 sales is pretty good, it’s far from the 900,000 PS3 sold in November of last year, so like the Xbox, there’s huge room for improvement once we see the rest of the numbers for the month.

Sony also attempted to boost Vita sales with bundle deals for Assassin’s Creed: Liberation and a portable version of Black Ops. Unfortunately, it seems they hitched their wagon to problematic titles, Assassin’s Creed being plagued with game crashing/data wiping bugs (which as of this writing still have not been patched) and Black Ops being critically panned on just about every level, averaging a Metacritic score in the 30s out of 100. They have to be happy that the little system that could sold 160,00 units, it’s been struggling to break the 100,000/month mark since launch, but it could have done so much better if their bundles included must play games. We will see if their fortunes change in December with the introduction of the “Instant Game Collection” bundle which includes a full year of Playstation Plus and all the free games that subscribers of that service are entitled to, the headliner of which is the well regarded “Gravity Rush”.

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