It was another strong month for Sony, as its console continues to to dominate. But Nintendo got some good news as well.
Consumers spent $955.6 million on new retail games and hardware at U.S. retailers in February, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. That’s up 8 percent year over year. The PlayStation 4 was a major contributor to that increase, but the month also got big contributions from Nintendo and Microsoft as well in terms of both hardware and software. Hardware sales were $378.2 million. That’s up 10 percent compared to last year. The debut of the New 3DS XL helped give that figure a boost. Software was also up. It did 7 percent better than last year at $338.9 million.
Really, Nintendo was primarily responsible for much of the growth in February as home consoles continue to get dragged down by slowing Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 sales.
“Home console hardware declined 5 percent as gains in eighth-generation console sales could not offset the 41 percent loss in dollar sales of seventh generation hardware,” NPD analyst Liam Callahan said.
We’ll get to the top-selling games next, but first it’s important to remember that the NPD only tracks new games sold at brick-and-mortar stores in the United States. No digital or worldwide sales figure into this report, though Nintendo sent combined digital and retail sales numbers to GamesBeat. So it’s best to view these results as a snapshot of a wider and more dynamic market.
- The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D (3DS) (515,000 copies sold digitally and physically)
- Evolve (Xbox One, PS4, PC)
- Dying Light (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
- Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (Xbox One, PS4, 360, PS3, PC)
- Grand Theft Auto V (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)
- NBA 2K15 (PS4, Xbox One, PS3, 360)
- Dragon Ball: Xenoverse (PS4, Xbox One, PS3, 360)
- Minecraft (360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4)
- The Order: 1886 (PS4)
- Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (3DS) (290,000 copies sold digitally and physically)
Nintendo is probably feeling pretty great right now. Zelda, one if its top franchises, outsold everything else in February. That includes two major new releases. This is good news for the company, which is going to release a brand-new Zelda for the Wii U later this year. The publisher is positioning it as a system-selling game.
The two big new games that Zelda beat are Evolve and The Order: 1886. Evolve came out on Feb. 10, while The Order only had a week of sales after debuting Feb. 20. While both made the top 10, it feels like both didn’t perform as well as they should have. The Order was hammered with critical reviews, which likely hurt its sales.
In terms of surprises, Dying Light, which debuted in January, continues to sell well. The zombie-survival game is performing a lot like developer Techland’s previous zombie effort, Dead Island.
Platform holders typically keep their hardware sales numbers quiet, but Sony once again revealed that PS4 was the top selling home console for the month — although the 3DS, a handheld, actually outsold it.
“Demand for PlayStation 4 remains incredibly strong in the U.S. as it was No. 1 in hardware-and-software sales in February, according to the latest NPD report,” a Sony spokesperson said in a statement. “PS4 remains the cumulative leader in hardware sales with more than 20.2 million units sold to consumers worldwide demonstrating the fastest growth in PlayStation hardware history.”
Nintendo shared some its figures as well. In a statement, the company confirmed that all versions of the handheld combined to sell 395,000 consoles in February.
“The great majority of these sales were New Nintendo 3DS XL systems, which sold 130 percent more units in its initial frame than Nintendo 3DS XL did when it launched on Aug. 19, 2012,” a spokesperson said.
The NPD points out that the 3DS was a big driver in portable sales.
“Increased portable hardware sales of 153 percent versus February 2014 helped to propel the entire hardware category to a growth of 10 percent over February 2014,” said Callahan.
As for the Wii U, the company would only say that “hardware sales have increased by more than 20 percent” so far in 2015 over the same period in 2014.
Microsoft provided its own take on February.
“Xbox One’s fan base continues to grow with record February sales in the U.S. for Xbox One and 84 percent more consoles sold compared to January 2015,” Xbox marketing boss Mike Nichols said.