Yesterday, the NPD published its monthly report for the American market, and in November, the improvement from October was gone. Total sales generated $1.97 billion million in revenues, which is a 24 % decrease Year on Year ($2.6 billion in November 2015). Hardware sales kept on dropping, and this time around, Software sales were also down.
Here’s some raw data to begin:
- Hardware: $723.8 million (-35%), as opposed to $1.12 billion in November 2015;
- Console Software: $955.2 million (-18%), as opposed to $1.17 billion in November 2015;
- Accessories (including Toys to Life category): $259.8 million (-6%), as opposed to $277.1 million in November 2015.
Software-wise, the main reason sales are down is because of strong competition from November 2015 titles, especially the Top 3. In November 2015, they were all full-priced console released in November, but in November 2016, one title was released in October, and one (Pokémon Sun and Moon) was significantly cheaper than a regular console game.
In fact, sales for all the games outside the Top 3 combined grew by 12% Year on Year, so ironically, it’s the three best-sellers that are dragging the whole market down.
Pokémon Sun and Moon did really great, which is no surprise since Nintendo announced that it was the fastest-selling Nintendo game of all times in the Americas. According to the NPD (only tracking retail sales), Pokémon Sun and Moon had the strongest launch ever for a Pokémon game, selling 8% more than Pokémon: White and Black during its launch month… and with 19 fewer days on the market.
Naturally, the release of Pokémon Sun and Moon (itself boosted by the Pokémon GO phenomenom) boosted Nintendo 3DS Software sales: November 2016 was the best month ever for the handheld, beating the previous record held by December 2014 by 1%.
The main reason sales by revenue are down for Hardware is because the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One were cheaper, due to multiple and rather aggressive discounts/bundles/offers. Even the increase in sales for handhelds (= the Nintendo 3DS) wasn’t enough to compensate.
Speaking of the Nintendo 3DS, Hardware sales grew by 59% Year on Year, thanks to Pokémon Sun and Moon. This is the 6th month in a row that sales are up Year on Year, which is pretty great news for Nintendo as this is most definitely the Nintendo 3DS’ very last major holiday period.
The NPD reports that the Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition sold 196 000 units during its launch month, which is abysmally low. As comparison, the Nintendo Classic Mini: Family Computer sold over 260 000 units in Japan… during its launch week.
Nintendo clearly underestimated demand, which is quite reminiscent of the amiibo launch in 2014… but on a totally different scale. Let’s just hope that the company managed to cope up with demand, but reports online makes it clear shortages are pretty much the norm…
Unfortunately, sales in the accessory category (which includes the Toy-to-Life category, such as amiibo) dropped in November 2016. For interactive toys, sales dropped by 49%, and all brands are impacted. Lego Dimensions is the current market leader, with a 38% revenue share. Sales for gamepads also dropped in November.