Wednesday, October 31, 2012

On The Fly: Pre-NPD Thoughts (October 2012)

Let's get the obvious out of the way:

October will be the eleventh consecutive month of YOY declines. There's no escaping it, and we're likely to see the trend last for at least another month or two before lower 2012 results make for easy targets to hit.

Declines will be paced by poor performance in hardware sales, as generational fatigue and saturation have set in. Even with a price drop in October, the Xbox 360 won't make it's number of 393,000 units from 2011. I optimistically expect sales to be at around 300,000 units, though that number could be lower. 3DS sales should be relatively flat, despite launches of Pokemon Black & White 2. PlayStation 3 sales should post declines, perhaps moderately so, and Wii sales won't recover much despite recent price changes. Vita will be a non-factor once again.

Software is tough to predict, mainly because we're only privy to physical sales. My best guess is that NBA 2K13, Pokemon Black 2, and Pokemon White 2 comprise the top three games for the month. Expect Skylanders Giants and Just Dance 4 to also make the list, along with holdovers from September including Borderlands 2 and FIFA 13. Dishonored probably charts, but XCOM and Medal of Honor: Warfighter might not.

Overall, software should be down as opposed to last year. I'm not confident that NBA 2K13 and Pokemon can combine to sell 3.5 million units, as we saw Battlefield 3 and Batman: Arkham City move last year. As with prior months, software declines won't be as pronounced as we'll see on the hardware side.

I'm projecting October total revenue to come in somewhere between $840-$860 million. That's in the range of a 20-22% loss. That could be optimistic, but a decent slate of October releases and price cuts for Wii & Xbox 360 may mitigate some damage.

We'll see how everything shakes out next week.


  1. Guessing for NPD Oct 2012

    1. NBA 2K13
    2. Pokemon Black and White 2
    3. Resident Evil 6
    4. Just Dance 4
    5. Dishonored
    6. Madden NFL 2013
    7. Skylanders Giants
    8. Borderlands 2
    9. FIFA 13
    10. Medal of Honor Warfighter

    I still see 30-35% drops on hardware. Software will drop but not as much as hardware.

    1. Bear in mind that Pokemon Black 2 and Pokemon White 2 will be two different SKUs-- so that would drop Warfighter from the Top 10.

      Otherwise? I can see this.

    2. I love XCOM Enemy Unknown but it will not make the Top 10. For the hardware 360 at 270K and monthly 360 sales is greater than the Wii and PS3 combined. Only expecting a 24% drop for the 360 is quite optimistic.

      On Medal of Honor Warfighter, I'm amazed the metacritic average is lower than Duke Nukem Forever.