December 2014 NPD: Xbox One Beats PS4 Yet Again, Industry Sales Down 1%

January 15, 2015 Written by Jason Dunning

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Just like in November 2014, the Xbox One beat the PlayStation 4 in the United States during December 2014, Microsoft announced using NPD data. As well, the Xbox One sold more games during November and December than the PS4, with the Xbox 360 becoming “the best-selling seventh generation console of all time in the US.”

Looking at sales figures for December 2014, total industry sales were down 1% to $3.25 billion when compared to December 2013. For a breakdown, this saw hardware dropping 4% to $1.31 billion, software down 2% to $1.25 billion, and accessories up 8% to $681.2 million.

NPD analyst Liam Callahan went further in-depth about the December 2014 numbers, revealing that console bundles including software were a big factor in hardware sales, with bundles accounting for 71% of hardware sales in December 2014, versus just 32% in December 2013. Also, while overall hardware sales dropped 4%, eighth generation sales were up 13%, despite the strong launches of PS4 and Xbox One last year.

Callahan continued by addressing software:

With the growth in install bases across eighth generation consoles, software this December versus last December grew by 70 percent with each console posting strong double digit growth. Across 2014, eighth generation console software sales rose by $1.7 billion.

In contrast, seventh generation software sales declined by 33 percent in December with portable sales also decreasing 16 percent. These combined to total a $2.5 billion decrease in sales in 2014 versus 2013. While overall software sales dipped by 2 percent in December, top 10 represented the same percentage of unit sales as last December at 36 percent of all units sold in the month with only 1 percent fewer units. Part of the 13 percent decline in entertainment software sales can be explained by 10 percent fewer new SKUs that were launched in 2014 compared to 2013.

Here’s the top 10 selling games in December 2014, which totals retail sales across all systems and includes Collectors Editions, GOTY Editions, and bundles, but not those bundled with hardware (sales by platform are ranked in brackets from highest-selling to least-selling):

  1. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4, PS3, PC)
  2. Grand Theft Auto V (Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3)
  3. Madden NFL 15 (Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4, PS3)
  4. Super Smash Bros. (Wii U, 3DS)
  5. NBA 2K15 (Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4, PS3, PC)
  6. Minecraft (Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4)
  7. Far Cry 4 (PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
  8. Just Dance 2015 (Wii, Xbox 360, Wii U, Xbox One, PS4, PS3)
  9. Destiny (Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PS3)
  10. FIFA 15 (Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4, PS3, Wii, 3DS, PS Vita)

What do you think of the December 2014 numbers?

[Source: Major Nelson, Games Industry]