January 2014 NPD: PS4 & Xbox One Raise Hardware 47%; Software Falls 26%

With January 2013 being a five-week reporting period, the NPD notes that everything needs to be multiplied by 0.80 to normalize the data from January 2014. That said, total industry sales for January 2014 in the US were down 1% to $664 million, with software sales at just $232 million, a drop of 26%.

Analyst Liam Callahan offers up an explanation for the weaker software sales, which includes last year’s holiday titles not performing as well, and January 2013 being a particularly strong month:

A major factor in the decline in software this month was the slide in performance of November and December 2013 launches during January 2014 compared to how November and December 2012 launches performed in January 2013. These November and December launches collectively decreased 36 percent, or 20 percent when normalized to account for the 5-week January 2013.

There were about half the number of SKUs launched this January versus January 2013, leading to a 52 percent decrease in sales for new launches (or 39 percent when normalized for the 5-week January 2013). DmC: Devil May Cry and Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch were particularly strong launches in January 2013, causing a poor comparison for launches in January 2014.

When you look at hardware though, it was up 47% to $241 million, with the Xbox One and PS4 both selling better than the Xbox 360 and PS3.

Overall, the NPD estimates total spending (adding in digital, mobile, used, rental, and subscription sales) in January 2014 to be around $1.3 billion.

Here’s the top 10 selling games in January 2014, which totals sales across all systems and includes Collectors Editions, GOTY Editions, and bundles, but not those bundled with hardware:

  1. Call of Duty: Ghosts
  2. NBA 2K14
  3. Battlefield 4
  4. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
  5. Grand Theft Auto V
  6. Madden NFL 25
  7. Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition
  8. FIFA 14
  9. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
  10. Tomb Raider (includes sales of the PS3/360 versions and PS4/Xbox One versions)

Does the big drop in software surprise you? Let us know in the comments below.