NPDs: Microsoft Tries to Spin Figures as Industry Shrinks in April
Posted by Ken Barnes
A strange response
April 2016's NPD figures are in and on the surface, they make for somewhat depressing reading for gamers.
NPD is reporting that year-on-year in the US, the industry shrank by 15%, from a total of $598.1 million in sales in the US across software, hardware, and accessories, to $509.5 million. Hardware was down 23%, software declined by 21%, while accessories - including "toys-to-life" products - grew by 4%. There's no cause for concern though, since the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are still trending 40 percent higher than the 30-month sales of PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
One of the reasons for the decline was that in April last year, Mortal Kombat X was released, and it performed a lot better than many expected, shifting consoles and providing a big boost to numbers.
Unsurprisingly, PlayStation 4 was the biggest selling console of the month, but none of the manufacturers decided to respond to the hardware numbers this time around. Microsoft though, did issue a statement, spinning the numbers to focus on user engagement, rather than sales. They said:-
Thanks to our fans, April 2016 was the best month in history for global engagement on Xbox One, driven by the greatest games lineup, including the critically-acclaimed Quantum Break, Dark Souls III, and Tom Clancy's The Division," says Microsoft's corporate vice president of marketing Mike Nichols. "We received a strong response to the Gears of War 4 Versus Multiplayer Beta last month, which lasted two weeks and attracted more than 1.6 million unique players who helped us test and shape what is expected to be our biggest game of the year...We look forward to sharing more on our vision and plans for continuing to deliver the best gaming experience on Xbox One, Windows 10 and Xbox Live this year at E3 in June.
In terms of software, Quantum Break was among the best-selling titles of the month, with Minecraft and Call of Duty: Black Ops III continuing to sell best on Xbox One. The full top 10 for the month is below, with platforms listed in order of sales.
NPD US Software Top 10 - April 2016
- Dark Souls III (PS4, XO)
- Ratchet & Clank (PS4)
- MLB 16: The Show (PS4, PS3)
- Tom Clancy's The Division (PS4, XO, PC)
- Grand Theft Auto V (PS4, XO, 360, PS3, PC)
- Minecraft (XO, 360, PS4, PS3)
- Quantum Break (XO)
- Call of Duty: Black Ops III (XO, PS4, 360, PS3, PC)
- NBA 2k16 (PS4, XO, 360, PS3)
- Star Fox: Zero (Wii U)