The latest numbers are in from NPD Group for January of 2013 looking at the United States video game industry. The caveat with the numbers for January is that the month corresponded with the National Retail Federation leap week. I had never heard of that before, but basically it means the National Retail Federation adds an additional week to the month of January 2013 as far as sales numbers are concerned while January 2012 only had four weeks.
With that little tidbit in mind, let’s talk about the video game industry for January 2013. To make things a bit more comparable to last year, Gamasutra broke out the calculator and removed statistics for that extra week to give us comparable numbers. This fancy calculator work shows that overall retail sales across hardware, software, and accessories for the gaming market was down approximately 13% in January of 2013 to $667.8 million compared to $765.6 million in January 2012.
A NPD rep noted that sales of Wii U hardware for its first three months of availability are 38% lower than the numbers for the Nintendo Wii at the same point. Another source cited from within NPD claims that sales of the Wii U for January were “well under” 100,000 units. Gamasutra estimates that sales for the Wii U were a scant 45,000 to 59,000 units.
That is very sad news for Nintendo indeed because if 59,000 units or less sold is accurate, that is worse than any of the three previous generation gaming consoles in their worst months. The top video games according to NPD in order from number one down include Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Far Cry 3, Just Dance 4, NBA 2K13, and Madden NFL 13.