Friday, 15 January 2010 06:31

Nintendo dominate declining video game industry

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2009 was a tough year for many industries, even the so-called recession-proof video-game business.  The numbers for 2009 have hit the interwebs and whilst the sales figures have declared December 2009 the best month ever, over all video-game entertainment contracted last year.

Industry insiders will tell you that the U.S sales figures released by tracking firm NPD group probably undersell the actual units shipped by as much as 30 percent (I believe the giant Walmart retail chain does not report to them).  But, saying that, they are still a great indicator of the health of an industry.

In December 2009 NPD Group reported a 4 percent jump over the previous December, Hardware sales boosted by 16 percent to US$2.19 billion, though software sales were down 7 percent to US$2.58 billion

"December marks just the fourth month of the year where the industry saw an increase over last year," NPD analyst Anita Frazier said. "January and February were both up, and since the decline that began in March, only September experienced growth."

"The big sales this month, particularly on the hardware front, is a positive move for the industry headed into what will hopefully be a recovery year in 2010," she added.

The video-game industry will be indeed looking for a 2010 recovery as the overall figures for 2009 have shown a drop from the record US$21.4 billion in 2009 to US19.66 billion.  This is an 8 percent drop in total.

According to a statement released alongside the NPD information, Michael D. Gallagher, president of the Entertainment Software Association said;"Clearly, 2009 was tough year for consumers and the national economy. However, the bigger picture is one that underscores the industry’s strength; 2009 and 2008 were the highest grossing years in our industry’s history.  Our industry's structure is solid, and I anticipate a strong 2010 with a pipeline full of highly-anticipated titles.”

Console hardware sales were down 13 percent in 2009, though much of this may simply be due to the heavy price cuts inflicted on all current generation offering during the year.
Console software dropped by 10 percent.  Portable gaming hardware bucked the trend with a rise in 2009 of 6 percent.

Overall the U.S numbers for software sales showed that the public still love to purchase Nintendo branded software for their Wii, Nintendo filling seven of the top 10 slots.

However it was the Xbox 360 version of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 that expectedly took the top podium spot for 2009 in the US.

1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Infinity Ward, Activision), Xbox 360
2. Wii Sports Resort (Nintendo), Wii
3. New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Nintendo), Wii
4. Wii Fit (Nintendo), Wii
5. Wii Fit Plus (Nintendo), Wii
6. Mario Kart Wii (Nintendo), Wii
7. Wii Play (Nintendo), Wii
8. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Infinity Ward, Activision), PlayStation 3
9. Halo 3: ODST (Bungie, Microsoft), Xbox 360
10. Pokemon Platinum Version (Nintendo), NDS


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Mike Bantick

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Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for iTWire.com, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.

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