The North American video game industry grew only 9 percent year-over-year in August, according to NPD, showing slowed growth compared to recent months, but software sales were strong with the release of EA's Madden NFL 09 and continued first-party Nintendo success.
The overall industry grew saw $1.08 billion in sales, as compared to $994.76 during the same month last year. Hardware saw even more muted growth, up only 3 percent year-over-year from $384.59 million to $394.53 million.
NPD analyst Anita Frazier points out that this is the first time in 27 months the industry has seen only single-digit percentage growth.
Still, as with last month, software sales beat the average improvement, rising 13 percent year-over-year from $489.06 million to $550.67 million.
As usual, Nintendo DS and Wii took the top hardware slots respectively. Xbox 360 jumped ahead of PlayStation 3, but both were beat out by PSP. All hardware systems saw their sales decrease from July.
Per-unit sales are as follows:
Nintendo DS - 518.3K
Wii - 453.0K
PlayStation Portable - 253.0K
Xbox 360 - 195.2K
PlayStation 3 - 185.4K
Playstation 2 - 144.1K
Though this month did not show strong hardware growth, Frazier sees better days ahead. "The PSP and PS3 systems achieved the greatest percentage gain of all now-gen systems. The sales acceleration of these systems, combined with the recent Xbox 360 price cuts should fuel future growth of this category," she says.
Microsoft would likely agree with at least the latter part of that prediction; this morning, the company claimed its system has already seen price cut benefits.
EA Tiburon's NFL Madden 09 dominated the top three software sales slots (along with number nine), while Wii Play continued its astonishing 19-month top-ten record.
The top ten titles of the month by units sold are as follows:
1. Madden NFL 09 (Xbox 360, EA Tiburon/EA) - 1.0M
2. Madden NFL 09 (PS3, EA Tiburon/EA) - 643K
3. Madden NFL 09 (PS2, EA Tiburon/EA) - 424.5K
4. Wii Fit (Wii, Nintendo EAD/Nintendo) - 394.9K
5. Mario Kart Wii (Wii, Nintendo EAD/Nintendo) - 328.7K
6. Wii Play (Wii, Nintendo EAD/Nintendo) - 200.2K
7. Soulcalibur IV (Xbox 360, Project Soul/Namco Bandai) - 174K
8. Too Human (Xbox 360, Silicon Knights/Microsoft) - 168.2K
9. Madden NFL 09 All-Play (Wii, EA Tiburon/EA) - 115.8K
10. Guitar Hero: On Tour (NDS, Vicarious Visions/Activision) - 111.2K
Also notable in the above charts is the appearance of Too Human as the #8 selling title for the month, and the third-best selling Xbox 360 title in the time frame, despite (or perhaps due to) controversial creator publicity around its debut.