Survey: US Console and Game Sales Down 2.5%

A survey from NPD indicates that US console hardware and software sales fell 2.5% during the first half of 2004. Price cuts from Sony and Microsoft saw a drop in the market’s value, but the number of units sold was up by 1%.

The console market in the US was worth US$3.4 billion (€2.78 billion) during the first six months of 2004, compared to US$3.5 billion (€2.86 billion) for the same period last year.

All of the consoles available have been on sale for at least two years now, so penetration is high – this caused a 17% drop in hardware sales. Portable software (that’ll be Game Boy cartridges then) fell 12%. However, internet accessories like the PS2’s broadband adaptor rose 120% and “speciality controllers” rose 184%. Looks like everybody decided to go out and buy a Wavebird.

“The reduced price points for Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation 2 helped to stabilize industry sales during the first half of the year,” said Richard Ow, s senior video games analyst at NPD. “While the first quarter of 2004 was showing double-digit losses in console hardware unit sales, with the help of lower price points for the Xbox and PS2 during the second quarter of 2004, the industry actually saw double-digit increases in unit sales for the entire second quarter of the year.”


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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?