No new hardware and few new games typically results in a big fall. It's inevitable.
And that's what happened in January 2012 in the US. The NPD numbers are in for last month, and total industry sales fell 34% to $750.6 million ; NPD analyst Anita Frazier attributed the decline to "the lack of new launches." In January 2011, new launches represented 13% of sales and new launch performance dropped 99% in January 2012. Well, that tells you everything you need to know, doesn't it?
Don't forget that hot titles like LittleBigPlanet 2 , Dead Space 2 , and DC Universe Online hit in January 2011. Also, the lone huge release of January 2012 – Final Fantasy XIII-2 – didn't hit store shelves until the last day of the month. Overall, new software sales fell 37% to $379.6 million and as an indication of the slow period, Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 took the top software spot. …lots of gift cards went to that game, huh?
In fact, the top 5 games were the same as they were in December; after MW3 comes Just Dance 3 , The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim , NBA 2K12 , and Battlefield 3 . Hardware fell as well; it dropped 38% to $199.5 million. As for Sony, here's their monthly statement from SCEA Sr. Director of Corporate Communications Patrick Seybold:
"Following a strong December at retail, PlayStation continued the momentum in January through multi-retailer promotions such as 'Play Days' where we saw a 2x lift over forecast in peripheral sales and solid results for the PlayStation 3. February will be a landmark month for PlayStation and the gaming industry with the launch of PlayStation Vita on February 22. Pre-order sales for PS Vita and the launch lineup of 25 titles continue to accelerate as more consumers seek the ultimate in handheld gameplay."