Just because it didn't bowl over the critics doesn't mean it can't top the sales charts.
The February NPD results have been tallied and EA's Dead Space 3 has knocked reigning king Call of Duty: Black Ops II from its #1 perch. Activision's blockbuster has been at the top since it launched last November.
After the top two titles for the month comes Crysis 3 , NBA 2K13 and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance . Interestingly, the critically slammed Aliens: Colonial Marines netted the #6 spot. As for overall industry sales, they dropped 25% to $810 million but NPD Group analyst Liam Callahan reminded us that the number in question only accounts for half the total market:
"These sales figures represent new physical retail sales of hardware, software and accessories, which account for roughly 50 percent of the total consumer spend on games. When you consider our preliminary estimate for other physical format sales in February such as used and rentals at $90 million, and our estimate for digital format sales including full game and add-on content downloads including microtransactions, subscriptions, mobile apps, and the consumer spend on social network games at $319 million, we would estimate the total consumer spend in February to be just under $1.2 billion."
And that isn't too bad at all. Total software sales for the month fell 27%, though, as Callahan said this year's crop of February games didn't perform nearly as well as the February 2012 titles. Hardware dropped the farthest, diving 36% to $244.2 million but despite that, the analyst said both the PlayStation Vita and Wii U might be gaining some momentum:
"Looking at hardware sales on an average per week basis, all platforms showed an increase from January into February. Specifically, new platforms like the Wii U and PS Vita demonstrated some momentum from the typical January hardware lull with increases of over 40 percent and 30 percent respectively."
Yeah, we kinda need the new generation to show up, don't we?