3DS Tops NPD Hardware Sales for May
Posted by Thomas Whitehead
Software results at lowest since May 2000
It's that time again, with the NPD results showing us how game software and hardware sold in the U.S. during May. The headline result, from a Nintendo perspective, is that the 3DS was the highest selling hardware system for the month; no firm number was given, so it's only known that it was more than the 114,000 units that Microsoft has confirmed for Xbox 360 sales.
There was also good news on the software front for 3DS, with Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D coming in third place and Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon performing well once again in fifth place. Those software numbers are against a negative overall result, with software apparently down a whopping 44% over the previous month, and painful drops also affecting hardware and accessories.
Nintendo, meanwhile, has given no firm figures and has made no mention of Wii U in a brief press release, focusing instead on the 3DS' success. It should also be noted that the prominence of these results may be coming into further question, especially in terms of software, as they only account for physical retail sales. Respected industry website Gamasutra has announced that it'll no longer cover NPD results, as the organisation is unable to accurately report download sales. The argument is that reports of a deteriorating games industry that come from NPD figures aren't giving the full picture, as downloads undergo growth and positive performance. This is also becoming increasingly relevant for Nintendo, with eShop sales of titles such as Animal Crossing: New Leaf expected to be vitally important.
The absence of solid hardware figures means that we know the 3DS had the best month, but it's unclear where Wii U sales stood, beyond analyst predictions. Sales of Nintendo's latest console could be a couple of months away from significant signs of improvement, in any case, as major releases such as Pikmin 3 gradually get closer.
This month was all about the 3DS, however, seizing the hardware crown and boasting two top ten games in a chart packed with multi-platform releases.