The NPD Group has released the latest video game sales data, which is full of many pleasant surprises. First, video game sales (software and hardware) were up 16% in the month of October ($642 million), as compared to sales in October 2005 ($556 million). Since the Nintendo Wii and Sony PS3 are launching this month, this increase in sales seems to blow away the notion that the industry inevitably slows before next-gen consoles launch.
Second, it was discovered that unit sales for the year are up 10%, while dollar sales are up 4%. This is because, "the average retail price of the top 100 items was $2.40 less than last year." How does one explain this when Xbox 360 titles range in price from $50 - $70? Because almost all Sony PS2 games have launched with a $40 price tag.
This is important because Sony and Microsoft are claiming they have to put the price of games for the Xbox 360 and PS3 at a high spot in order to make a profit. However, this report proves a $40 price point is actually more profitable, as people are more likely to buy a $40 game. And, they buy so many $40 games that dollar sales are higher than where they were when the average game cost $2.40 more.
Learn from this, please. It will only serve the industry, and the gamers who support it, well.
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