Video games sales up 39% in October 2007

Video game sales jumped 39% in October 2007. The Wii sold about 519,000 units during the month – the most of any gaming console, according to NPD Group. That blew away the 366,000 in unit sales from the Xbox 360, which saw an upsurge in September thanks to the launch of Halo 3, the most anticipated new game of the year that was designed exclusively for the 360 console. XBox 360 had sold nearly 528,000 units in September 2007. Total sales were $1.1 bln, compared with $643 mln in October 2007.

NPD stats on XBox market share and growth

Microsoft Xbox 360 has an installed base of 5.6 mln in the US, according to NPD Group. Microsoft has shipped 18.1 mln console games since the launch of the Wii and the PS3. There has been $2.4 bln total spent on Xbox 360 hardware and software in the US since the PS3 and Wii. By comparison, Microsoft claims the total spending on the Wii and PS3 in the US over the same period was $2.4 bln. In July 2008 Microsoft will have 10 mln Live subscribers. Xbox Live is currently available in 25 markets around the world.

NPD stats on Nintendo market share and growth

According to NPD data, Nintendo was responsible for 69% of US game industry growth in the first five months of 2007. In Wii households 66% of those aged 25 – 49 play the console regularly. And about 50% of men 50 or older have tried the Wii. 70% of US spending on video games in 2002 was for console hardware and games, 30% for portables. In 2006, it was a 50/50 split. Traditionally a bastion for young gamers, sales for Nintendo products in North and South America in 2005 was 28% by those 25 or older. In 2007, it increased to 32%. For those 18 – 24, the share increased from 15 to 21 % over the same period. The DS passed 40 mln sold worldwide in the first half of 2007. In the US currently, there are 60 Wii games and 300 DS games available. By the end of 2007, there will be 100 Wii titles and 140 more DS titles.

42% of console owners have watched an Internet video on a console

Though the majority (80%) of Americans own a console capable of playing DVDs, only 30% stated that they owned a console that actually enabled DVD playback – a fact that demonstrates how poorly many consumers understand the capabilities of today’s game consoles and a major barrier to persuading consumers to start using these platforms for non-gaming media consumption. Among those that own a game console connected to the Internet, 42% have used their game console to watch watched an Internet-based movie on their TV, The Diffusion Group reports.

Casual gaming market data

28% of casual gamers play more than nine sessions per week with 32% of those sessions lasting at least an hour, Macrovision says. 83% of survey participants are willing to view a 30-second ad in order to play a game for free. 53% are willing to purchase the game, only after they have played with a trial version. Out of those, 54% will decide if they are willing to purchase a game within 60 minutes of play time.

34% are age 35-49, 29% are age 50-60, 69% are female, 39% are male, 58% have no children under age 18 living in their households. 28% play nine or more game ‘sessions’ per week. 32% say each ‘session’ typically lasts for at least one hour. 26% spend more than two hours in each gameplay ‘session’. 29% have downloaded more than 20 games in the in 2006. 67% read game reviews, of those 81% feel they are influenced to try a game based on the review and 65% feel that reviews have influenced them to purchase a new game in the past. Preferred genres are: puzzle – 48%, simulations – 26%, action – 23%.

15% of US families have 2+ gaming consoles

Approximately half of US broadband households have at least one game console (GC) in the home with 15% having two or more game consoles. Among broadband households that own a game console, 52% have a console in their family or living room, compared to 24% with a GC in the second bedroom, and 21% with a GC in the den or game room, The Diffusion Group says.

13% of console owners have used consoles for DVD playback

According to The Diffusion Group, though 80% of game console households own a console capable of some form of DVD playback or online download, only 13% have used their game console for movie viewing purposes (some eight mln US households). Among this small segment, the vast majority (74%) use only DVD for movie viewing, while approximately one-fourth have also ventured online to purchase or rent a digital movie download.

US console market to generate $66 bln by 2012

US game console market will generate cumulative revenues of $66 bln through 2012. JupiterResearch anticipates the competitive field will be much closer than in the past; at the end of the current cycle in 2012, the range in market shares is projected to just under 10% as compared to the 33% range in market shares at the end of the last cycle in 2005. Console market revenue growth will reach a high of $12.8 bln in 2007 when new platform sales are strongest. And, in 2008 JupiterResearch expects US household penetration to surpass the 50% mark.

36.5% of online Americans have a game console, 15.9% have a portable console

More than one third of US adults online, 36.5%, own a game console, and 15.9% own a portable game console, Nielsen//NetRatings said. 71% of console owners are married, and 66% have at least one child in the household. Best Buy’s video game site has the highest concentration of game console owners, who comprise 90% of the site’s audience. Amazon’s video game site and Gamestop.com rank a close second and third, with console owners comprising 89 and 88% of their unique visitors, respectively. Nintendo has enjoyed the fastest Web traffic growth over 2006 with the much-anticipated release of Wii. Unique visitors to Nintendo.com increased 91%, from 856,000 in February 2006 to 1.6 mln in February 2007. Xbox.com also saw significant year-over-year growth in February, increasing 47% from a unique audience of 827,000 to 1.2 mln. Traffic to Playstation.com dropped 8% in the same period, from 1.1 mln to 1.0 mln unique visitors.

Game console downloads to generate $1.1 bln by 2011

ABI Research believes that video and music downloads to game consoles will reach $1.1 bln annually by 2011. Micropayments for consoles alone will account for over $833 mln by 2011, as console vendors and their publisher partners look to monetize both in-game and game-related assets beyond initial game purchases.

Online games generated $3.2 bln in Asia-Pacific in 2005

Total online games market revenues for Asia/Pacific in 2005 stood at $3.2 bln and will rise to $6.8 bln in 2010, In-Stat says. 53.2% of respondents to an In-Stat consumer Internet survey in Asia/Pacific indicated that they play online games. Japan is expected to lead the regional online gaming market with estimated revenue of 2.8 bln by 2010. China will be the second-largest market in the region, with revenue of 2.1 bln by 2010.

Console subscribers to grow at 40.8% a year

From 2005 to 2010, annualized growth of console subscribers will be 40.8%, and growth of handheld subscribers will be 94.2%. Online console revenue will grow at a 46% annual rate over the same period. Revenue from handheld online gaming may begin to become a factor in 2007.