Xbox outsells Wii U, Wii in weak month for games

Tannen Maury/EPA - Thomas Criswell tries out the new Wii U game on display at a Target store in Glenview, Ill., 18 Nov. 2012.

The video game industry had another hard month despite high-profile launches headed into the end of the year, according to a report from the NPD Group.

Even with a new console from Nintendo, the Wii U, the industry still saw retail sales of just $2.55 billion, a 11 percent dip from the same time last year. The Xbox outsold both the Wii U and the Wii, Microsoft reported Thursday.

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However, the numbers NPD looks at don’t necessarily tell the whole story. As the Escapist magazine noted, NPD numbers only look at retail sales and not digital sales.

Even in the report, the publication noted, NPD analyst Liam Callahan said that the “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.” With digital sales, micro transactions, subscriptions and apps, he said, the industry’s sales could be over $3.1 billion.

The selling games for the month were Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and Halo 4, followed by Assassin’s Creed III and Just Dance 4.

The Wii U’s launch month revenues, Computer and Video Games noted, were stronger than the launch month revenues for the Wii thanks to its higher price tag. Sales numbers were slightly lower.

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