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NPD: PS4 leads US January sales as software declines continue

US software sales dip 25 per cent year-on-year as November/December releases struggle

PS4 lead hardware sales in US in January according to NPD figures, which report a strong month for hardware sales despite continuing software declines.

NDP notes that January 2013 figures must be "normalized" by cutting them by a fifth (or by multiplying by 0.80) to account for the five-week period of January 2013 versus the four weeks of January 2014.

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That considered, total physical video game spend on hardware and software dipped 1 per cent in January 2014 versus January 2013 when 'normalized', although without normalization the difference is 21 per cent, at $664 million versus $835 million the prior year.

NPD estimates total consumer spend in January to be around $1.05 billion, which accounts for "other physical format sales in January such as used and rentals" at $113 million, and digital sales including download games, add-on content and subscription spend of around $335 million.

Physical software spend was the major factor of the declines, down 41 per cent to $232 million in the month, compared with $393 million in January 2013 (or down 25 per cent versus a normalized January 2013).

NPD Group's Liam Callahan blamed "the slide in performance of November and December 2013 launches during January 2014 compared to how November and December 2012 launches performed in January 2013".

"These November and December launches collectively decreased 36 percent, or 20 percent when normalized to account for the 5-week January 2013," he added.

Despite the declines, both 3DS and Wii U software sales increased year-on-year, up 6 per cent and 26 per cent respectively (normalized).

Hardware sales were up 17 per cent year-on-year (or 47 per cent normalized), thanks to strong sales of the Xbox One and PS4.

Hardware sales figures are yet to be revealed for the month, but, according to Spike's Geoff Keighley, citing SVP of PlayStation brand marketing Guy Longworth, PS4 sales 'nearly doubled' that of Xbox One in US in January.

While Microsoft keenly touted Xbox One sales that were more than two times faster than Xbox 360 in US the consoles' respective three-month post-launch periods (2.29 times faster to be exact), the firm held off announcing specific Xbox One sales numbers.

Microsoft instead chose to focus on combined Xbox 360 and Xbox One software sales in its NPD statement. Software sales for the two consoles combined totaled 2.27 million units sold in the month, accounting for a 47 per cent majority share of software market, according to the firm.

Xbox One owners have purchased around 2.7 games per console since launch, Microsoft added.

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