Though Microsoft’s Kinect sensor continued to show strong sales all week, the standalone unit's sales were eclipsed by the most expensive SKU tracked by HULIQ News. Despite carrying a price tag of $400, the 250GB Xbox 360 console bundled with Kinect took the number one spot in the top 20 all-format chart. The chart is slightly less Microsoft-centric than last week’s chart, but there is plenty to discuss in the analysis below.
The chart runs from Tuesday-Monday, reflecting the traditional Tuesday release schedule of most boxed retail game products. The previous week's rankings are put in parentheses, with (-) signifying that the item was not ranked last week.
HULIQ News Top 20 Video Game SKU chart, week ending January 10th, 2011
- (6) Xbox 250GB Kinect bundle
- (1) Kinect sensor with Kinect Adventures (Xbox 360)
- (2) Call of Duty: Black Ops (Xbox 360)
- (-) Dragon Age 2 (Xbox 360)
- (5) Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (Xbox 360)
- (8) Call of Duty: Black Ops (PS3)
- (3) Just Dance 2 (Wii)
- (4) Dance Central (Xbox 360)
- (-) Dragon Age 2 (PC)
- (-) LittleBigPlanet 2 Collector’s Edition (PS3)
- (7) Kinect Sports (Xbox 360)
- (13) Your Shape: Fitness Evolved (Xbox 360- Kinect)
- (10) Wii Fit Plus with Balance Board
- (12) Xbox 360 4GB
- (9) Zumba Fitness: Join the Party (Wii)
- (-) Sims 3 (PC)
- (20) Fallout: New Vegas (Xbox 360)
- (-) Bulletstorm (Xbox 360)
- (-) Dragon Age 2 (PS3)
- (-) Wii black bundle
The 2011 gaming calendar is in full swing now, with pre-order SKU’s taking 5 of the top 20 spots. LittleBigPlanet 2 is an obvious factor in the sales chart, being a hotly anticipated title and releasing next week. It is interesting to note that it is the Collector’s Edition of the game which places in the top 20, though this may be because ardent fans are the ones who typically pre-order earliest, as HULIQ News is seeing a more even split between the collector’s and standard editions as the release date approaches. The pulp/sci-fi shooter Bulletstorm has a very unique feel among the other FPS titles in 2011 and its pre-order sales are no doubt benefiting from the celebrity of Epic Games designer Cliff Bleszinski despite him being related to the project more or less tangentially.
Dragon Age 2 has seen all three platform SKU’s rocket into the top 20 this week, with Xbox 360 taking the lead as is typical for a multi-platform title. The main reason for the game’s strength in sales this week is that EA and BioWare are offering a ‘free’ upgrade to the Signature Edition of the game if it is pre-ordered before today, January 11th. The special version of the game includes $20 worth of content included at the standard $60 retail price; after today, the Signature Edition price will presumably go up to $80. If pre-orders of Dragon Age 2 remain this strong next week, then we will have a real story on our hands.
As noted above, Microsoft continues to see strong retail demand for its Xbox 360 consoles and Kinect peripheral. Though Kinect is clearly selling into the existing install base of the console, the strong sales of console/peripheral bundles like this week’s number one performer indicate that Kinect is doing the job Microsoft expects it to do: expand the user base and the appeal of the Xbox brand. 2011 is shaping up to be a potentially very good year for Microsoft, though it is odd that no high-profile games have been announced yet to expand the Kinect’s launch lineup.
Nintendo continues to hang around in second place, seeing the black version of its Wii console crack the top 20 chart, the first version of the Wii to do so since the week of December 13th. Every Wii software title on the chart saw its position slip versus last week, and previously strong titles like Donkey Kong Country Returns and Epic Mickey are seeing their sales crater.
Sony continues to barely have a heartbeat, at least in terms of the top 20 chart. The lone bright spot this week is strong pre-order interest in LittleBigPlanet 2. Though the PS3 version of Black Ops continues to sell just behind the Xbox 360 version, the PS3 version of Dragon Age 2 will almost surely disappear from the chart next week now that the sales promotion discussed above is ending. Also worth noting is that Killzone 3, the ‘halo’ title of Sony’s push for 3D gaming and an important Playstation Move-compatible game, is currently seeing weak pre-order interest. By contrast, Bulletstorm releases on the same day (February 22nd) and is seeing strong interest already.
HULIQ News releases the chart every Tuesday morning before 10 AM Eastern.