March isn’t always a big month for video game sales, but a couple of strong releases in the first part of 2016 are fueling some strong statements from industry leaders.
Sony has released a statement touting its position as the top-selling console and software leader in March. The PS4 maker is also remarking on the success of The Division on PS4; that console has seen the most sales for the new and highly popular Ubisoft game. The PS4 is also known for its exclusive relationship with The Division’s competitor on the market – Destiny – and the news that players are also flocking to the PS4 for the Division is good news for Sony.
Even so, Microsoft is also hailing the success of The Division as one reason why global hours spent on the Xbox One are up 89 percent over last year. In addition, Microsoft is calling out Killer Instinct: Season 3 for its high engagement numbers; more than 6 million unique players make this March the best month ever for that franchise.
When looking at software and hardware together, sales in the video game industry were flat compared to the same time last year, but hardware sales dropped by 19 percent, even as software sales rose to fill the gap.
Though hardware sales were down, portable hardware had the highest volume of sales, while new generation consoles tailing. Older generation consoles like PS3 and 360 are now a virtual non-presence in overall hardware sales, accounting for only 2 percent of overall sales.
Along with the previously mentioned success of The Division, which incidentally was the highest selling Tom Clancy title in history, Ubisoft's Far Cry Primal helped establish the publisher in the number one slot for the first quarter of 2016.
Check out the top 10 games of last month below.
- Tom Clancy's The Division (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
- Far Cry: Primal (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD (Wii U)
- Grand Theft Auto V (PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
- UFC 2 (PS4, Xbox One)
- MLB 16: The Show (PS4, PS3)
- Pokken Tournament (Wii U)
- NBA 2K16 (PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3)
- Call of Duty: Black Ops III (Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
- Minecraft ( PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)
The Division is a clear highpoint for the video game industry last month. Alongside the earlier success of Destiny, it's clear that the shared world shooter experience is one that resonates strongly with players. I'm also interested to see that the Wii U continues to see strong contenders in the monthly top ten through Zelda and Pokken Tournament, proving that against the seeming odds, the Wii U still has some life left.