Total retail sales in 2012 for the first half of the year have reached $465.6 million in Australia, compared with $578.6 million last year.
This represents a year-on-year decrease of approximately 19%. The console hardware market shrank due to a hefty overall average price drop, while console software suffered due to a lack of new software.
Andrew Milgate, an analyst for NPD Group, told MCV: "Console Hardware suffered the largest dollar decline, due to the average price of hardware dropping $51. This lower price led to a growth in units for HD consoles, in particular PlayStation 3 which saw a double digit increase."
This console hardware price drop has been mirrored, albeit lightly, by a slight decrease in the average price for console Triple A games as well.
Milgate continues: “One of the reasons for the decline was a lack of new software released in the first half compared to last year. The number of new software SKUs in the market was down 30%, which was similar to the drop in new releases in the US (-34%).”
The top ten sellers from the first half of this year reflect this, with 7 out of 10 of the titles being late 2011 releases, with Mass Effect 3, Diablo III and Max Payne 3 being the only new titles to grace the charts.
The growth markets have been PC software and gaming peripherals, which has seen new players enter the market locally, which have mitigated the console effects to some extent, but left us with a still slight drop in unit sales as well as total revenue.
Milgate says: "Units only dropped by 2.8% due to lower average prices across most categories. Despite the overall market loss, both PC Games and Gaming Peripherals increased in value and units on the first half of 2011.”
"With the top selling game for the first half in Diablo III, PC Games value increased by 24%. A decrease in software price combined with the reduced number of new releases were factors in the slower H1 for console software”
Peripherals has traditionally been a more stable market than software, however the boost to PC is a slightly unusual one, but given the lack of top selling software seeing such a decline on the console front, it makes sense that Diablo III's impact should be felt to a larger extent.
Thanks to NPD Group for supplying the data.
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