It looks like the PlayStation 4's narrow loss in October's NPD report was just a blip, as the system has responded with some record breaking sales in November. According to the Japanese giant, its box was preferred to the Xbox One during the busy Thanksgiving period in the United States, with speculation putting its performance for the month in a dizzyingly strong position. We don't have access to the official data here at Push Square Towers, but the numbers that are being touted are astronomical.
Sony's PR certainly backs up the claims: "Black Friday sales were the strongest in PlayStation history, demonstrating more people game now than ever before," marketing boss Eric Lempel told Venture Beat. "We are also pleased to announce November was the biggest month ever for PlayStation Store, indicating a strong digital marketplace complementing healthy retail sales." All of this without a major holiday exclusive to its name – the manufacturer must be rubbing its hands looking to 2016.
But it's the industry as a whole that will be most happy, as physical spend increased two per cent year-over-year to a staggering $2.47 billion. Hardware sales contributed most to that, with income up 11 per cent compared to November 2014. However, software spend did dip slightly by seven per cent, raking in $1.07 billion for the month. It's quite a surprise with Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Fallout 4, and Star Wars Battlefront being on shelves – but it sounds like declining last-gen sales are to blame.
Either way, the aforementioned trio topped the sales charts as expected, with the latter two games selling best on Sony's system. Madden NFL 16, NBA 2K16, FIFA 16, Need for Speed, and Assassin's Creed Syndicate all helped flesh out the Top Ten. Rise of the Tomb Raider, the timed Xbox One exclusive, failed to breach the charts – in fact, rumours suggest that it didn't come close, as Square Enix's business decision came back to haunt it in the worst possible way.
"Call of Duty: Black Ops III was the top title in November 2015 with sales exceeding that of its predecessor, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare," analyst Liam Callahan explained. "Fallout 4 performed extremely well. Adjusting for days within the data month, this was the best Fallout launch in the history of the franchise having sold over 70 per cent more units than Fallout: New Vegas and nine per cent more units than Fallout 3." Star Wars Battlefront also sold 21 per cent more than The Force Unleashed.
A rosy month as a whole, then, with combined PS4 and Xbox One sales so far up 47 per cent when compared to their predecessors. Sony will be the more pleased of the two companies, with its global presence meaning that it will surely be smashing more worldwide milestones soon. But Microsoft's at least staying in the race in the US – even if it can't seem to keep up with the Japanese giant's record breaking pace. December will be the final battleground, before things slow down again for the start of 2016.
Top Ten Physical Retail Releases: November 2015
- Call of Duty: Black Ops III (Xbox One, PS4, 360, PS3, PC)
- Fallout 4 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
- Star Wars: Battlefront (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
- Madden NFL 16 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)
- NBA 2K16 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)
- FIFA 16 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)
- Need For Speed (PS4, Xbox One)
- Halo 5: Guardians (Xbox One)
- Assassin's Creed: Syndicate (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
- Just Dance 2016 (Wii, Wii U, 360, Xbox One, PS4, PS3)