NPD: Xbox 360 and Call of Duty: Black Ops Score Big in November

Black Ops First Strike DLC trailer

NPD Group, Inc., the organization that charts sales in the United States, no longer releases its monthly results to the gaming public, but that's not stopping their disclosure. Apparently, customers of NPD's service cannot contain their excitement over each month's successes. November is usually kind to video game sales since the month starts off holiday shopping in the United States, and this year was no exception as last month was the best November on record for new physical retail sales. The month was also a huge achievement for the Xbox 360, which sold approximately 1.377 million units. Incredibly, this was an increase of 68% over last year's sales and was the sixth month where Microsoft's console led in sales. So far, Microsoft's heavy investment in the Kinect appears to be paying off.

On the software side, Call of Duty: Black Ops (review) destroyed the competition and became the all-time best-selling game in its launch month by moving 8.4 million units (!). This total represented 25% of all video game software sold in November and has made it the 7th best-selling game of all time. Is it no wonder that rumors abound over a possible Call of Duty subscription fee in the future?

Another mild surprise was Gran Turismo 5's eighth place showing, trailing just behind Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (review). Sure, Need for Speed was released about a week prior to GT5, but with the anticipation for the long-delayed racing sim at a boiling point, the game certainly appeared as if it would put up big numbers. We'll know for sure if GT5 lost its juice in the U.S. once December's numbers are released.

Curious how the motion control battle is going? Reportedly, the Kinect was the best-selling accessory item in November. After one month of sales, the device was "the top-selling accessory item in terms of dollar sales on a year-to-date basis,” according to NPD's Anita Frazier. As for software, Dance Central (review), was the top seller. It ranked #11 in overall sales in November and was the No. 1 selling Kinect title, if you exclude the bundled Kinect Adventures. Kinect Sports (review) and Your Shape: Fitness Evolved (review) were the next two most popular Kinect titles. We'd love to report on Move sales and its related titles, but unfortunately, NPD and Sony have not yet released these numbers.

For the full list and numbers, see below:

Top 10 Games Sold at Retail, November 2010

  1. Call of Duty: Black Ops (360, PS3, Wii, PC, NDS)  — 8.4 million units
  2. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (360, PS3)
  3. Just Dance 2 (Wii)
  4. Madden NFL 11 (360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP)
  5. Fable III (360) 5
  6. Donkey Kong Country Returns (Wii)
  7. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (PS3, 360, Wii, PC)
  8. Gran Turismo 5 (PS3)
  9. NBA 2K11 (360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP,PC)
  10. Wii Fit Plus (Wii)

Top Retail Hardware Sales, November 2010

  1. Nintendo DS: Unknown
  2. Xbox 360: 1,377,000
  3. Nintendo Wii: 1,270,000
  4. PlayStation 3: 530,000

Sources: Nintendo Everything; Joystiq; Industrygamers

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