News from the video game industry for the week of October 12
Every Sunday Electronista and MacNN report some of the important news from the gaming industry across the past week. During this week's edition, we look at Final Fantasy XIV's first expansion, the download requirements for Halo: The Master Chief Collection, NPD numbers for video game hardware sales, and console updates for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
Streaming video on demand subscribers continue to rise
Streaming video services such as Netflix and Hulu could in some cases be eroding the customer base of premium television broadcasters, according to a new report. NPD Group figures for the period between March 2012 and August 2013 show that the number of subscribers to HBO, Showtime, and other channels have dropped from 38 percent of US households to 32 percent.
NPD report see kiosks issue almost half of disc rentals
People still rent more movies on DVD and Blu-ray than streaming and video-on-demand services combined, according to an NPD Group report. In the first half of the year, 62 percent of all movie rentals in the US stemmed from discs supplied by brick-and-mortar shops, kiosks and mail-order services. Kiosk use has increased by five percent, now taking up 45 percent of the physical-media rental market.
Half of children purchase digital media by age 7
More children are spending money on digital media, according to a study titled "Kids and Entertainment Content, 2011 Edition" from NPD Group. The study found that children ages 2-14 spend 21 cents of every entertainment dollar on digital format content, with indications of a shift to a preference for digital formats underway. In 2009, only 15 percent of content purchased by children was in digital form.
Phone displays sub 3.5-inch losing market share
Market research company The NPD Group has published a report showing that smartphone users are leaning towards large screens on their devices. When asked whether they would prefer portability, most users said that they would opt for screen size first. According to NPD’s research, smartphones with 4.0-inches screens and over have captured market share from devices with screens any less than 3.5-inches.
Console surpasses 535k units in non-holiday month
Microsoft's Xbox 360 console has broken the company's record for non-holiday sales, with shipments reaching 535,000 systems in February alone, according to numbers collected by research firm NPD group. The post-holiday performance even surpassed the September 2007 sales boost that coincided with Halo 3.
Black Friday electronics profits down from 2008
Sales of consumer electronics during Black Friday were lower than in 2008, according to point-of-sale numbers compiled by market research company, the NPD Group. The total revenue for the day of just over $2.7 billion represents a 1.2 percent drop compared to the revenue from 2008, but the drop compares favorably to the 3.4 percent decline suffered from 2007 to 2008.
Cellphone sales report
A report today from The NPD Group reveals that 2008's spring quarter saw cellular phone sales in the US drop to 28 million units, or 13 percent less than the same time period in 2007. Revenue from the sales for the same time period, at below $2.4 billion, represented a two percent decrease, the NPD report concluded. Accounting for the discrepancy between these numbers is the fact consumers are spending 14 percent more in the spring quarter of 2008, $84 on average, on phones that have more features, with sales of QWERTY keyboard-equipped handsets jumping by a record of 28 percent, while handsets with Bluetooth jumped 12 percent.