2011, a year in games sales

That’s it guys, 2011 is finally over with the publication today of the final figures. Which games were on top? Which system won? Find out below.

/!\WARNING/!\ These charts are based on games released in 2011 ONLY, and due to changes on Vgchartz I had to browse through the entire software database so mistakes are possible. Tell me in the comments if you see one!

Japan (in millions)

  1. Mario Kart 7 (3DS) – 1.08
  2. Super Mario 3D Land (3DS) – 1.04
  3. Monster Hunter 3G (3DS) – 1.02
  4. Final Fantasy Type-0 (PSP) – 0.75
  5. Final Fantasy XIII-2 (PS3) – 0.72
  6. Rhythm Heaven Fever (Wii) – 0.63
  7. Tales of Xilia (PS3) – 0.62
  8. Final Fantasy Dissidia Duodecim (PSP) – 0.46
  9. Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D (3DS) – 0.45
  10. Monster Hunter Freedom 3rd HD (PS3) – 0.43
  1. 3DS – 4.13
  2. PSP – 1.96
  3. PS3 – 1.47
  4. Wii – 0.94
  5. DS – 0.71
  6. PSVita – 0.4
  7. X360 – 0.11

Highlights :

  • 3DS flattened the competition

  • PS3 tops Wii for the first time

  • RPGs were dominant over others genres
  • No Western game charted
  • Ni no Kuni PS3 failed to sell
Despite falling quickly after launch, 3DS ruled the Japanese market this year thanks to its price cut, Monster Hunter and Mario games. However, Nintendo already dominant position on its new system leaves little room for 3rd party games. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues in 2012, which would sadly make 3DS as irrelevant as Wii by 2013. PS3 was the top home system and outsold a collapsing Wii by 50%. PSVita sales plummeted in 2nd and 3rd week, leaving an uncertain future looming ahead for Sony’s new handheld. Of course, Xbox360 was non-existent.

United States (in millions)

  1. Modern Warfare 3 (X360) – 7.37
  2. Modern Warfare 3 (PS3) – 4.26
  3. Pokemon Black&White (DS) – 3.83
  4. Just Dance 3 (Wii) – 3.81
  5. Gears of Wars 3 (X360) – 3.3
  6. Battlefield 3 (X360) – 2.89
  7. Elder Scrolls V Skyrim (X360) – 2.6
  8. Super Mario 3D Land (3DS) – 2.44
  9. Battlefield 3 (PS3) – 1.67
  10. Mario Kart 7 (3DS) – 1.63

No hardware figures yet :(

Highlights :

  • Modern Warfare 3 flattened the competition

  • HD systems were dominant

  • Shooters were dominant over others genres

Crushing victory for X360 in the US this year : already strong among gamers in its home market, Microsoft’s system is also starting to crunch aggressively in the casual market. X360 knew its biggest month ever last November and Kinect Adventures is the best-selling title of the system. Wii was almost invisible in its last year and surfaced only thanks to Just Dance 3 and Skyward Sword.

Europe (in millions)

  1. Modern Warfare 3 (PS3) – 3.41
  2. Modern Warfare 3 (X360) – 3.21
  3. Pokemon Black&White (DS) – 2.5
  4. Just Dance 3 (Wii) – 2.36
  5. Elder Scrolls V Skyrim (X360) – 1.48
  6. Battlefield 3 (PS3) – 1.45
  7. Battlefield 3 (X360) – 1.32
  8. Gears of Wars 3 (X360) – 1.26
  9. Uncharted 3 (PS3) – 1.24
  10. Professor Layton and the Last Specter (DS) – 1.16

No hardware figures yet :(

Highlights :

  • Modern Warfare 3 flattened the competition

  • HD systems were dominant

  • Shooters were dominant over others genres

  • No Mario game charted :)

Roughly the same as in the US, save that PS3 mattered more. 3DS was strong but had less success than elsewhere and, more than anywhere else, relied on Mario games to sell. With a low proportion of core gamers buying the system, 3DS may be weak until the next holiday season kicks off. Xenoblade was acclaimed by the critics and made the news, but failed to move important volumes (160K, which is nevertheless outstanding for a JRPG in Europe).

Worldwide (in millions)

  1. Modern Warfare 3 (X360) – 11.95
  2. Modern Warfare 3 (PS3) – 9.72
  3. Just Dance 3 (Wii) – 6.76
  4. Gears of Wars 3 (X360) – 5.16
  5. Super Mario 3D Land (3DS) – 5.14
  6. Battlefield 3 (X360) – 5.0
  7. Elder Scrolls V Skyrim (X360) – 4.95
  8. Mario Kart 7 (3DS) – 4.46
  9. Battlefield 3 (PS3) – 4.1
  10. Uncharted 3 (PS3) – 3.29

No hardware figures yet :(

Highlights :

  • Modern Warfare 3 flattened the competition

  • HD systems were dominant

  • Shooters were dominant over others genres

Nintendo showed that they can achieve nothing without their licenses : they rushed the development of 3DS Mario games to make them ready for Xmas and lift the alarming sales of their new handheld. There dependency on casual gaming lead to a software drought on Wii. Meanwhile, innovation, variety and new IPs have been almost exclusively delivered by PS3 and X360, which logically lead throughout the year. However, Sony is also recycling games on Vita, so they share a part of the blame. 2011 also shows casual gamers starting to shift from Wii to Kinect (at least in the US).

2012 should see the release of WiiU, but Nintendo’s eerie silence on their new system doesn’t bode well : the manufacturer is probably having a hard time convincing 3rd parties to develop for it. With no significant evolution from Wii and a higher price, casual gamers might also ignore it to turn themselves towards a cheaper X360+Kinect or an already (too) much casualised 3DS. WiiU is the only question mark this year : Vita will fail in the West and X360/PS3 should continue to be the leading systems in pretty much every aspect.

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