Video Games And Console Sales Start To Slide

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Australians are still buying up video games and consoles say EB Games and JB Hi Fi however in the US video game sales have started to slow with NDP research reporting that sales were down 7% in September, to $1.27 billion from $1.35 billion a year ago They said that the market did not appear to be affected by current economic woes. “Overall, the health of the video games industry remains quite strong despite the rocky economic conditions,” said NPD analyst Anita Frazier.

According to Digital MediaWire hardware sales were down 9%, to $498 million, while game software sales fell 6% to $616 million and game accessories sales dropped 3%, to $152.5 million.

The Nintendo Wii led hardware overall with sales of 687,000 units. The Microsoft Xbox 360 saw a boost from its recent price cut, and sold 347,200 units, while Sony’s (NYSE: SNE) PlayStation 3 sold 232,400 units.

Among handhelds, Nintendo’s DS sold 536,800 units compared to 238,100 for Sony’s PSP.

LucasArts’ “Star Wars: The Force Unleashed” was the top-selling game in September (1.16 million units).

Nintendo took second (“Wii Fit”), fourth (“Wii Mario Kart”) and seventh (“Wii Play”) places.

Also placing in the top ten were MTV/Electronic Arts’ “Rock Band 2” (363,000 units); and Electronic Arts’ “Mercenaries 2” and “Madden NFL 09.”

 

 

NPD also noted that, although PC games aren’t tallied for its report, EA’s “Spore” sold 406,000 units and EA/Mythic’s “Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning” sold 274,000 units.

“This is the first true monthly decline the industry has experienced since March of 2006,” said NPD analyst Anita Frazier.

“It’s important to keep in mind, however, that this month’s 7 percent decline is against a month (September 2007) that itself was up 75 percent from the prior September. Last year, Halo 3 released in September 2007 and that game had a huge impact on hardware and software sales.”

According to NPD, year-to-date industry sales are still ahead 26 percent, and at this point total $11.82 billion.

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