U.S. video game industry sales continue slide

NPD Group reports that total video game industry sales fell 10 percent last month, while Microsoft claims that its Xbox 360 remained the best-selling console in the United States.

The U.S. video game industry continued to show signs of weakness in June, research firm NPD Group reported today.

Total video game industry sales in the country, which includes hardware, software, and accessories, fell 10 percent to $995 million, compared to June 2010. Software sales fell steepest--12 percent--to $469.5 million. Sales of accessories dived 11 percent to $158.9 million, while hardware sales slid 9 percent to $366.6 million.

In May, NPD reported that total U.S. game industry sales fell 14 percent to $743.1 million , the worst month in nearly five years.

The two best-selling games in June--L.A. Noire and Duke Nukem Forever--come from Take 2 Interactive. The company also snared the seventh best-selling game, NBA 2K11. Sony's inFAMOUS 2 was the third best-selling game in the month, followed by Lego Pirates of the Caribbean from Disney Interactive Studio and Nintendo's Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D.

NPD doesn't release console-specific data publicly. The firm shares the information with the console makers, who then choose to release the data they want made public.

Microsoft said its Xbox 360 maintained its lead in the U.S. console market last month. The company said that 507,000 Xbox 360s sold in June, giving the console the top spot in the United States for 12 of the past 13 months.

And even though domestic hardware sales throughout the industry are declining, Microsoft said that Xbox 360 was the only console to post year-over-year growth in June. Microsoft also said that total retail spending on the Xbox 360 platform, covering hardware, software, and accessories, hit $350 million, more than any other console in the country.

Nintendo said its Wii console sold 273,000 units last month, well off the Xbox pace. But Nintendo also sold 386,000 units of its Nintendo DS family of systems. And the company sold another 143,000 Nintendo 3DS systems. Nintendo said those numbers represent double-digit growth from May for each product line. It also noted that the Wii has now sold more than 36 million units.

Sony didn't disclose any details about the sales of its various consoles and portable game devices. In a statement, company spokesman Patrick Seybold focused on software sales, including inFAMOUS 2, which Sony made exclusively for its PlayStation 3.

"According to the latest NPD report, PlayStation continues to see growth in software with a strong demand for exclusive PlayStation 3 franchise titles," Seybold said.

About the author

Jay Greene, a CNET senior writer, works from Seattle and focuses on investigations and analysis. He's a former Seattle bureau chief for BusinessWeek and author of the book "Design Is How It Works: How the Smartest Companies Turn Products into Icons" (Penguin/Portfolio).

 

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