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Video game sales dip slightly in July

Retail sales are off 1 percent, but the sector is showing signs of recovery.

Retail sales of video games in the United States dipped in July, but the industry is showing signs of recovery.

Revenue from video games sales was $846.5 million, down 1 percent from the same month last year, according to a report release released Thursday by The NPD Group. Year-to-date sales were down 8 percent compared with last year. The No. 1 seller in July was Electronic Arts' NCAA Football 11, which sold 368,000 copies for the Xbox 360 and 298,800 copies for PlayStation 3.

Those numbers exclude sales of Starcraft II, which is classified as a PC game and counted separately. The Activision Blizzard game sold 721,000 units in July, helping the PC games sector achieve a 103 percent increase in sales, according to NPD analyst Anita Frazier. Overall, combined sales of video and PC games saw a 4 percent increase in revenue compared with July 2009, she said.

Sales of video game hardware was $313.8 million, up 12 percent for the year-ago month, largely on the strength of Xbox 360. Microsoft's game console was the top seller, with 443,500 units sold. Close behind was the Nintendo DS, which sold 398,800 units. However, year-to date sales were down 13 percent compared with the year-ago period.

Revenue from the sale of game accessories was $129.3 million, down 2 percent compared with July of last year but up 3 percent this year to date compared with the same period last year. For the fifth consecutive month, the Xbox 360 1600 point card was the best-selling accessory, Frazier said.