January Video Games Sales Were Slim
February 10, 2012

January Video Games Sales Were Slim

NPD Group reports that video game sales saw a decline in January, partly due to a lack new games and an upcoming Sony device.

The group said stores sold $1.14 billion worth of games over the month of January, which was down 34 percent on the previous year.

The consumer data company also said that hardware sales were down 38 percent.  NPD also said accessories faced an 18 percent decline in January at $195 million.

According to the report, "Activision Blizzard's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3" was January's best-selling game, followed by "Just Dance 3", "Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim" and "NBA 2K12."

Microsoft's Xbox 360 gaming console remained the top selling hardware platform for the sixth month running.

"While the lack of new launches was a major reason for software declines, games which launched in the last three months of 2011 also performed poorly in January 2012, down 31% in units compared to fourth quarter launches in January 2011," NPD analyst Liam Callahan said in a statement.

"As shoppers were not drawn to stores due to new launch activity, this potentially impacted additional software purchases made on impulse."

Callahan said consumers spend between $350 million to $450 million on video games other than in retail stores, such as buying used games, social network games, mobile games, renting games and downloading games.

NPD said part of the slump was also due to a lack of new game titles coming out in January.

Franchise hits like "SoulCalibur 5" and "Final Fantasy XIII-2" did not come out until January 31.  February will see titles like "Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning" and "Twisted Metal" come out, so sales could be stronger this month.

Sony is launching its new PlayStation Vita game console on February 22 in the U.S., as well as across Europe and Australia.

IHS Screen Digest reported that 7 million Vista consoles would be sold by the end of the year, which would be 25 percent less than what the PlayStation Portable System was able to achieve.


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