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Video Game Industry Sees Lower April Sales

May 14, 2010

Industry tracker NPD reported Thursday that sales of video game hardware and software plunged 26 percent in April, one of the largest declines over the past decade.

The research group said sales in the U.S. fell to $766.2 million.

Software sales dropped 22 percent, while hardware sales tumbled 37 percent.

NPD said the overall decline was the fourth largest since September 2000.

Nintendo’s Wii still held the top selling console in April, although it reported a decline in sales compared to a year before.

Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360 was the number 2 in the month, followed by Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 3.  Both of those consoles posted year-over-year increases in units.

The handheld Nintendo DS saw sales decline by over half to 440,800, from more than 1 million last April.  The DS was still the month’s best-selling handheld system even with the decline.

“The portable side of the industry contributed more than its fair share to the industry decline,” NPD analyst Anita Frazier told the Associated Press. She added that sales of portable systems “” the DS and Sony’s PSP “” accounted for 61 percent of the month’s total video game sales decline.

Frazier did say, however, that new technologies, such as a 3D handheld device from Nintendo and new motion-control technologies from Sony and Microsoft, will help “re-energize the industry.”

Ubisoft’s “Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction” was the best-selling game in April, with about 500,000 copies sold. 

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