January 14, 2011

2010 Sales Of Video Games Fell Flat

Overall sales of video games fell short of expectations for 2010 but are expected to climb back up for 2011 as people embrace new ways of playing games online and on mobile devices, according to retail research firm NPD Group.

Total spending on video games and equipment fell 6 percent to $18.6 billion in 2010, as gamers curtailed spending in the early part of the year despite a surge in video game accessories -- spurred by Microsoft Corp's Kinect and Sony Corp's Move motion control systems.

Microsoft Corp. said last week it has sold more than 8 million Kinect units over November and December, the first two months on the market, beating its target of 5 million and forced it to accelerate delivery of units to stores that were meant to be sold in January and February. 

As a result, the company said, it expects shortages of both the Xbox console and the Kinect add-on for the next two months.  Kinect lets people control on-screen action with body movements or spoken commands and is priced at $150 dollars.

Microsoft's Xbox 360 video game consoles were the only platform to sell more hardware in 2010 than in the previous year, according to NPD. "This has been the biggest holiday and the biggest year ever for Xbox," Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said during a presentation at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Recent economic slowdowns are blamed for the slowdown in 2010 of overall sales of video game platforms with a positive uptick in sales numbers during the end-of-year holidays.  "It was a robust finish to a year marked by innovation and engaging millions of consumers through a multitude of delivery models," said Michael Gallagher, president of the Entertainment Software Association trade group.

"I look forward to a strong 2011 with a great pipeline of titles." 

Many of those new titles are expected to debut at an international Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles later this year.


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