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October Video Game Sales Down 4 Percent

November 17, 2010

Declining demand for the latest video game hardware and software is responsible for an industry-wide 4 percent decrease in sales for October, market research group NPD said on Tuesday.

While software sales were actually up 6 percent to $605 million last month, system sales plummeted. Hardware sales figures fell by more than 25-percent, from $381 million to $280 million, versus October 2009.

Overall, the gaming industry sales dropped from $1.11 billion in October 2009 to $1.07 billion in October 2010, and according to AP Technology Writer Barbara Ortutay, year-to-date sales were down 8-percent through the end of the month.

According to Reuters, gaming accessory sales increased by 18 percent, to $142 million. Much of the credit for those figures belongs to the Sony’s Move, a device that is used with the PlayStation 3 gaming console and allows players to use motion controls to play their games. More than one million Move units were sold within the device’s first 30 days of availability.

“Microsoft’s Xbox 360 was the only home console to see year-over-year growth in the month,” Reuters reported on Tuesday. “It is the best-selling console this year in the United States on a unit basis, according to NPD data.”

The top selling title of the month was Take-Two Interactive’s basketball game NBA 2K11. In second place was the RPG/shooter hybrid “Fallout: New Vegas”, followed by Electronic Arts military title “Medal of Honor.”

The statistics do not include the record-setting “Call of Duty: Black Ops”, which released on November 9, or the Microsoft-developed Kinect accessory, which has sold more than one million units since it debuted on November 4. Sales from these two products should give the industry a boost for November, and in an interview with Ortutay, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime also predicted a strong outing for his company during the upcoming holiday season.

“Last year, we sold close to 50 percent of hardware on (the holidays),” Fils-Aime told the Associated Press (AP), adding that while the company was not planning to reduce the Nintendo Wii’s $199 MSRP, that some retailers would be doing so on their own as an incentive to attract customers.

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