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NPD: Gaming Revenue Plummeted 23% In May

Port Washington, N.Y. — Nintendo’s handheld DS player and Wii home console continued to generate strong U.S. sales in May, with the DS taking the top video game player sales position across all platforms in the period, even as gaming console sales plunged 30 percent to $302.5 million from $433 million in May 2008, according to research released by The NPD Group, Thursday.

Overall, the gaming industry generated $863.3 million in sales of games and consoles in the month, down 23 percent from May 2008, the first time since August 2007 that monthly sales came in less than $1 billion, according to the report.

Nintendo’s Wii console declined 55 percent in the period from a year ago to 289,500 units, the level was strong enough to push cumulative U.S. sales of the system past the 20 million mark after 31 months on the market, continuing Wii’s status as “the fastest-selling console in history,” Nintendo proclaimed.

Comparatively, Microsoft sold 175,000 Xbox 360s, down 5 percent, and Sony sold 131,000 PlayStation3 players, down 37 percent, in May.

U.S. sales of the Nintendo DSi player topped 390,000 units as the DS system topped 244,000 units May, for a combined total of more than 633,000 handhelds, according to NPD. Total Nintendo DS franchise sales are at more than 31 million in the United States. 

Game sales fell 17 percent to $448.9 million in May from a year ago.

Among the winning titles in the period were THQ’s UFC 2009 Undisputed, which sold more than 1 million copies, and Electronic Art’s Sports Active fitness game, which sold 345,800 copies. 

Six games published for Nintendo platforms finished in the top 10 best-sellers, including Wii Fit at No. 2 with 353,000 units, EA’s Sports Active; Pokémon Platinum Version at No. 6 with nearly 169,000 sold, Mario Kart Wii at No. 7 with more than 158,000 sold Punch-Out!! at No. 8 with nearly 157,000 sold and Wii Play at No. 10 with more than 109,000 sold.