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Video Games Sales Down In October: NPD

Washington, N.Y. – Video game sales declined in October when compared with the
previous year, according to The NPD Group, with sales falling in all of the
tracked categories. 

video game sales for the month were $1.07 billion, compared with $1.32 billion
in October 2008, falling 19 percent.

revenues are on track to fall in the $20 billion to $21 billion range, it said,
falling just shy of last year’s sales of $21.3 billion.

continued economic turmoil, and in particular the troubling unemployment rate, is
undoubtedly impacting industry sales,” said NPD analyst Anita Frazier. “Our
latest Economy Tracker indicated that although consumers’ general opinion about
the economy is improving, their outlook on their own personal situation is
worsening.  If consumers’ personal
outlook continues to erode, they could very well be much more conservative with
their holiday shopping this year.”

Video game
hardware clocked in at $380.74 million, compared with nearly $497 million in
the previous year, a decline of 23 percent. Software sales reached $572.7
million, compared with $698.4 million, a decline of 18 percent. And accessories
for video games were $118.9 million for the month, compared with nearly $121
million in the prior-year period, a decline of 2 percent.

The Wii
was the best-selling hardware unit for the month, with 506,900 sold. The
Nintendo DS followed suit with 457,600, and the PlayStation3 came in third with

The Wii,
along with the Xbox 360, declined the most when compared with October 2008, but
when compared with last month (which was a five-week month, rather than this
month’s four weeks), Wii, PSP and NDS sales increased on an average sales per
week basis, while the PS3 and Xbox 360 declined, Frazier said.

the hardware category has experienced the sharpest decline in the industry,
with unit sales down 10 percent compared to the same time period last
year.  Recent price cuts helped spur a
one to two-month increase in unit sales, and this month’s Wii sales reflect
that boost, but the other platforms have not sustained the sales momentum post
price reduction. 

“It will
be difficult to discern the impact of the price cut into November and December
just because those are always the two best months for the industry anyway, and
we’d expect to see a sizeable lift in hardware unit sales as a result of
seasonality,” she added.

The top
video game for the month across all platforms was NBA 2K10, with 575,000 units

Video game
accessories faced the lowest declines of the categories for the month. Frazier
said the Wii Remote and Nunchuk controllers were the top two items for the
month, both in unit and dollar sales.