Video Games Sales Down In October: NPD

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Port 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. 

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

Full-year 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.

"The 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 320,600.

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.

"Year-to-date, 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 sold.

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.


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