Nintendo leads a sluggish January for video game sales in the U.S., which are down 13 percent compared with the same period last year.
Sales of video game hardware and software remained sluggish in the United
States, as overall sales fell 13 percent in
January to $1.17 billion, compared with the same period last year, reported the
Hardware sales took the largest hit, dropping 21 percent to $353.7 million,
down from $446.8 million in January 2009. Software sales slipped 12 percent, to
$597.3 million. The lone bright spot in the report was a 2 percent increase in
video game accessories, bringing in a total of $217 million.
The motion-sensitive Nintendo Wii console continued to be a top seller,
leading the hardware competition with 465,800 units sold. Microsoft claimed
second place for January sales with 332,800 units of its Xbox 360 console sold,
and Sony's PlayStation 3 console followed in third with 276,900 consoles sold.
The Nintendo DS claimed the top spot for portable consoles (and second place in
hardware sales overall) with 422,200 units sold. Sony's PlayStation Portable
(PSP) sold 100,100 units in January. The company's decade-old PS3 predecessor,
the PlayStation 2, managed to move 41,600 units.
The top-selling title of the month was Nintendo's "New Super Mario
Bros." for Wii, which sold 656,000 copies. Nintendo was responsible for
four of the top 10 best-selling games in January, with other titles placing in
third, fifth and sixth place. Publishing giant Electronic Arts placed two games
on this list, including "Mass Effect 2" in second place, which sold
572,000 copies. Activision Blizzard found its "Call of Duty: Modern
Warfare 2" on the list twice, in fourth place in the Xbox 360 format and
in seventh place on the PS3. Total sales of "Call of Duty" on both
formats reached 585,000 copies in January.
The report suggests the industry faces a slow road back to recovery and
follows an NPD report released last month that showed video game sales generated
revenues of close to $19.66 billion in 2009, an 8 percent decline over the
$21.4 billion generated in 2008.
Aside from portable hardware, which experienced a 6 percent increase in
revenue in 2009, all video game categories experienced declines, with the
largest decline coming from console hardware, which saw a 13 percent drop.
Console software and portable software both experienced declines of 10 percent,
while video game accessories experienced a 1 percent decline.
January sales figures also come as a disappointment following December-strong
holiday season sales brought the industry its best sales month to date, besting
sales in December 2008 by 4 percent.