Video Game Sales Slid in June, NPD Group Reports

Nintendo's performance in software and hardware sales couldn't halt the slide in the video game industry, which fell 6 percent in June when compared with the same period last year.

The video game industry suffered another drop in June, according a report from The NPD Group, falling 6 percent to $1.1 billion, compared with $1.17 billion in June 2009.

Software sales tumbled a sharp 15 percent, falling to $531.3 million from $627 million from the same period last year. The sale of video game hardware, led by Nintendo, was a bright spot, climbing 5 percent to $401.7 million from $382.8 million compared with June 2009.

Nintendo led hardware sales with its handheld DS device, which moved 510,700 units, followed by Microsoft's Xbox 360 console, which sold 451,700 units. Nintendo's Wii console claimed second place in June console sales, with 422,500 Wiis sold. Rival Sony took third place in console sales, claiming 304,800 PlayStation 3 (PS3) consoles sold. Sales of video game accessories climbed 6 percent, to $169.6 million, compared with $159.4 million accessories sold in June 2009.

"Unfortunately, the industry realized a decline versus the same time period last year, driven by decreases in sales of portable hardware and console and portable software," noted NPD industry analyst Anita Frazier. "A bright spot was sales of console hardware, which increased 35 percent in unit sales over last June, driven by significant increases in Xbox 360 and PS3 sales."

Year-to-date, sales were down across the board when compared with 2009, the lone bright spot being a 3 percent uptick in accessories sales. The two leading software titles, Take 2 Interactive's "Red Dead Redemption" and Nintendo's "Super Mario Galaxy 2," remained unchanged from last month's report, according to NPD statistics. Nintendo titles claimed three spots on the top 10 best-selling video games for the month of June, while "Red Dead Redemption" now holds the top spot for sales on a year-to-date basis, having moved more than 1 million copies.

"Looking at historical seasonality for the industry, total year U.S. revenues [of new physical sales] could come in anywhere between $18 [billion] and $21 billion," she said. "Given the strong slate of content still to come, and the release of the Move and Kinect controllers, which I believe will spark additional interest in gaming, I think we could see the total year new physical retail sales come in at $20B. We'll also be reporting consumer reported sales of digitally distributed, rental and used games content to provide insight into those non-POS sources of game sales."