US video game sales drop 21 percent in December

Jan 13, 2012

(AP) -- U.S. retail sales of video game hardware, software and accessories fell 21 percent in December from a year ago to $3.99 billion as players bought fewer games for their aging consoles, according to market researcher NPD Group.

The results are "not entirely surprising given that we are at the back end of the current console lifecycle," said NPD Group analyst Anita Frazier.

However, the tally was clearly a disappointment. Frazier said the month's poor performance was unexpected given the quality of new games including "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3," which was the top-seller, and "Just Dance 3," which placed second.

Consoles are getting long in the tooth. Microsoft Corp.'s will turn 7 years old this November - even though it replaced the Xbox when Microsoft's first console was just 4 years old.

.'s will turn 6 in November, the same age the PlayStation 2 reached before it got an upgrade. Nintendo Corp.'s is also turning 6, even though its GameCube reached only age 5 before being pushed aside.

Sony and Microsoft have not unveiled plans for a next-generation console, while Nintendo is expected to release its Wii U with a new touch-screen controller later this year.

Not only are consoles getting older, but the way games are delivered is undergoing change. Consumers are now expecting more content to be delivered over the Internet.

Sales of software - the video games themselves - fell 14 percent from a year ago to $2.04 billion.

That's a bigger decline than the 5 percent drop expected by analyst Doug Creutz of research firm Cowen & Co. Creutz had expected a decline due largely to slower sales of Wii games and handheld games, which are normally big during the holidays.

Hardware sales fell 28 percent to $1.32 billion and accessories fell 27 percent to $629 million.

For the year, overall sales fell 8 percent to $17.02 billion. Hardware sales fell 11 percent to $5.58 billion, software sales fell 6 percent to $8.83 billion and accessories sales fell 11 percent to $2.61 billion.

Explore further: Jury says Silicon Valley firm did not discriminate (Update)

0 shares

Related Stories

US video game sales fell 4 percent in March

Apr 15, 2011

(AP) -- U.S. retail sales of video game systems, games and accessories fell 4 percent in March as game software sales declined, according to new data from an industry group.

NPD: US retail video game sales fell in September

Oct 14, 2011

(AP) -- U.S. retail sales of video game hardware, software and accessories dipped 4 percent to $1.13 billion in September, according to market researcher NPD Group. Sales of the games themselves grew somewhat, but this was ...

NPD: October video game sales rise 1 percent

Nov 11, 2011

(AP) -- U.S. retail sales of video game hardware, software and accessories rose 1 percent to $1.08 billion in October, helped by sales of "Battlefield 3," market researcher NPD Group said Friday.

November video game sales fall 8 percent to $2.7B

Dec 10, 2009

(AP) -- Americans reached into their pockets - though not as deep as last year - to spend $2.7 billion on video games in November, according to figures reported Thursday by market researcher NPD Group.

June video game sales decline again, NPD says

Jul 16, 2010

(AP) -- Summer doldrums weighed on the video game industry in June, with U.S. retail sales of hardware, software and accessories down 6 percent from a year earlier, to $1.1 billion.

US video game sales slide 23 pct in May

Jun 12, 2009

(AP) -- U.S. video gamers spent less on games, hardware and accessories in May compared with a year ago, a sign that this year's release schedule couldn't compete with Take Two Interactive's "Grand Theft Auto IV" last spring.

Recommended for you

Intel in talks with Altera on tie-up

Mar 27, 2015

US tech giant Intel is in talks with rival Altera on a tie-up to broaden the chipmaker's product line amid growth in Internet-connected devices, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

Apple chief Cook to give his wealth away: Fortune

Mar 27, 2015

Apple chief Tim Cook is joining Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and other technology titans who have vowed to donate their wealth to charities, according to a report in Fortune magazine.

BlackBerry tops 4Q profit forecasts

Mar 27, 2015

BlackBerry posted a surprise profit in the fourth quarter, but saw a sharp drop-off in revenue as the once-iconic smartphone company said it reached the halfway mark of its turnaround effort.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.