US video game sales slide 23 pct in May

Jun 12, 2009 By RYAN NAKASHIMA , AP Business Writer

(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.

The NPD Group said Thursday that spending fell 23 percent from last May to $863 million. It was the first monthly tally below $1 billion since August 2007 and the third month in a row of year-over-year declines.

The best-selling title this May was THQ Inc.'s "UFC 2009 Undisputed," which sold 679,600 units on Corp.'s Xbox 360, and 334,400 on Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 3, for a total of just over 1 million.

In comparison, "GTA IV" sold 1.3 million units last May on both platforms.

Co. Ltd.'s "Wii Fit" sold 352,800 units this May for the No. 2 spot, down from 687,700 a year ago.

Games for the Wii took five of the month's top 10 titles. All 10 sold a combined 2.6 million units, compared with 3.7 million a year ago, NPD said.

"The continues to struggle with difficult comparisons to last year," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier in a statement.

Frazier said every sales category declined from a year ago except for portable hardware, bolstered by new versions of the Nintendo DS, including the DSi and the Lite.

Hardware sales plunged 30 percent to $303 million while software sales were down 17 percent to $449 million. Accessories sales fell 25 percent $112 million.

During the month, Nintendo sold 633,500 DS portable consoles and 289,500 Wii systems, while Sony sold 131,000 PlayStation 3 systems, 117,000 PlayStation 2 consoles and 100,400 PSP portable devices. Microsoft sold 175,000 Xbox 360 units.

But Cowen & Co. games analyst Doug Creutz said the unusual strength of last year's "GTA IV" and "Wii Fit" skewed what is usually an anemic time of year.

"This doesn't really change my view on the underlying strength of the video game segment. Good games can still sell a lot of units," he said. "I think that the negative year-over-year trends are far more due to the release schedule and less due to the economy."

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Google's streaming music service adds mood to mix

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

April video game sales decline 17 percent

May 15, 2009

(AP) -- Lacking the big hits that made the year-ago period a standout, U.S. video game sales dropped sharply in April for the second month in a row as customers continued to watch their wallets.

March video game sales slump more than expected

Apr 17, 2009

(AP) -- U.S. video game sales slumped more than expected in March and were flat in the first quarter when compared with a year earlier - hurt by the recession, a shift in the Easter calendar and fewer big game launches.

Video game industry faces tougher year

Feb 22, 2009

After enjoying a banner year in 2008 despite the slowing economy, the video game industry may find the coming year to be more of a challenge.

Nintendo's big challenge: letting others win

Apr 22, 2009

One would think Nintendo Ltd. has little to worry about in the video-game market the company seems to rule, having sold more than 50 million of its Wii consoles to date.

Sony PS3 tops Nintendo Wii in Japan in March: survey

Apr 07, 2009

Sony has been given a vital boost in the battle for the multibillion-dollar video game industry, with a survey showing its PlayStation 3 outsold Nintendo's Wii in Japan for the first time in 16 months.

Recommended for you

HP supercomputer at NREL garners top honor

54 minutes ago

A supercomputer created by Hewlett-Packard (HP) and the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) that uses warm water to cool its servers, and then re-uses that water to heat its building, has been ...

Turner channels removed from Dish amid pact spat

1 hour ago

Channels such as Cartoon Network and CNN are no longer part of Dish's programming lineup as a deadline has passed for the satellite TV provider and Turner Broadcasting to renew their distribution agreement.

Google's streaming music service adds mood to mix

1 hour ago

Google's music-subscription service will try to anticipate its listeners' mood swings as it amplifies its competition with Pandora, Spotify and other popular services that play tunes over the Internet.

User comments : 0