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NPD: U.S. January Retail Video Game Sales Sink 13 Percent
NPD: U.S. January Retail Video Game Sales Sink 13 Percent
February 11, 2010 | By Kris Graft

February 11, 2010 | By Kris Graft
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As widely expected by analysts, U.S video game retail sales during January were down for the year, as New Super Mario Bros. Wii outsold January's epic RPG, Mass Effect 2 from BioWare.

NPD Group said Thursday that retail video game industry sales in the U.S. (software, hardware, accessories) were $1.17 billion, a 13 percent decrease from January 2009.

The hardware category led the decline, generating $353.7 million for the month, down 21 percent. Since January 2009, all video game console makers made significant console price cuts, driving unit demand but leading to lower revenues. Nintendo's Wii and DS led hardware sales during January, despite seeing year-on-year declines.

PlayStation 3 led growth, although Xbox 360 still managed to outsell Sony's console during the month, with Microsoft claiming an 8 million-unit life-to-date lead in the U.S. over Sony's year-younger PS3.

Here are hardware unit sales for the month, plus their growth rates compared to sales from January 2009:

1. Nintendo Wii: 465,800 (-31 percent)
2. Nintendo DS: 422,200 (-17 percent)
3. Xbox 360: 332,800 (+7.7 percent)
4. PlayStation 3: 276,900 (+36 percent)
5. PSP: 100,100 (-42 percent)
6. PlayStation 2: 41,600 (-59 percent)

Software declined 12 percent to $597.9 million for the month, greater than predictions by Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter, who forecasted just a 4 percent drop. Nintendo's November release, New Super Mario Bros. Wii led software unit sales, selling 656,700 units for the month.

The game led the Xbox 360 version of Electronic Arts' and BioWare's high-profile January space RPG Mass Effect 2, which sold 572,100 units during the month. Mass Effect 2's PC version didn't make the top 10 retail games for the month. The PC version is additionally available in digital download form, units which NPD Group does not track.

Below are the top 10 software titles for January, as provided by NPD Group (*includes special editions, bundles, etc. but not those bundled with hardware):

Title Platform Publisher Release Date Units Rank
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. WII WII NINTENDO OF AMERICA Nov-09 656.7K 1
MASS EFFECT 2* 360 ELECTRONIC ARTS Jan-10 572.1K 2
WII FIT PLUS W/ BALANCE BOARD* WII NINTENDO OF AMERICA Oct-09 555.7K 3
CALL OF DUTY: MODERN WARFARE 2* 360 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD Nov-09 326.7K 4
MARIO KART W/ WHEEL WII NINTENDO OF AMERICA Apr-08 310.9K 5
SPORTS RESORT W/ WII MOTION PLUS* WII NINTENDO OF AMERICA Jul-09 297.6K 6
CALL OF DUTY: MODERN WARFARE 2* PS3 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD Nov-09 259.0K 7
ARMY OF TWO: THE 40TH DAY 360 ELECTRONIC ARTS Jan-10 246.5K 8
JUST DANCE WII UBISOFT Nov-09 191.9K 9
DARKSIDERS 360 THQ Jan-10 171.2k 10


The only category to see growth was the video game accessories category, which rose a very modest 2 percent to $217 million for the month, NPD said.


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