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Wii U still struggles in February sales charts

Wii U still struggles in February sales charts
March 14, 2013 | By Frank Cifaldi

The NPD Group has released its U.S. video game retail sales figures for February 2013, furthering the trend of retail decline we've been seeing for quite some time.

Overall retail sales across new hardware, software and accessories was down 25 percent from where they were during February of 2012.

Hardware sales were hit hardest, with a 36% decline as purchases trail off in the shadow of new hardware such as the PlayStation 4 expected this year.

Wii U struggles continue

All eyes are on Nintendo's Wii U, which saw an incredibly rough January that may have seen sales as low as 57,000. This month, the NPD Group says that sales on a weekly average increased around 40 percent, meaning that monthly sales for the console were in the neighborhood of 64,000.

Its performance, when averaged out by week, is still significantly worse than any performance on record for either the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3.

Sources tell Gamasutra that January's performance was affected negatively by holiday speculators returning systems to stores when they couldn't resell them at a profit. However, it's hard to imagine that this was much of a factor in February, and these figures are alarming for a console only in its fourth month on shelves.

Top 10 software chart (SKUs combined)

(Note: SKUs are listed in descending order, with the first SKU listed being the one that sold the most units at retail)

1. Dead Space 3 (360, PS3, PC)
2. Call of Duty: Black Ops II (360, PS3, Wii U, PC)
3. Crysis 3 (360, PS3, PC)
4. NBA 2K13 (360, PS3, Wii, Wii U, PSP, PC)
5. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (PS3, 360)
6. Aliens: Colonial Marines 2013 (360, PS3, PC)
7. Just Dance 4 (Wii, 360, PS3, Wii U)
8. Far Cry 3 (360, PS3, PC)
9. Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time (PS3, PSV)
10. Madden NFL 13 (360, PS3, Wii, PSV, Wii U)

By the numbers

Percentage changes year-on-year

Video game hardware: $244.2M (-36%)
Video game software (console, handheld): $352M (-36%)
Video game software (console, handheld, and PC): $369.9M (-27%)
Video game accessories: $213.9M (-3%)
Total video game sales: $810M (-25%)

Estimated used game, rental and "other physical" sales: $90M
Estimated digital sales: $319M
Total estimated video game spend in US: $1.2B

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