Port Washington, N.Y. – U.S. video game sales were down 26%
in April, to $766.2 million, marking the worst monthly sales decline since June
2009, according to a report from market research firm NPD Group. "Some of
the decline is explained by the shift of Easter timing," said NPD analyst
Anita Frazier. "In April ’09, consumers attributed $55 million of industry
sales to Easter as a purchase occasion, which would account for about 21% of
the decline from last year since Easter purchasing happened in March this

Hardware sales were down 37%, as the Nintendo Wii sold 277,200
units, compared to 185,400 for Microsoft’s (NASD:  MSFT) Xbox 360 and 180,800 for the Sony (NYSE:  SNE)
PlayStation 3.

Sony also sold 65,600 PSP portable devices, while Nintendo sold
440,800 DS handhelds — compared to over 1 million units last April.

NPD noted
that declines in portable sales across hardware, software and accessories
accounted for 61% of the total industry decrease in sales last month.

software sales were down 22% in April; NPD saw a larger drop in sales of March
new releases this year (75%) than last year (54%).

The top-selling game in
April was Ubisoft’s "Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction" (486,100

Other titles in the top five included Nintendo’s "New Super Mario
Bros. Wii" (200,300), and two Pokemon titles for the DS that sold a
combined 435,500 units.


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