Port Washington, N.Y. – U.S. video game sales continued to
slump in August, down 10% from a year ago in the worst August the industry has
seen since 2006, according to a report from market research firm NPD Group. Overall
sales in August were $818.9 million, down from $910.3 million a year ago. Hardware sales were down 5%, to $282.9 million, as Microsoft’s (NASD:  MSFT) Xbox 360 led
console sales for the third consecutive month with 356.7 million units.

Nintendo Wii sold 244,300 units — its lowest figure since launch — while Sony (NYSE:  SNE)
sold 226,000 PlayStation 3s.

On the portable side, sales of Nintendo’s portable
DS were 342,700 in August, and Sony’s PSP sold 79,400 units.

"While all
categories are down in both dollars and units, the portable portion of the
industry is down to a greater extent than is the console portion," noted
NPD analyst Anita Frazier.

"Portable dollar sales across hardware,
software and accessories is down 25% versus last August, while console dollar
sales are down 6%."

Game software sales were down 14% in August, to $403.5
million, with Electronic Arts’ (NASD:  ERTS) "Madden NFL 11" figuring as the top

While Take-Two Interactive’s "Mafia II" also made a strong
showing, NPD said that if it took PC game sales into account in its figures, Blizzard’s "Starcraft
II: Wings of Liberty" would have been the second best-selling game of the


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