Video Game Sales Dip In March
U.S. video game sales declined 17 percent in March to $1.43 billion, compared to $1.72 billion in March 0f 2008, according to The NPD Group.
"While it might be tempting to jump to the conclusion that the sky is starting to fall on the video games industry given this months results, it’s important to remember that two very big things are different this year than last," said Anita Frazier, NPD analyst.
"First, Easter fell in March last year whereas it fell in April this year, and last March included the release of Super Smash Bros.: Brawl, which went on to become the fourth best-selling game in 2008."
The Nintendo Wii was the top console in March, but Microsoft’s Xbox 360 was the only console to see year-over-year growth.
The Wii sold 601,000 units during the month, while the Xbox 360 landed in the second spot with 330,000 units, followed by Sony’s PlayStation 3 (PS3) with 218,000 units.
Capcom’s "Resident Evil 5" was the most popular video game in March, selling 1.5 million units, followed by Nintendo’s "Pokemon Platinum" selling 805,000 units for second place, while Microsoft’s "Halo Wars" took the number 3 spot with 639,000 units sold.
Nintendo’s DS was the top selling handheld console, selling 563,000 units, followed by Sony’s PSP, which sold 168,000.
"You might not think that Easter is that big of a gift-giving holiday, but our consumer data shows that 8% of industry unit sales were purchased for the Easter occasion in March 2008, accounting for $121M of that months’ sales," said Frazier.
"We expect that most of Easter sales this year fell into the April reporting period and we’ll see that reflected in next month’s data."