The year started with a thud for the video game industry, which saw U.S. sales fall 5 percent to $1.16 billion in January, according to an NPD report today.
Game hardware sales were down 8 percent compared with January 2010 and sales of new, physical games were down 5 percent.
A lone bright spot was sales of accessories, which grew 6 percent, to $235 million. Maybe everyone who received a console for Christmas finally bought a second controller. Or maybe they were buying dance mats and Kinects, since dance games were among January’s top sellers.
NPD no longer provides the monthly sales data for different consoles and the big manufacturers didn’t rush out the usual press releases, talking up their January sales.
(Update: I spoke too soon. Microsoft issued a release saying it sold 381,000 Xbox 360 consoles in January, 48,000 more than the same period last year, and overall sales on the platform “topped $551 million.”)
“Call of Duty: Black Ops” (pictured) continued to be the top-selling game sold at retail across all platforms.
Here’s the top 10 list of games sold during the month: