Video game sales fell in March, reversing the 4 percent gain seen in February, according to NPD’s monthly report on sales in the U.S.
Sales of physical games — including discs, hardware and accessories — fell 4 percent to $1.47 billion in March, compared with March 2010. That doesn’t include sales of downloadable games, which now account for about 23 percent of the market, according to NPD.
NPD will release a full report on first quarter sales in June. So far physical game sales were down 1 percent but the overall market, including downloads, “will likely result in net industry growth,” the company said in its release.
During March, game hardware sales rose 12 percent, boosted by the release of Nintendo’s 3DS. Accessory sales rose 13 percent but packaged game software sales were down 15 percent.
NPD analyst Anita Frazier said the 3DS sold about 100,000 fewer units than the DS did at its launch but still “compares quite favorably” considering the 3DS is more expensive and didn’t launch during a holiday season. Her prepared comments said the 3DS launch was bigger dollar-wise than the DS launch in November 2004.
March was also good for Sony and Microsoft. They increased unit sales of the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PSP portable, NPD said.
The top two games were “Pokemon White Version” and “Pokemon Black Version,” both for Nintendo’s DS, followed by THQ’s “Homefront” for the Xbox, PS3 and PC.
The rest of the top 10:
Dragon Age II (360, PS3, PC)
Call of Duty: Black Ops (360, PS3, NDS, Wii, PC)
Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars (Wii, 360, NDS, PS3, 3DS, PSP, PC)
Crysis 2 (360, PS3, PC)
NBA 2K11 (360, PS3, PS2, Wii, PSP, PC)
MLB 11: The Show (PS3, PSP, PS2)
Fight Night Champion (360, PS3)