Last month was bleak for the U.S. video game industry, just like the month before.
Overall sales of hardware and boxed games fell 20 percent to $1.06 billion, according to the monthly report from NPD.
Still, it was better than the 34 percent decline in January. Hardware unit sales picked up, with a 62 percent gain over January, though the more important stat is the year-over-year growth. February hardware sales were down 18 percent from the same period last year.
Game software sales were $485.7 million, down 24 percent. NPD estimates consumers spent another $500 million to $600 million on digitally disributed games, rentals, subscriptions, add-on content and used games during the month.
Microsoft’s Xbox 360 continued its 14-month streak as the top-selling console. The company said it sold 426,000 consoles and the platform generated the most sales – including hardware, software and accessories – with $383 million in February.
Microsoft spokesman David Dennis declined to forecast sales in the coming months but said they’ll be helped by upcoming games.
“There’s a lot of great games in the pipeline – that’s what it comes down to is the content that’s coming out,” he said.
Nintendo said the month marked a milestone for “Super Mario Galaxy,” which became the ninth Wii title to sell more than 5 million units in the U.S.
Total Wii sales crossed 39 million units during the month, when Nintendo sold 625,000 hardware units. That included 262,000 Nintendo 3DS handhelds – up 53 percent for the month – and 228,000 Wiis, up 50 percent over January.
Here are the top-selling boxed games during the month:
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (360, PS3, Wii, PC)
Final Fantasy XIII-2 (PS3, 360)
UFC Undisputed 3 (360, PS3)
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (360, PS3, PC)
Just Dance 3 (Wii, 360, PS3)
NBA 2K12 (360, PS3, PSP, Wii, PC, PS2)
Soul Calibur V (360, PS3)
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (360, PS3, PC)
Twisted Metal 2012 (PS3)
Battlefield 3 (360, PS3, PC)