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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

March 8, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Video games fall another 20 percent, Xbox holds lead

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)

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