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Brier Dudley's blog

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

May 10, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Yikes! Game sales fall 32% but Xbox has force

U.S. video game sales plunged again in April, falling 32 percent to $630.4 million, according to the closely watched monthly NPD games report.

Hardware sales fell 32 percent and sales of physical software – as opposed to downloads and virtual goods – fell 42 percent.

NPD analyst Anita Frazier said the timing of the Easter holiday could be a factor. It was early in April, so Easter-driven game sales may have happened in March.

“We usually find that Easter-related purchases generate an extra 10 percent in revenue in the month they occur, so some of the softness compared to last April could be attributed to the shift in Easter timing,” she said in the release.

Microsoft’s holding its lead in the video game business, even as overall game sales slow.

The Xbox 360 took 47 percent of console sales in April, with 236,000 units sold, according to NPD. It was the 14th consecutive month that the 360 had more than 40 percent of the market, Microsoft noted in a release.

An Xbox exclusive, “Kinect Star Wars,” was also the month’s best-selling, single-platform physical game in the U.S.

Microsoft’s release said total spending on the Xbox platform was $261 million last month — “more than the spend on the other two current-generation consoles combined.”

Here are the top games of the month:

Prototype 2 (360, PS3)

Kinect Star Wars (360)

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (360, PS3, Wii, PC)

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 (360, PS3)

NBA 2K12 (360, PS3, Wii, PSP, PC, PS2)

The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings (360, PC)

Mario Party 9 (Wii)

Mass Effect 3 (360, PS3, PC)

Just Dance 3 (Wii, 360, PS3)

MLB 12: The Show (PS3, PSV)

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