Despite mounting job losses and under-water mortgages, Americans kept buying video games last month. Total spending on the category was $1.47 billion in February, up 10 percent from a year earlier, according to data from NPD Group this afternoon.
But consumers are seeking out bargains. NPD group analyst Anita Frazier said in e-mailed remarks accompanying the numbers, “The average retail price for games is 4% lower than last year, which is why the dollar sales increase is not quite keeping in pace with the increase in unit sales.”
The console-sales trends continued along the same lines they’ve followed for the last four months, with Nintendo selling more current-generation consoles than anyone and growing sales at a faster rate; Sony selling fewer PlayStation 3 consoles than it did a year earlier; and Microsoft making steady gains.
- Sony sold 276,000 PS3s in the U.S. last month, down 1.7 percent from February 2008.
- Microsoft sold 391,000 Xbox 360s , up 53.6 percent.
- Nintendo sold 753,000 Wiis, up 74.3 percent.