For the sixth month in a row, U.S. video game hardware and software sales are down from this time, last year. According to the NPD group, sales are down 16% from what they were in August of 2008 and would need to increase by 14% over the next four months to equal 2008's totals.
In August 2008, hardware sales were at $395.3 million and they are currently down 25% at $297.6 million. Software sales are down 15% from $551.9 million to $470.3 million. On the other hand, gaming accessory sales are up 2% from $137.6 million to $140,8 million These figures include video games sold in stores and online, but not digital downloads, subscriptions, or online games.
"The industry realized its sixth consecutive month-over-month decline, and while improved over the last several months, it's still a notable decline," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier. She also added that both Micosoft and Sony have cut prices in the last few weeks, with Microsoft knocking $100 off the Xbox 360 and Sony doing the same for its PlayStation 3.
Frazier said the price cuts have already helped with sales and that, "It will be interesting to see the full impact of the new price points on September sales." She also added that it's possible Nintendo will lower the price of its own Wii sometime this year, even though Nintendo's Wii consoles and DS handheld devices dominated the month of August selling 552,900 and 277,400 units.
Sony's PlayStation 3 has also been the only platform to see an increase in software sales. Electronic Arts' "Madden NFL 10" game was the top selling game for the month with over 1.9 million units purchased. Software sales are expected to pick up in September with the release of two games: "Beatles: Rock Band" and "Guitar Hero 5."