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NPD: Video game sales dropped 4 pct in October

Market analysis firm NPD has released its analysis of the video game market for October 2009, and the news isn’t exactly good for a industry hoping for a solid end of the year. Sales for October 2010 were $1.07 billion, down 4 percent compared to October of 2009, with substantially lower sales for both game consoles and handheld systems dragging down the overall figures.

Sales of games themselves were up 6 percent during the month compared to a year ago, with Take-Two Interactive’s NBA 2K11 taking honors as the top-selling game of the month, when tallying up sales across all platforms. Sales of game accessories were also up 18 percent for the month, racking up some $142 million largely on the sales of Sony’s PlayStation Move motion controller.

However, hardware sales were down a mammoth 26 percent compared to October of 2009, bringing in some $280 million. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console was the only home console to see year-on-year growth, and the now five-year-old console is currently the top-selling console in the United states on a per-unit basis.

NPD no longer releases specific monthly sales figures for game consoles or individual game titles. The company does not account for digital game distribution, used game sales, or rentals—nor does it track social networking games or mobile apps—but the firm believes its data reflects about 70 percent of physical sales to consumers in the United States. NPD notes that game publishers are free to publish sales figures for their titles if they choose.