NPD: January Video Game Sales Drop 13 Pct

nintendo_wii_1

Market research firm NPD has released its sales figures for video games during January 2010…and the results aren’t quite what the industry was hoping for after a difficult 2009. Overall, U.S. video game retail sales were down 13 percent compared to a year ago, with software says down 12 percent to $597.9 million and hardware sales dropping 21 percent to $353.7 million. However, sales of accessories were up 2 percent to $217 million.

Historically, game sales during January usually aren’t very strong, as consumers recover from holiday spending and absorb any gaming products they purchased during end-of-year buying. However, January sales are usually buoyed a bit by consumers using gift cards and other incentives they received over the holidays.

Amongst game consoles, the Nintendo Wii remained in the top-selling spot, moving 465,800 units. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 sold 332,800 units, beating Sony’s PlayStation 3 which sold 276,900 units during the month. (The PlayStation 2 might be seeing its last days: the console moves just 41,600 units during the month.) Among handhelds, Nintendo’s DS sold 422,200 units, followed by the PlayStation Portable with 100,100 units.

Amongst software titles, New Super Mario Bros. took the top sales slot with 656,700 copies sold, while Mass Effect 2 took second place with 572,100 sold—impressive, considering the game was only on sale during the last few days of the month. Wii Fit captured the third place spot, while Modern Warfare 2 captured the fourth place and seventh place spots on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, respectively.