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NPD: Video Game Sales Drop 26 Pct in April

Market analysis firm NPD has released its analysis of video game and console sales during April of 2010…and the results aren’t all that great. NPD found that sales of video game hardware and software in the United States dropped by 26 percent during April compared to the same month last year, represents the fourth-largest year-to-year drop in sales since September of 2000. And the big loser? Surprisingly, the Nintendo DS.

Overall industry sales in the United States declined to $766,2 million, with software sales down 22 percent for the month compared to last year, and hardware sales down a stunning 37 percent compared to last year.

On the console front, the Nintendo Wii still led the market with 277,200 units sold; that’s still more than the 185,400 Xbox 360s Microsoft managed to push out the door and the 180,800 PlayStation 3 systems sold by Sony, but marks a dramatic drop in Wii sales compared to a year ago. Amongst handheld systems the Nintendo DS is still ay out in front with 440,800 units sold, but the drop in Nintendo DS sales accounts for a whopping 71 percent of the decline in hardware sales compared to a year ago. (That said, if sales continue as projected, this year the Nintendo DS will surpass the PlayStation 2 as the most popular game hardware platform of all time.) Sony managed to sell 65,500 PSP systems during the month.

On the game title front, Microsoft managed to take the month’s top sales slot with Splinter Cell: Conviction for the Xbox 360 with a very strong 486,100 sold, but Nintendo’s Pokemon SoulSilver, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, and Pokemon HeartGold took the second, third, and fourth top-selling slots for the month, respectively. Sony’s God of War 3 rounded out the month’s top five titles.

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