Official sales data from the NPD Group showed an overall 18 per cent drop in US hardware sales for March 2009, at USD 1.43 billion versus USD 1.72 billion in March of 2008.
While the Wii once again sold the most units in March, only the Xbox 360 showed growth this year, up from 262,000 to 330,000 units sold.
The NPD points to the Easter holiday as a significant factor for this year's drop - while Easter fell on March 23 of 2008, Easter 2009 did not occur until April 12.
"You might not think that Easter is that big of a gift-giving holiday, but our consumer data shows that 8 per cent of industry unit sales were purchased for the Easter occasion in March 2008, accounting for USD 121M of that months' sales," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier.
"We expect that most of Easter sales this year fell into the April reporting period and we'll see that reflected in next month's data."
The hardware sales breakdown for March of 2009 is as follows:
- Nintendo Wii: 601,000
- Nintendo DS: 563,000
- Xbox 360: 330,000
- PlayStation 3: 218,000
- PlayStation Portable: 168,000
- PlayStation 2: 112,000