3DS sales spike as US market slumps

NPD reports 23 per cent year-on-year decline despite 260 per cent 3DS increase

The US videogames retail market suffered a year-on-year decline of 23 per cent in August, according to data from the NPD group.

Revenue for the period beginning July 31 and ending August 27 was $669.9 million, down from $873.8 million in the equivalent period last year.

Physical software sales on console, portable and PC suffered the biggest loss, falling 37 per cent from $455 million in August 2010 to $285 million this year.

NPD attributes the majority of the decline to the delay of Madden NFL 2012, which was released on August 30 - two weeks later than its traditional release date.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution was the best-selling game across all formats despite being released only five days before the end of the month. There were also key digital releases that the NPD Group's data doesn't include.

"There was a lot happening outside of new physical retail as far as content is concerned," said analyst Anita Frazier. "Fruit Ninja became available to download for the Xbox 360 and a new Call of Duty map pack was available as well."

Console and portable hardware sales decreased by 12 per cent year-on-year to $249.4 million, with the Xbox 360 leading the field despite a price-cut for the PlayStation 3.

According to Gamasutra, sales of the Nintendo 3DS increased by 260 per cent over July to around 235,000 units - 195,000 units were sold in the 19 days following the price-cut.

Frazier also advised that, although physical hardware sales were down, more than half of the annual sales in the channel occur in the last four months of the year.

"Given the strong release schedule in the coming months, new physical retail sales could still be flat to slightly up once full year sales are tallied," she said.

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