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Canada experiences fall in games-related sales

Sales of software, hardware and peripherals decline by 8.5%, the first drop since 2002

Sales tracking company NPD has reported that the Canadian videogames market recorded an 8.5 per cent fall in game-related sales year-on-year for the first three months of 2009 - the first time the country's market has seen a decline since 2002.

However, the firm is playing down the significance of the drop, pointing to an exceptionally strong release schedule in the same period of 2008, compared to 2009.

"It may be tempting to attribute the decline in sales to the current state of the economy," said NPD's Matthew Tattle, according to Gamastura. "However, on closer inspection, the first quarter of 2009 lacked the number of blockbuster titles that drove sales during the same period last year."

That said, breaking out the numbers shows that hardware saw the biggest fall, with home console sales dropping 14.5 per cent and handheld consoles by 21 per cent - compared to software for those platforms falling just 7.5 per cent and 1.5 per cent respectively.

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Phil Elliott