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Hardware sales down 8 per cent in April

Overall hardware sales fell 8 per cent in April compared to 2008, according to the NPD Group

The NPD Group has released its US videogame hardware sales data for the month of April 2009, revealing an overall 8 per cent decline in sales from the same period in 2008.

Overall hardware sales were reported at USD 391.6 million, down from USD 426.9 million in April 2008. Both the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo DS showed an increased performance during the month, while all other hardware showed a drop in sales compared to the same period last year.

PlayStation 2 sales rose to USD 172,000 units, as a result of a recent price cut to USD 99 - a significant increase over the 112,000 units the aging console sold last month.

"[The increase in units sold] is a testament to the impact a price reduction can have on hardware acquisition, with price being only second to compelling new content as a catalyst for hardware sales," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier.

Nintendo DS sales were reported at 1.04 million units sold - up from 563,000 last month. This increase is due primarily to the introduction of a new hardware model, the Nintendo DSi.

"The NDS platform accounted for 31 percent of total industry unit sales this month across all categories," noted Frazier.

All other hardware, including the Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable, showed a decline in sales over April 2008, which the NPD attributes to a weaker software release schedule.

"It is important to remember that last April, Wii hardware sales were fueled by two huge new titles: Super Smash Bros Brawl and Mario Kart," said Frazier. "Taking that into account, Wii unit sales are still very strong and only followed the DS this month in terms dollar and unit sales contribution to total industry sales."

The full hardware unit sales breakdown follows:

  • Nintendo DS: 1,040,000
  • Wii: 340,000
  • Xbox 360: 175,000
  • PlayStation 2: 172,000
  • PlayStation 3: 127,000
  • PSP: 116,000

Frank Cifaldi