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NPD results show 8% decline in September

<shout>UPDATE:</shout> Hardware unit sales revealed; software sales for Wii dropped 38 per cent year-on-year

The NPD Group has released details of physical sales in the US for the month of September, showing an overall decline in sales of packaged goods, hardware and accessories of 8 per cent over the same month in 2009.

That's despite the high profile launches of Halo: Reach and Dead Rising 2 - which claimed first and third places in the month's sales chart, while Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock missed out on a top ten spot.

Total US sales hit $1.22 billion, down from $1.32 billion last year, while hardware was particularly weak, showing a 19 per cent fall from $472 million to $383 million.

The Xbox 360 was the only console to buck that trend, seeing its best month for unit sales so far, up 34 per cent on last year - although Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg later Tweeted the figure as 37 per cent, and detailing total units sold as 483,989.

In a note to investors, analyst firm Wedbush Morgan revealed that sales of Nintendo's Wii were down 45 per cent year-on-year with 254,000 units sold, while Sony shifted 312,000 PlayStation 3 units, down 37 per cent.

It also added that Xbox 360 software sales were up 33 per cent to $85 million off the back of Halo: Reach, while Wii software sales fell 38 per cent to $55 million and PlayStation 3 sales dropped 14 per cent to $17 million. DS games sales were down 37 per cent to $31 million and PSP sales down 2 per cent.

Accessories was the only segment to show any growth - thanks to the release of PlayStation Move and the continuing popularity of Xbox Live and PlayStation Network points cards. Sales rose by 13 per cent to $180 million.

Software accounted for $655 million, down 5 per cent year-on-year, with Microsoft's Halo title selling 3.3 million - although with NPD changing its media release patterns there's no way to tell how the rest of the top ten fared.

"While industry sales of new physical retail sales show a decline versus year ago, it's important to remember that there is a growing volume of content being sold digitally, or otherwise outside the traditional retail channel," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier. "These numbers reflect the largest channel for hardware, software and accessories sales, but there are content sales happening elsewhere."

Meanwhile Microsoft confirmed reports that Kinect was selling-out at retailers nationwide ahead of its November 4 launch.

The software all-formats top ten was as follows:

  • 1. Halo: Reach (360) - Microsoft
  • 2. Madden NFL 11 (360, PS3, PS2, Wii, PSP) - Electronic Arts
  • 3. Dead Rising 2 (360, PS3, PC) - Capcom
  • 4. NHL 11 (360, PS3) - Electronic Arts
  • 5. FIFA Soccer 11 (360, PS3, PS2, PSP, NDS) - Electronic Arts
  • 6. Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep (PSP) - Square Enix
  • 7. Mafia II (360, PS3, PC) - Take-Two Interactive
  • 8. Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions (PS3, 360, NDS, Wii) - Activision Blizzard
  • 9. Metroid: Other M (Wii) - Nintendo
  • 10. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (360, PS3, PC) - Activision Blizzard

Update: Added NPD hardware sales numbers as released by Wedbush Morgan, and percentage change year-on-year for software sales, in paragraphs five and six.

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Phil Elliott