NPD Funworld has published September game sales data for the US market, revealing that console software sales are down 24 per cent from the same period last year.
The figure for software sales stands at USD 347 million compared to USD 458 million in September 2004. Volume sales were also down by 27 per cent, and thanks to what many perceive as a weak release schedule only seven titles sold more than 100,000 units each - compared to 20 last year.
It's not all bad news, however - sales were up 3 per cent from August, and US consumers have spent more on games in the first nine months of 2005 than they did in the same period of 2004, with figures standing at USD 3.36 billion and USD 3.22 billion respectively.
September 2004 was also something of an exceptional month in terms of new releases, with the arrival of new PokÃ®mon GBA games, Star Wars Battlefront and hit Xbox title Fable. As a result, sales were up a massive 44 per cent over September 2003.
When it comes to sales of gaming hardware, NPD's figures reveal that handhelds and consoles are split down the middle - but that there's an overall decline in sales generally. The Xbox is suffering particularly as consumers await the arrival of the Xbox 360 console next month, with sales down by more than 50 per cent.
Overall the figures are worse than analysts predicted, though many are still predicting that sales will pick up in the run-up to Christmas and following the launch of the Xbox 360.