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NPD: US games market still shrinking 5% year on year

Jan figures show drops in software and hardware but peripherals on rise

The latest figures from the US market tracker The NPD Group have shown that the US games market is still shrinking, with overall monthly retail value in the sector down five per cent from January 2010.

However, this is still better than some analysts feared, with Cowen having previously predicted a drop of eight per cent for the month, year on year.

The market revenue value for the entire sector, excluding pre-owned sales and digital, was $1.16 billion for the month of January 2011. From that total, hardware has shown the biggest dip, losing eight per cent of its revenue total and dropping to $324 million worth of sales.

Within that sector, Microsoft's Xbox 360 was the only console to show a rise in sales, with the 381,000 units sold showing a lift of 14.4 per cent from the previous January. A total spend of $551 million on Xbox 360 hardware, software and peripherals makes it the highest grossing console on the US market for the tenth month in a row.

While Sony opted not to released hardware figures for the month, it did claim to have seen a 25 per cent boost in PS3 software sales. "As the only system with both stereoscopic 3D and precision motion controlled gaming, PlayStation is delivering a new era of immersive entertainment fueled by the industry's strongest content lineup," said the firm's Corporate Communications boss Patrick Seybold.

Software showed losses with a six per cent shrinkage in sales value, resulting in a total of $576 million. Of that sector, PC software showed the biggest drop, losing 29 per cent of its market value according to NPD's figures.

Peripherals and accessories were the only sector to show growth, the continuing popularity of Move and Kinect helping to push a six per cent rise in revenues to $235.1 million.

Top ten selling software titles for the month were as follows:

  • 1. Call of Duty: Black Ops (Activision Blizzard) - Xbox 360, PS3, Wi, DS, PC
  • 2. Just Dance 2 (Ubisoft) - Wii
  • 3. Dead Space 2 (Electronic Arts) - Xbox 360, PS3, PC
  • 4. Little Big Planet 2 (Sony) - PS3
  • 5. Zumba Fitness: Join the Party (Majesco) - Wii, Xbox 360, PS3
  • 6. NBA 2K11 (Take-Two Interactive) - Xbox 360, PS3, PSP, Wii, PS2, PC
  • 7. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (Ubisoft) - Xbox 360, PS3
  • 8. Dance Central (MTV Games) - Xbox 360
  • 9. Michael Jackson The Experience (Ubisoft) - Wii, DS, PSP
  • 10. DC Universe Online: The Next Legend Is You (Sony) - PS3, PC

All figures are courtesy of the NPD Group, via Gamasutra.

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Dan Pearson