The North American video game market was worth $20.2bn in 2009 – an eight per cent decline compared to 2008’s $21.4bn.
However, the figures were eased by a record-breaking December performance that was four per cent up on the same month a year before.
The only sector to see an annual increase was, surprisingly, portable hardware, which increased by seven per cent year-on-year. NPD credits this to a rise in retail prices on devices such as the DS and PSP. In total, the DS accounted for 17 per cent of the industry’s total revenue – a three per cent increase.
“Unit sales were down only 6 per cent from last year,” NPD’s Anita Frazier explained. “Average retail prices were down in all categories except for portable hardware and accessories, which led to the greater dollar sales decline.
“December marks just the fourth month of the year where the industry saw an increase over last year. January and February were both up, and since the decline that began in March, only September experienced growth.
“The big sales this month, particularly on the hardware front, is a positive move for the industry headed into what will hopefully be a recovery year in 2010.”