US game sales drop by $390 in January

A lack of new releases and the comparatively strong sales in 2011 saw the US video games market drop by almost $400m last month.

NDP data shows that combined sales of hardware, software and accessories fell to $750.6m, down 34 per cent from the $1.14bn taken in January. Both software and hardware sales dropped by 38 per cent to $355.9m and $199.5m respectively.

Accessories saw the lowest decline at 18 per cent, down to $195.2m. This sector of the market was driven largely by Skylanders figures, which accounted for 22 per cent of total accessory unit sales.

"January retail performance experience steep declines with a lack of software launches, and poor hardware and accessory performance partly related to bad comps from Kinect-related success in January 2011," said NPD analyst Liam Callahan.

"One factor for the double digit declines was the lack of new launches. New launches in January 2011 represented 13 per cent of dollar sales and new launch performance dropped 99 per cent in January 2012.

"Games like Dead Space 2, LittleBigPlanet 2 and DC Universe Online ranked within the Top Ten last year, making for a poor comparison in January 2012 where there were no major releases."

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