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NPD reports 23% decline in US August video games market

The latest data from stats body NPD has shown that the US video games market suffered a 23 per cent year-on-year decline in August.

It says the main reason was EA’s decision to release this year’s Madden game two weeks later than is typically normal – and subsequently out of the NPD August tracking range – meaning comparisons were always going to be tough.

Revenues fell five per cent year-on-year.

Revenues for new console hardware in isolation fell 12 per cent to $249.4m, though price drops for the 3DS and PS3 meant they posted some strong numbers.

Microsoft has confirmed that it sold 308k Xbox 360 consoles in the period, making it the best selling US console once again.

Software revenues fell 34 per cent year-on-year for console and portable. Add PC to that and the fall is 37 per cent.

Square Enix’s Deus Ex: Human Revolution was the best selling game of the month, followed by EA’s NCAA Football 12 and Activision’s Call of Duty: Black Ops.

UK chart-topper Zumba Fitness claimed 10th spot while Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D finished in ninth.

Hope is not lost, however. The global games market is now entering the lucrative fourth quarter. It’s now that the big money is there to be won.

"More than half of industry sales in this channel are still to be realized in the back four months of the year," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier."Given the strong release schedule in the coming months, new physical retail sales could still be flat to slightly up once full year sales are tallied."

NPD maintains its prediction that the US market will finish 2011 flat.

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