Overall unit sales of consoles and games were down 5% from a year ago and average selling prices also fell, contributing to the revenue drop. The U.S. video-game industry saw sales fall for the second consecutive month in April, as the dismal economy and the absence of major video-game releases took its toll.
Retail sales fell from the same month a year ago across all categories, including games, hardware, software, and accessories. Games fell by 17% to $1.03 billion, hardware 8% to $391.6 million, software 23% to $510.7 million, and accessories 15% to $129.5 million.
The biggest surprise was the 43% drop in Nintendo Wii console sales from March to 340,000 units. The Wii, with its popular motion-sensor control, has regularly sold out at retail stores since its release in late 2006. Nintendo has had to increase production to meet demand. The latest numbers are significant because it’s an indication that demand is now being met, according to analysts quoted by The Wall Street Journal.
A year-to-year comparison of industry sales overall was skewered by the lack of major video-game releases. The bad economy also had its impact. Overall unit sales of consoles and games were down 5% from a year ago and average selling prices also fell, which contributed to the revenue drop. Sales fell across most consoles, with the exception of Sony’s PlayStation 2 and the Nintendo DS portable. DS sales soared to 1.04 million units from 563,000 in March because of the release in the United States of the DSi, the latest iteration of the popular hardware. DS sales overall accounted for 31% of all hardware unit sales.