Console gaming is big business; there's no doubt about it. But the industry actually saw a pretty steep decline in sales last month. Research firm NPD Group reported that total US video game sales hit $848.3 million during September. While that might seem like a respectable number, that's down 24% from the same time last year, which was over $1 billion.
By category, hardware sales (consoles, etc.) took the steepest loss, with a 39% slump to $210.9 million. Software sales (games, etc.) were down 18% from $609.7 million last year to $497.4 million this year. Accessories fell by 11% to $139.9 million. So, it seems the past year hasn't been a good one for gaming companies.
However, Microsoft was quick to toot their horn, claiming that last month was the 21st consecutive month that the Xbox led the console race by selling 270,000 Xbox 360 units and owning 49% of the console market share, making that the 19th month in a row that Microsoft owned at least 40% of the console market share.
However, Nintendo's upcoming Wii U console will soon be the newest and hottest console on the market, and if the launch goes well, it could end Microsoft's streak. The Wii U may also bring the gaming industry out of its slump and encourage more gamers to buy its products. We're guessing that the lack in new hardware was the reason consumers weren't spending much on gaming products in the first place.