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U.S. retail video game declines continue in February

Video game revenues at retailers in the United States dropped 20 percent in February, continuing the industry's consistent declines as the business shifts to a primarily digital landscape.
Video game revenues at retailers in the United States dropped 20 percent in February, continuing the industry's consistent declines. As usual, software was the biggest deterimental factor, with $485.7 million in sales representing a 24 percent decline from February 2011, according to date from the NPD Group. The number one selling game for the month was Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. The month also saw the debut of one new IP: EA and 38 Studios' RPG Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, which came in at number four. The top selling console was Microsoft's Xbox 360, which Microsoft says sold 426,000 consoles. Of the three current home consoles, the 360 has been the number-one seller for 14 consecutive months. Sony's new PS Vita console debuted during the Group's reporting period, though it was only on shelves for four days. Thanks to interest from its debut, overall hardware sales -- while down 18 percent from last year -- was up 87 percent from January's performance. Note that these declines are specific to physical retail sales. The NPD Group is currently working with EEDAR to generate quarterly reports on game sales through other methods, including used games, rentals and digital sales. The Group estimates these other methods accounted for an additional $550 to $600 million in sales.

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