NPD: U.S. Hardware Sales Continue Decline, Xbox Holds StrongS

It was another depressing month for the video game industry in the United States, the fifth consecutive monthly drop in a row. Hardware sales fell across the board, with the Wii, PSP and PlayStation 3 seeing the biggest year-over-year declines.

While Nintendo managed to dominate on the portable front—the Nintendo DS and DSi sold 538,900 units combined according to the NPD Group—the Wii didn't have a great July. It sold a little more than a quarter million units last month, less than half of what it did in July of 2008.

PSP and PlayStation 3 sales tell a similar story. Sony's handheld platform sold 122,800 in July, with its PS3 lagging just behind with 121,800 units sold. A stark change from last year, when the PlayStation 3 was enjoying better sales than the Xbox 360 during the summer. This July, however, Microsoft's console dipped only slightly in comparison to its competitors.

Will rumored hardware price drops on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 help reverse the video game industry's fortunes?

Here's how the hardware race went down in July, according to the NPD Group.

  • Nintendo DS - 538,900
  • Wii - 252,200
  • Xbox 360 - 202,900
  • PSP - 122,800
  • PlayStation 3 - 121,800
  • PlayStation 2 - 108,000

All told, U.S. consumers snapped up $280.94 million worth of video game hardware in July. That's a 37% drop from the year prior, likely ensuring that the industry won't come close to matching its record breaking revenue in 2008.

"Hardware sales have slowed considerably on nearly every platform," NPD analyst Anita Frazier points out. "The Xbox 360 is the only console system showing a unit sales increase year-to-date, while the NDS has the highest sales of all hardware platforms both for the month, and year-to-date."