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U.S. Video-Game Sales Fall 25% in October, NPD Says

U.S. retail sales of video-game software, hardware and accessories declined 25 percent in October to $755.5 million from a year earlier, according to researcher NPD Group Inc.

The decline was led by shrinking sales of consoles, which fell 37 percent to $187.3 million, the Port Washington, New York-based company said today in an e-mailed statement. Software sales fell 25 percent to $432.6 million, NPD said.

As the video-game industry enters the peak holiday shopping season it has seen sales shrink this year as consumers buy fewer packaged titles and shift to digital downloads and games played on mobile devices. Electronic Arts Inc., the second-largest U.S. video-game publisher, said last month that its latest “Medal of Honor” release had lower-than-expected early sales as the buying season gets under way.

Microsoft held the lead in console sales in October for the 22nd consecutive month. The Redmond, Washington-based company said in a separate statement that U.S. retailers sold 270,000 of its Xbox consoles last month. That’s down 31 percent from 393,000 it sold a year earlier.

The company released “Halo 4,” a new installment to its $3 billion shooter franchise, on Nov. 6, and Activision Blizzard Inc., the largest U.S. video-game maker, plans to release a new “Call of Duty” game on Nov. 13.

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