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Video-Game Sales Fall 11% on Console, Software Decline

U.S. consumers spent 11 percent less on video games, consoles and accessories in November than a year earlier, led by fewer purchases of consoles and handheld players.

Retail spending on the products totaled $2.55 billion last month, down from $2.87 billion a year earlier, industry researcher NPD Group Inc. said today in an e-mailed statement.

Manufacturers of game consoles are beginning a round of product introductions to replace players that have been around for six years or more. Nintendo Co. said on Nov. 26 that it sold more than 1.2 million game players in the U.S. since Nov. 18, including 400,000 of its new Wii U with a touch-screen GamePad.

Hardware sales in November fell 13 percent to $838.9 million from a year earlier, while software purchases declined 11 percent to $1.43 billion, NPD said. Spending on accessories shrank 8 percent to $280.9 million.

Separately, Microsoft Corp. said U.S. retailers sold 1.26 million Xbox video-game consoles last month to lead the industry, citing NPD. Stores sold 750,000 of the players over the Black Friday weekend, Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft said today in an e-mail.

Nintendo, based in Kyoto, Japan, said U.S. stores sold about 1.75 million of its hardware products in November, including almost 910,000 portable game players and more than 845,000 home consoles, citing NPD. The sales include more than 425,000 new Wii U players over seven days during the month from the Nov. 18 introduction.

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