U.S. Video-Game Sales Fell 25 Percent in February

U.S. retail sales of video-game software, hardware and accessories declined 25 percent last month to $810 million, according to researcher NPD Group Inc.

Hardware sales fell the most, shrinking 36 percent to $244.2 million from the previous year, the Port Washington, New York-based company said today in an e-mailed statement. Software sales for the current generation of home consoles and portable devices fell 27 percent to $369.9 million.

Sales of physical game products are declining amid a consumer shift toward mobile play on smartphones and tablets. Retail sales now account for about 50 percent of total U.S. consumer spending on games, according to Liam Callahan, an NPD analyst.

Software sales fell even with the release of two shooter games from Electronic Arts Inc. and one from Sega in February, NPD reported.

Callahan estimated total US. video-game sales were almost $1.2 billion in February.

Nintendo Co. in November released its first home console since 2006, and Sony Corp. said last month its new PlayStation 4 will go on sale in time for year-end holiday shoppers. Both give consumers the ability to download games over the Internet.

Microsoft Corp. earlier today said U.S. retailers sold 302,000 Xbox 360 games consoles in February, citing NPD data. Its machines account for 41 percent of current-generation console sales, it said in a statement. Microsoft sold 426,000 Xbox 360 units a year ago.

Sony and Nintendo do not typically release the console sales data.