U.S. Video-Game Retail Sales Tumble 15 Percent in June

U.S. retail sales of video-game hardware, software and accessories fell 15 percent to $593.3 million last month as consumers moved to titles played on mobile devices and held out for next-generation consoles.

Hardware sales fell 30 percent to $142 million from a year earlier, Port Washington, New York-based NPD Group Inc. said in an e-mail yesterday. Software sales for current-generation consoles declined 10 percent to $296.1 million.

The games and console market is in a two-year slump as consumers increasingly play Web-delivered titles on smartphones and tablets, while hard-core gamers look to the first new machines from Sony Corp. and Microsoft Corp. in seven years. Total spending on U.S. video-game hardware and software, including used games, rental and digitally delivered content, was $1.2 billion in June, with physical sales accounting for about 50 percent of that, NPD said.

Microsoft, in an earlier statement, said U.S. retailers sold 140,000 of its Xbox 360 units in June, helping it retain the top-selling spot for home game consoles for the 30th straight month. Sales of all Xbox products, including the console, Kinect motion-sensing peripheral and software, totaled $197 million, Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft said, citing NPD. Sales of the console are down 46 percent from a year earlier.

Handheld Consoles

Nintendo Co. sold 225,000 of its 3DS handheld consoles, the Kyoto, Japan-based company said in a separate statement. It’s the second consecutive month the company has edged out the Xbox 360 as the top selling hardware platform.

Shares of Nintendo rose 3.5 percent to close at 13,510 yen in Tokyo. Sony fell 0.3 percent to 2,188 yen.

Both Sony’s PlayStation 4, priced at $399, and the Xbox One, priced at $499, will go on sale later this year. Nintendo’s Wii U, released last November, sells for about $300 in the U.S. and has missed sales targets.

They will also compete with Ouya Inc., the startup maker of a $99 console that said it will spend $1 million to fund development of games made exclusively for the device. Ouya uses Google Inc.’s Android operating system. The device’s first month of sales were “relatively light for a new console,” said Liam Callahan, an analyst at NPD.

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