A new report says U.S. retail sales of video-game hardware, software and accessories fell for a seventh consecutive month.
Sales declined 29 percent in June to $700 million from nearly $1 billion a year earlier.
Sales of console and portable software — the video games themselves — fell 29 percent from a year earlier to $329 million. Sales of hardware fell 45 percent to $201 million. That was offset partly by a 4 percent increase in sales of accessories, to $170 million.
Thursday’s report by NPD Group tracks sales of new physical products — about 50 percent to 60 percent of the total spending. Excluded are sales of used games and rentals as well as digital and social-network spending.
The top-selling game was “Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes,” from Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros.
The industry is experiencing a prolonged retail-sales slump as buying shifts to digital downloads and games played on Facebook Inc. and other social sites.
Sales of packaged video games have fallen for nearly two years.
With digital downloads added, consumers probably spent $1.36 billion on games in June, NPD estimated.
Nintendo Co., the video-game machine maker trying to recover from an annual loss, said its 3DS portable console surpassed more than 5 million units in U.S. sales since it was launched in March last year.
In June, the company sold more than 155,000 of the 3DS console, more than 150,000 of its older Nintendo DS portable and almost 95,000 of its Wii home console, the company said in an e- mailed statement today, citing NPD data.
“The 3DS is still up nearly 25 percent over where the Nintendo DS was in a similar point in time after release to market, and has topped portable hardware sales for the last 11 months,” Anita Frazier, an NPD analyst, said in the NPD statement.
Early sales of the 3DS introduced last year, which enables users to play glasses-free 3D games, were constrained by the supply of new games and by what then were the prices for both consoles and software, Nintendo has said.
The company lost almost half a billion dollars in the fiscal year ended March 31, on declining sales of its Wii console and competition from games players on Facebook, Apple Inc.’s mobile devices and other platforms.
New 3DS XL Coming
On Aug. 19, Nintendo will begin selling the 3DS XL, which features 90 percent-larger screens, and a new “Super Mario” game, the company said. Also this year, Nintendo will begin offering Wii U, the video-game industry’s first new home console since 2006.
The company, the creator of the “The Legend of Zelda,” predicts that a 37 percent jump in sales of the 3DS, together with the introduction of its new Wii U console, will help drive a return to profit this fiscal year.
The 3DS XL’s upper screen, which can display 3-D images, will be enlarged to 4.88 inches compared with the existing model’s 3.53 inches, Nintendo said.
Microsoft Corp. said U.S. retailers sold 257,000 Xbox 360 game consoles in June, giving the company more than 40 percent market share for the 18th straight month. A year ago, Microsoft sold 507,000 of the consoles, NPD said then.
Video-game makers voluntarily report their sales tallies. Sony Corp. often doesn’t report monthly figures, and didn’t for June.
(The AP and Bloomberg contributed to this report.)