NPD: Xbox bosses May market

Xbox 360 has posted its 17th successive month of year-on-year unit sales growth in the US.

In total Xbox 360 has accounted for 34 per cent of the region’s total video games revenue so far in 2011 – a seven per cent year-on-year increase.

However, the overall picture is less rosy. The May US video games market was worth $743.1m. That’s a fall of 14 per cent and the lowest value since October 2008.

"Keeping in mind that these sales figures represent just the new physical portion of the market for video game hardware, software, and accessories and not the growing portion of the industry that is comprised of digital format content distribution, May 2011 was the lowest month of sales for the industry since October 2006," NPD analyst Anita Frazier stated.

"A light slate of new releases is at the heart of this month’s performance."

Overall hardware sales were down five per cent though this is mostly attributable to declines suffered by Nintendo’s machines. The 3DS has yet to take off, either.

"Sales of the 3DS were light," Frazier admitted. "But with next Sunday’s release of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, we will begin to see a slate of strong content come to market for the 3DS, which should help to significantly boost sales of hardware during the remainder of 2011.

"Combined sales of the PS3 and Xbox 360 are up 28 per cent for the month and 21 per cent year to date. Although the declines in console hardware sales in 2011 are attributable to the Wii, the platform remains the best-selling of this generation at nearly 36 million installed in the US."

At the current rates of growth and decline Wii looks set to remain as the nation’s best selling console this generation through 2011.

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