NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. retail sales of new video game hardware, software and accessories fell for the ninth straight month in August, according to research firm NPD Group.
Overall sales fell 20 percent to $515.6 million.
Software sales — the video games themselves excluding PC titles — fell 9 percent from a year earlier to $237.7 million. Sales of hardware such as Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360 and Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 3 fell 39 percent to $150.6 million. Accessories slid 7 percent to $127.3 million.
The study from NPD Group tracks sales of new physical products — about 50 percent of the total spending. Excluded are sales of used games and rentals as well as digital and social-network spending. The research firm estimates that when including these, Americans spent $989 million on games in August.
Despite the sharp decline, analyst Todd Mitchell called August's results a "potential bright spot" for video game software. The analyst with Brean Murray Carret noted that it was hardware that dragged on the month, while software sales dipped just 9 percent. New titles, he said, helped boost the year-long video game slump and teased a "possible inflection point."