The lights are on
According to U.S. retail tracker NPD, total video game sales in April 2012 fell 32 percent year-over-year from $930 million to $630 million.
Physical software sales dropped even harder, from $533.7 million to $307.2 million, a 42 percent decline. Microsoft's Xbox 360 led console sales for the month with 236,000 units sold. Sony and Nintendo have not released hardware numbers at this time.
“This year, Easter fell very early in April, which means most Easter-related purchases may have fallen into March this year, whereas last year, Easter fell late in April causing most sales to fall in that month," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier. "We usually find that Easter-related purchases generate an extra 10 percent in revenue in the month they occur, so some of the softness compared to last April could be attributed to the shift in Easter timing.”
**(includes CE, GOTY editions, bundles, etc. but not those bundled with hardware)
“I think what the new physical retail content sales reflect a very light release schedule in terms of the amount of compelling new games," Frazier added. "Last April, the top seven titles outsold the top-selling title this year, and, simply stated, there were notably fewer new market introductions.
"I think it’s a simple as that because when we see compelling content come into the market, the games are still selling as well as ever – we’re just saw a lot less this April as compared to last.”