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February video game sales drop 15 percent

Thu, 03/11/2010 - 2:30pm
JESSICA MINTZ - AP Technology Writer - Associated Press

U.S. retail sales of video games declined 15 percent in February, hurt in part by an ongoing decline in sales of music games and lower sales of the Wii system.

Americans spent $1.26 billion on video game systems, software and accessories during the month, down from $1.48 billion a year ago, market researcher NPD Group said Thursday.

"I had expected the industry to perform somewhat better this month," said Anita Frazier, NPD Group's video game industry analyst, in a statement.

Game software sales fell 15 percent from the same month a year earlier to $624.4 million. Top-selling games included "Bioshock 2" from Take Two Interactive Software Inc. and "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" from Activision Blizzard Inc.

The amount of money people spent on gaming systems sank 20 percent to $426.4 million.

The number of Nintendo Wii systems sold in the quarter plunged 47 percent. Competitors fared better in unit sales, though: Sony PlayStation 3 unit sales jumped 31 percent, and Microsoft Corp. sold 9 percent more Xbox 360 systems, grabbing the top spot among the console makers for the first time since "Halo 3" was released in September 2007, Frazier said.

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