Sales of video game hardware were down in March versus last year, continuing the industry's recent slump. Hardware sales totalled $323.5 million, down 35 percent from $494.5 million a year ago. Accessory sales were $222.5 million, down 8 percent from $241.4 million a year ago.
“While it was a disappointing month, and first quarter, for new physical retail sales of video games hardware, software and accessories, it wasn’t entirely unexpected given guidance we’ve seen from several sources," Anita Frazier, analyst at NPD said.
“Outside of new physical retail sales, we find that the consumer spend on content on used games, rentals, subscriptions, mobile games, social network games, digital full game downloads and add-on content accounted for an additional $2.5 billion to $2.7 billion across the U.S., U.K., France & Germany in Q1 2012.”
If you're in a horserace mood: The Xbox 360 was the best-selling console, and the best-selling hardware platform overall for the past 8 months.
These bad numbers may reflect the timing in the console cycle as much as anything else. This generation of consoles is nearing its end, and short of some more price drops, I wouldn't look for a huge boost in sales for any of the big three consoles.