Entertainment hardware and software down the pan

The entertainment hardware and software market has fallen to its lowest level since 2006.

Beancounters at NPD Group have been adding up numbers and dividing by their shoe size and come to the conclusion that sales of consoles and video games in the US had fallen by 14 per cent in May to $743 million.

A spokesNPD said that the decline is mostly due to a light schedule of new releases. Only 42 new games were released in May compared to 58 in the same month a year ago.

This has meant that promotional activity at retail and in circulars had been reduced and this stuffed up the whole industry.

NPD analyst Anita Frazier, in a statement, said that the top selling games were L.A. Noire by Take-Two, Brink, by Bethesda Softworks and Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game by Disney

She thinks that the loss in hardware, software and accessories could also be due to gamers spending more on online content and not buying new gear.

Hardware sales fell five per cent to $229 million, software sales fell 19 per cent to $376 million and accessories sales fell six per cent to $114 million.

Sales of Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3 videogame consoles in May were greater than those in the same month last year. But the market appears to have been gutted by people walking away from the Nintendo Wii.