LOS ANGELES (AP) — U.S. retail sales of video game hardware, software and accessories fell 25 percent in March from a year earlier to $1.1 billion. It marked the fourth month of decline as Sony Corp.'s new PS Vita handheld failed to spark a turnaround.
Market tracker NPD Group said Thursday that sales of console and portable software — the video games themselves — fell 26 percent to $585 million.
That's roughly in line with depressed estimates. Cowen & Co. analyst Doug Creutz forecast a 22 percent drop, while Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia expected a decline of 25 to 30 percent.
Electronic Arts Inc.'s "Mass Effect 3" was the top seller in the month.
The only PS Vita game to break into the top 10 was "MLB 12: The Show," which ranked third.
Despite going on sale for the first time in North America in February, Sony's next generation portable game-player did not unseat the most popular console for the last 15 months, Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360.
Microsoft said that Xbox 360 sales accounted for 371,000 units, or 42 percent of current-generation console sales.
Industrywide sales of hardware fell 35 percent to $324 million. Accessories sales fell 8 percent to $223 million.
Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said in a research note last week that he was "cautiously optimistic" that overall game sales would return to growth this year. He expects sales to be helped by the PS Vita and the introduction of Nintendo Co. Ltd.'s WiiU console, which is expected to go on sale by the end of the year.
Sterne Agee's Bhatia expects software sales to be lackluster until May, when a few hotly anticipated titles hit the market, including "Max Payne 3," ''Diablo III," and "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Future Soldier."
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Terre Haute Police filed citations against one Terre Haute towing business earlier this year. Andrews Towing and investigators were in city court Friday morning for the first time.
Seven new Indiana Conservation Officers officially joined the DNR Division of Law Enforcement during graduation ceremonies Friday at the Indiana Government Center South.
TRAFFIC ALERT: Martin County Deputies are requesting travelers to avoid U.S. 231 north of Loogootee. Due to many slide off accidents, traffic is backed up over a mile in several places
Right on cue, Thursday’s early winter storm dumped snow and ice on the Wabash Valley but county highway crews were a step ahead of the weather’s arrival pre-treating the 897 miles of pavement in the county.
A fire has engulfed the First Prairie Creek Church in Vigo County.
A four car accident in eastern Vigo County leaves one person dead.