Microsoft Xbox Sales Grow While Industry Tanks

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U.S sales of video game hardware and software fell 31% to $1.17 billion in June, Reuters reports, citing a study by NPD Group Inc.

The drop is the biggest since 2000.

Sales of game software fell 29% to $625.8 million, while hardware sales dropped 38% to $382.6 million. Sales of accessories declined 22%.

Reuters: Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter blamed the decline in part on the high cost of video game consoles. “The consumer is just not buying hardware at these prices … clearly the consumer is just waiting for price cuts,” said Pachter, who expects industry sales to pick up in September with the release of new high-profile titles.

Indeed, it seems the higher-priced a console, the more its sales dropped last quarter.

Sales of Sony’s (SNE) PS3, the most expensive console at $399 dropped 59%, and Nintendo’s Wii at $249 dropped 46%. Meanwhile, sales of Microsoft’s (MSFT) cheaper, $199 Xbox 360 actually grew by 9.5%.

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