The NPD Group has released its regular monthly report on US sales figures, showing yet another month of decreased spending.
The analyst firm noted that total industry spend came in at $548.4 million, a 20% decrease on July 2011's $686.3 million. It's the eighth consecutive month of downturn.
Both hardware and software figures showed downturns, with only accessories posting an increase of 8% to $136.9 million, thanks again to the continues success of Activision's Skylanders property - over 25 million individual Skylanders figures have been sold through at retail in the US since October 2011.
The NPD Group's Anita Frazier noted that this report's figures includes inly new physical retail sales, which the firm estimate accounts for just 50% of consumer spending on gaming.
"When you consider our preliminary estimate for other physical format sales in July such as used and rentals at $117 million, and our estimate for digital format sales including full game and add-on content downloads including microtransactions, subscriptions, mobile apps and the consumer spend on social network games at $439 million, we would estimate the total consumer spend in July to be $1.1 billion," Frazier said in a statement, as opposed to May's $1.17 billion.
NPD release a preliminary report on digital sales yesterday, in which it suggested that sector had grown by 17%.
The analysts expected the 3DS XL and New Super Mario Bros. 2 to give August a bit of a boost, and backed Sleeping Dogs as a good bet. Frazier also said that seasonal patterns suggest things will pick up soon.
"Based on year to date sales, and taking into account the release slate for the back five months of the year as well as the anticipated launch of the Wii U, annual sales for the new physical channel should come in around $14.5 billion for the year," she added.
Hardware sales came in at $150.7 million, a 32% year-on-year decline from $221.4 million.
The depression is not entirely unexpected given the closing console generation, but at least one new bit of kit managed a positive result - the 3DS shifted more units this month than in July 2011, the only hardware platform to do so.
It was a good month for Nintendo on two fronts, actually; both the 3DS and DS managed to perform better in July than in June. Every other platform noted a monthly and yearly decline.
Microsoft reported shifting 203,000 Xbox 360 consoles, claiming the top hardware spot for the 19th consecutive month.
Total platform spend amounted to $218 million, more than 40% of total market spend - again, the 17th consecutive month Microsoft has claimed top spot.
We're awaiting comment from Nintendo and Sony; expect an update shortly.
Software sales fell by 23 percent to $260.7 million from $338.5 million a year ago.
Of the top-ten best selling games, only NCAA Football 13 was released during July. A significant number of games are long-sellers, June releases, or re-release like Dead Island and Batman: Arkham City.
The sales charts below are combined SKUs - so, all formats - but the NPD noted that on an individual SKU level, Pokemon Conquest would have been inside the top ten. Without giving details, the firm said only the DS and 3DS showed positive software sales trends.
- Software Top 10
- NCAA Football 13 (360, PS3)
- Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (Wii, 360, DS, PS3, 3DS, Vita, PC)
- The Amazing Spider-Man (360, PS3, 3DS, DS, Wii)
- Just Dance 3 (Wii, 360, PS3)
- Batman Arkham City (360, PS3, PC)
- Call of Duty: Black Ops (360, PS3, DS, Wii, PC)
- Assassin's Creed: Revelations (360, PS3, PC)
- NBA 2K12 (360, PS3, Wii, PSP, PS2, PC)
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (360, PS3, Wii, PC)
- Dead Island (360, PS3, PC)