After exceeding expectations last month, the NPD data for the month of March 2009 now shows a lot of dips in hardware sales. Has the video game industry's resilience to the economic crunch finally been broken?
While Nintendo's Wii console is still in the top spot with 601,000 units sold, sales went down 152,000 units compared to last month's. Sales of the second-place DS also went down to 563,000 from last month's 588,000 units sold.
The same thing happened to Sony's consoles, the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable. While the dip isn't as big as the Wii, the 4th-place PS3 only sold 218,000 units in March. The PSP, in last place, also went down to 168,000 units in March from February's 199,000 figure.
Sales for Microsoft's Xbox 360 console also went down to 330,000, a 61,000 unit difference from last month's sales of 391,000. The console managed to place third in the sales rankings. Microsoft remained optimistic, though, pointing out that year-over-year, sales in March 2009 actually went up 25 compared to March 2008:
Xbox 360 was the only game console to show year-over-year growth in the US as the USD 199 starting price continued to resonate with consumers looking to get more entertainment value for their money.
Retail sales of Xbox 360 systems hit 330,000 units in March, climbing 25 percent from a year earlier, in contrast to double-digit declines posted by Wii and PlayStation 3. March was the sixth month in a row that Xbox 360 has seen year-over-year sales growth.