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Video game sales are down for the sixth consecutive month

October 14, 2010 |  4:24 pm

Halo Reach 
The game industry suffered its sixth consecutive monthly sales decline in September, pouring cold water on hopes of the industry ending the year on a high note.

Sales of games, consoles and device peripherals totaled $1.2 billion last month, down 8% from a year earlier, according to NPD Group Inc., which tracks game sales. Despite the strong debut of Halo: Reach, sales of software in September fell 6% to $614 million. Hardware sales fared much worse, dropping 19% to $383 million.

In an otherwise grim month, Microsoft Corp. managed to score a couple of wins. Halo: Reach, the latest in the popular franchise and the last in the series to be developed by Bungie Studios, sold 3.3 million copies, making it the No. 1 title in September. Its performance was on par with previous releases in the Halo franchise, according to NPD.

Microsoft also got bragging rights for having the only game console to see a sales increase last month. The Redmond, Wash., technology company sold 483,989 Xbox 360 consoles in September, up from about 352,600 a year earlier.

Sales of Nintendo Co.'s Wii and Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 3 fell last month, according to NPD, but the amount is not known because the market research firm stopped reporting unit sales as of September. Microsoft's sales figure came from a Tweet by Aaron Greenberg, chief of staff of the company's Interactive Entertainment division.

NPD made other changes to its monthly report. It eliminated the number of copies sold for top titles and integrated sales of games played on computers, which were once reportedly separately from console games. Continue reading below for a list of the top 10 titles.   

Top 10 Games in September 2010 (Publisher)
  1. Halo: Reach (Microsoft)
  2. Madden NFL 11 (Electronic Arts)
  3. Dead Rising 2 (Capcom)
  4. NHL 11 (Electronic Arts)
  5. FIFA Soccer 11 (Electronic Arts)
  6. Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep (Square Enix)
  7. Mafia II (Take 2 Interactive Softwware)
  8. Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions (Activision Blizzard)
  9. Metroid: Other M (Nintendo)
  10. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Activision Blizzard)

Source: NPD Group Inc.

-- Alex Pham

Photo: Players at the Tokyo Game Show tried out Halo: Reach at the Microsoft booth. The game rang up $200 million in sales its first day out. Credit: Yuriko Nakao / Reuters

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