US videogame sales slip in May: NPD

US videogame sales slid anew in May with lower console prices proving a boon to buyers but eating into industry revenue.

Overall sales of 823.5 million dollars were five percent lower than the 865.7 million dollars logged in the same month last year but still marked the third best May on record, according to industry tracker NPD Group.

Hardware, software and accessories for Microsoft Xbox 360 videogame consoles "contributed the greatest share of revenue to industry sales for the month and year-to-date," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier.

Microsoft sold 194,600 Xbox 360 consoles during the month, while Sony sold 154,500 of rival PlayStation 3 (PS3), according to NPD.

Nintendo gaming systems proved most popular, with the Japanese firm selling 334,800 of the consoles and 383,700 of its DS handheld gaming gadgets. Sony sold 59,400 of its PSP handheld game devices.

"The portable hardware category contributed the most to the decline in hardware sales for the month, yet the (Nintendo) DS is the best-selling hardware system for May," Frazier said.

Sony's PS3 platform continued its marketplace momentum, with sales of hardware, software and accessories up 32 percent for the month and 28 percent year-to-date, according to NPD.

"May was the 10th consecutive month of year-over-year software sales increases for the PS3 platform," Frazier said.

"Combined with the hardware and accessories sales increases for the platform, the PS3 has really hit its stride."

US western cowboy shooter title "Red Death Redemption" for Xbox 360 and PS3 was ranked top-selling videogame in May, with 1.5 million copies bought.

"Super Mario Galaxy 2" for the Wii was the second best-selling game, with 563,900 copies bought.

Sales of videogame software were up four percent to 466.3 million dollars when compared to May of 2009, NPD reported.

Revenue for videogame playing accessories also improved, rising to 115.7 million dollars from 112.3 million in the same month last year.

May was an improvement from April, which saw videogame sales drop 26 percent in the fourth-largest year-on-year percentage plunge ever.

The videogame industry is hoping to re-invigorate sales with the releases later this year of sequels to blockbuster titles and new motion-sensing controllers for Xbox 360 and PS3 consoles.

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