The struggles of the retail video game market continue.
Overall sales of video games were down 25% last February, according to the latest report from research firm NPD Group. "Though there was the same number of February launches that landed in the top ten ranking this year as there were last February, collectively, February 2013 new launches performed worse than last year," says NPD analyst Liam Callahan.
When combining digital and used game sales, total U.S. spending on games fell just under $1.2 billion, down slightly from last month.
Microsoft's Xbox 360 remained the top-selling home console, finishing February with 302,000 sold. That marks 26 straight months where the Xbox has finished first.
Hardware sales were hit the hardest last month, down 36% compared to the same time a year ago. Nintendo's Wii U, which launched last November, appears to be struggling in 2013. According to a report from Gamasutra, Wii U sales in January reached 57,000. Callahan says sales of the Wii U jumped 40% in February. Also on the rise: the PlayStation Vita, up 30% compared to last month.
On the software front, shooters dominated the top three spots in February. Electronic Arts action title Dead Space 3 was the No. 1 game in the U.S. last month, followed by Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Crysis 3. The complete top 10:
1. Dead Space 3 (Electronic Arts)
2. Call of Duty: Black Ops II (Activision)
3. Crysis 3 (Electronic Arts)
4. NBA 2K13 (2K)
5. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (Konami)
6. Aliens: Colonial Marines (Sega)
7. Just Dance 4 (Ubisoft)
8. Far Cry 3 (Ubisoft)
9. Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time (Sony Computer Entertainment)
10. Madden NFL 13 (Electronic Arts)
March will be an interesting month to watch with the arrival of several high-profile video games, including Square Enix adventure Tomb Raider, follow-ups in the God of War and Gears of War franchises, and the highly-anticipated first-person shooter BioShock Infinite.
by Brett Molina, USA TODAY