US video game sales dip to Oct 2006 levels

LOS ANGELES (AP) — U.S. sales of consoles and video games fell 14 percent in May to $743 million, the lowest monthly figure since October 2006.

NPD Group, which compiles the data, said Monday that the decline is mostly due to a light schedule of new releases. There were just 42 new games released in May compared to 58 in the same month a year ago.

"As a result of a lighter release slate, promotional activity at retail and in circulars was reduced as well, which undoubtedly affected not only planned but impulse purchases," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier, in a statement.

Some of the loss in hardware, software and accessories could also be due to gamers spending more on online content, she said.

Hardware sales fell 5 percent to $229 million, software sales fell 19 percent to $376 million and accessories sales fell 6 percent to $114 million.

The top-selling game was "L.A. Noire," an interactive crime story game made by Rockstar Games for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

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