Game console sales hit hard in April

Chicago (IL) – Video game and console manufacturer felt the full force of the recession in April, as U.S. console unit sales fell to their lowest level in 23 months. All three manufacturers saw their shipments drop by more than 40%.

Game console charts April 2009

Despite the previously pitched idea by companies such as Nintendo, that game console sales would remain strong throughout the recession, as consumers would focus on home entertainment rather than on going out, April brought one of the strongest declines of game console sales within the past few years – and the strongest decline in current generation sales.

Nintendo’s Wii dropped from 601,000 units in March to 340,000, the Xbox 360 from 330,000 to 175,000 and the Playstation 3 from 218,000 to 127,000. For the Wii, it was the weakest result since May 2007; for the Xbox 360 since December 2007 and for the PS3 since October 2007. Total game console sales for the month came in at 642,000 the lowest since April 2007.  

Compared to last year, shipments are down by more than 40% from 1,089,000. All three manufacturers dropped by about the same percentage and there were no clear winners this month, in terms of market share. Nintendo stands 53.0%, Microsoft at 27.3% and Sony at 19.8%.