Games sales continue to slide

It’s not great timing, what with the Game Developers’ Conference in full swing. But NPD has reported that video game sales fell a stonking 15 percent in February – and consoles did even worse, with sales down by a fifth.

Continuing a slow but pretty steady slide, game sales amounted to just $624 million in February, despite the launch of three big titles – BioShock 2 from Take-Two Interactive Software, Electronic Arts’ Dante’s Inferno and Sony’s Heavy Rain.

BioShock 2 for the 360 was the most popular title, followed by New Super Mario Bros Wii and Modern Warfare 2 for the 360.

Console sales were worth only $426 million, and sales of peripherals slid slightly to $204 million. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 topped the list, selling 422,000 units – its best monthly performance ever, and the first time it’s topped the chart in two years.

Nintendo shifted 397,000 Wiis. Sony trailed with 360,100 PlayStation 3s sold, although this was up 31 percent on the same month last year. It might have done better had it not been for recent inventory problems.

NPD said it was surprised by the sector’s poor performance, as it had expected sales to pick up.