Lack of new launches means games sales fall sharply

Video game sales plummeted by more than a quarter in April, one of the industry’s worst declines ever.

US sales were worth $766 million, down from a round billion in April last year, says NPD Group.

Console sales were hardest hit, falling by 37 percent, mainly because of a steep drop in DS sales. The company sold just 440,800 units, compare with over a million last April. The reluctance to buy may be to do with the fact that the company’s promising a 3D version soon.

Wii sales also fell – although the console relaimed the top seller – but those for the Sony playStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360 rose.

Games sales dropped 22 percent, partly because of a lack of new releases – there were only a quarter as many this April as last. There was only one really major launch, Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction for the Xbox 360, which shifted 486,100 copies.

Things are likely to pick up, with the 3D DS coming later this year, along with new motion controllers for the PS3 and Xbox. This month, several big titles will launch, including Nintendo’s Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Take-Two Interactive’s Red Dead Redemption.