Video Game Hardware and Software Sales See Major Declines in July

July was not a good month for the video games industry in the United States, according to the latest numbers from research firm NPD Group. Video game sales fell to $443 million in July, a 19 percent decline from the same period in 2012. Hardware sales were hit particularly hard in July as well, falling 34 percent to $99 million from $150.9 million in 2012.

Total spending in the sector came to $1.2 billion, when estimates were added into the numbers. Those estimates include how much consumers spent on game rentals, used titles, mobile apps, and micro-transactions.

Analyst Edward S. Williams from BMO Capital said in a research report last night that he expects the sector to continue to see declines as consumers prepare for the next-generation of consoles from Sony and Microsoft. There will be current-generation successes prior to that, like Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto V which hits retail in mid-September.

"We continue to expect software sales in 2013 to be under significant pressure until the fall, starting with the release of Take-Two’s Grand Theft Auto V on September 17," Williams noted in his report. "In addition to a strong slate of major titles launching in the fourth quarter, the PS4 and Xbox One launches this holiday period kick off the beginnings of a new console cycle from Sony and Microsoft that we expect to be significant catalysts for the interactive entertainment sector.

The top five best-selling games for the month of July were NCAA Football 14, Minecraft, The Last of Us, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and Animal Crossing: New Leaf.

Nintendo's 3DS led hardware sales for the month, while Microsoft's Xbox 360 remains the best-selling game console overall.

The top-selling game titles for July 2013 were:

1. NCAA Football 14 from Electronic Arts

2. Minecraft from Microsoft  

3. The Last of Us from Sony

4. Call of Duty: Black Ops II from Activision Blizzard  

5. Animal Crossing: New Leaf from Nintendo

6. Far Cry 3 from Ubisoft

7. Battlefield 3 from Electronic Arts

8. Injustice: Gods Among Us from Warner Bros. Interactive

9. NBA 2K13 from Take 2 Interactive

10. Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes from Warner Bros. Interactive

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