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April NPD Estimates

Bloomberg has details from the latest analysis of videogame sales in North America from the NPD Group. As is to be expected, all this talk of next generation consoles is not helping sales of those long-in-the-tooth last generation units, and as usual the guesswork about digital sales adds uncertainty to the results. Word is:

Hardware sales fell the most, declining 42 percent to $109.5 million, compared with a year ago, Port Washington, New York-based NPD Group Inc. said in an e-mailed statement today. Software sales for the current generation consoles fell 17 percent to $254.3 million.

Sales of packaged game products are sinking as more consumers download games on smartphones and tablet. Gamers also are delaying purchases before Sony Corp. (6758) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) introduce their new consoles expected at the end of this year. Physical sales accounted for about 50 percent of total U.S. consumer spending on games, NPD said.

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