Video game sales plunge in April: NPD

Customers wait in line to purchase copies of the game "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" at a GameStop store in New York November 10, 2009. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Sales of video game hardware and software plunged 26 percent in April, industry tracker NPD said on Thursday, one of the largest declines over the past decade.

The research group said sales in the United States, the world’s largest market, fell to $766.2 million.

Software sales dropped 22 percent, while hardware sales tumbled 37 percent.

The overall decline was the fourth-largest since September 2000, NPD said.

Nintendo’s Wii was the top-selling home console in the April, although sales fell from a year ago.

Microsoft Corp’s Xbox 360 was No. 2 in the month and Sony Corp’s PlayStation 3 was No. 3, although both consoles posted year-over-year increases in units.

Ubisoft’s “Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction” was the best-selling game in April, with nearly 500,000 units sold.

Reporting by Gabriel Madway; Editing by Richard Chang