May 14, 2009 / 11:03 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-U.S. video game sales down 17 pct in April-NPD

* U.S. April video game sales fall to 17 pct to $1.03 bln

* Wii top-selling console, but sales off more than 50 pct

* Nintendo DS franchise sells more than 1 mln units

SAN FRANCISCO, May 14 (Reuters) - U.S. sales of video games fell 17 percent in April to $1.03 billion, research group NPD said on Thursday, the second steep monthly decline in a row.

Game software sales fell 23 percent to $510.7 million in April, while hardware sales dropped 8 percent to $391.6 million. Sales of accessories declined 15 percent.

Nintendo’s 7974.OS Wii was the top-selling game console again in April, although sales fell more than 50 percent from a year ago to 340,000 units, NPD said.

Microsoft’s (MSFT.O) Xbox was in second place with 175,000 units sold, down 7 percent.

Sony’s (6758.T) PlayStation 2 (PS2) was No. 3, followed by the PlayStation 3.

Nintendo’s DS handheld console sold more than a million units in the month, far outpacing Sony’s PSP handheld. Nintendo recently updated the DS franchise with the DSi, which was released in the U.S. on April 5. (Reporting by Gabriel Madway)

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