May 2011 was the lowest month of sales for the games industry since October of 2006, report the NPD Group. Total video game sales declined 13% compared to May 2010. This owes primarily to a light nrelease schedule for the month, with only 42 new SKUs being brought to market, as opposed to 58 in May 2010.


The light release list caused a decline of 19% in the video game software category. Meanwhile, hardware and accessories declined by 5% and 6% respectively. The upside to the recorded decline in sales, however, is that the NPD don’t track digital sales (yet), which means popular digital releases like the recent Call of Duty: Black Ops “Escalation” map pack don’t contribute toward their sales figure.


Digital purchases, they note, are becoming increasingly more common.


The top-selling platform for the month was the Xbox 360. Nintendo 3DS sales were "light," but the NPD note that, beginning with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D’s release on June 19th, the 3DS will start to see a slate of strong content that will boost its sales for the remainder of the year.


The top-10 software sales chart for the month of May in the U.S. is as follows:


01.L.A. NoirePS3, 360Take Two
02.BrinkPS3, 360, PCBethesda Softworks
03.Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video GamePS3, 360, PC, 3DS, Wii, DS, PSPLucasarts
04.Portal 2PS3, 360, PC,Electronic Arts
05.Mortal Kombat
PS3, 360Warner Bros.
06.Call of Duty: Black OpsPS3, 360, PC, Wii, DSActivision
07.Zumba Fitness: Join the PartyPS3, 360, WiiMajesco
08.NBA 2K11
PS3, 360, PC, Wii, PSP, PS2Take Two
09.Just Dance 2WiiUbisoft
10.Lego Star Ware III: The Clone Wars
PS3, 360, PC, 3DS, Wii, DS, PSPLucasarts

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