Sales slump despite console price cuts

The videogame industry’s sales slump has continued into its sixth straight month.

A lack of major titles hurt the biz while the price cuts on Microsoft’s and Sony’s consoles couldn’t help as much as they might have since they didn’t occur until late in August. Sales declined by 16% to $909 million for the month over the same period a year ago.

Overall, the industry is down 14% for the year, earning nearly $9.1 billion so far in 2009, according to the NPD Group.

The cheaper consoles still did have an impact on the month, however.

Every console, except for Sony’s PlayStation 2, enjoyed a boost in sales over July, with the PlayStation 3 up 72% over July. PS3 sold 210,000 units, narrowing the gap with the Xbox 360, which sold 215,000 during the month. Both systems are now $299.

Despite the good news, hardware sales are still down 25% for the month and 17% for the year.

Software is faring a little better, down 15% for the month, with the 10th anniversary edition in Electronic Arts’ “Madden” football franchise the top-selling game in August, moving nearly 1.9 million units, mainly for the Xbox 360, Sony PS2 and PS3.

“Batman: Arkham Asylum,” from Warner Bros. and Eidos Interactive, also performed well, moving 593,000 units for the Xbox 360 and PS3.

The release of MTV’s “Beatles: Rock Band” and Activision’s “Guitar Hero 5” this month should provide another sales boost for the industry and help the music game genre reverse a 46% downturn in sales this year.

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