Vidgame sales continue slump

'BioShock 2' sold the most units in February

New February releases “Dante’s Inferno” and horror sequel “BioShock 2” couldn’t scare up enough sales to help the videogames biz climb out of an ongoing sales rut.

Sales for the industry for the month came in at $1.26 billion, down 15% on February 2009. For the year, the biz declined 14% at $2.4 billion, according to market research org NPD Group.

Take-Two Interactive’s “BioShock 2” was the month’s best-seller, shifting some 563,000 units for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 alone and 750,000 units across all the platforms.

Nintendo’s “New Super Mario Bros.,” released in November, continues to sell well, moving 556,000 copies. Nonetheless, sales of the game were off 15% for the month, earning $624 million.

Electronic Arts released “Dante’s Inferno” on XBox 360 and PlayStation 3, selling a combined 468,000 copies.

Last year’s top title, Activision Blizzard’s “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2,” ended up in the third spot for the month, with 314,000 units.

“Modern Warfare 2,” released in November, has shifted 10 million units to become the third best-selling game ever.

Hardware, however, took a bigger hit, down 20% to $426 million. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 was the best-selling console, moving 422,000 units, followed by Nintendo’s Wii (398,000) and Sony’s PlayStation 3 (360,000).

It was the first time Xbox 360 has dominated console sales since September 2007 when “Halo 3” was released.

A month before Nintendo starts selling its new DSI XL handheld gaming system on March 28, its older DS moved 613,000 of the devices out of stores.

“Honestly, I had expected the industry to perform somewhat better this month,” said NPD analyst Anita Frazier.

“Nonetheless, strong new releases, and Easter gift-buying bodes well for industry performance in March.”

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