Video gaming? Recession proof? That depends on how you look at the phrase. We'd prefer to say, "Recession resistant". New figures in from The NPD Group would also suggest this, with portable gaming actually improving hardware sales year-on-year.
The US-based stats company's Anita Frazier states that, with May's dreary figures in mind, "The video games industry continues to struggle with difficult comparisons to last year", which sums it up quite nicely.
The main points to note are:
- For the third straight month, spending on all things video game was down - this time 23% from 2008 to $863 million; bear in mind that no month since August 2007 as been below $1 billion.
- Hardware sales were down 30% year-on-year to $303 million.
Wii: 289,500 (May 08: 675.1k).
Xbox 360: 175,000 (May 08: 186.6k).
PS3: 131,000 (May 08: 208.7k).
PS2: 117,000 (May 08: 132.7k).
Nintendo DS: 633,500 (May 08: 452.6k).
PSP: 100,400 (May 08: 182.3k).
- Accessories sales toppled 25% to $112 million.
- Software sales descended by 17% to $449 million.
THQ's UFC 2009 Undisputed topped the charts with 679,600 on the 360 and 334,400 on PS3. The biggest seller last May? GTA IV with 1.3 million combined.
So, while not 'recession proof' the industry is not disappearing down the tubes in the States.