The US videogame market declined 25 per cent year on year last month, according to data released by NPD Group.
Total spend on new hardware, software and accessories at US retail came to $1.1 billion, a decline of $370 million from the previous year. The biggest decline was in hardware sales, which fell 35 per cent; software sales fell by a quarter and accessories were down 8 per cent.
Mass Effect 3 was the best-selling game of the month, outselling its predecessor Mass Effect 2's first-month sales by two copies to one – little surprise given that it's the first game in the series to be released simultaneously for all platforms.
NPD analyst Anita Frazier admitted it was "a disappointing month, and first quarter, for new physical retail sales" but added it "wasn't entirely unexpected given guidance we've seen from several sources." Xbox 360 was the most popular hardware for an eighth consecutive month, and the best-selling console for the 15th month in a row.