Market research firm NPD Group has revealed that US retail videogame spend fell 23 per cent last month.
Total US videogame sales in August were $669.9 million, a 23 per cent drop year on year. This is the fourth decline in as many months; only twice this year has NPD reported growth at retail.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution was the month's best-selling game despite only being on sale for five days in the month, as overall software sales fell 37 per cent to $285.9 million.
While NPD notes that all hardware platforms saw increased unit sales over the previous month, hardware spend fell 12 per cent year on year. The only sector to actually grow was portable games hardware, thanks to the 3DS price cut.
Despite another dismal month, NPD's outlook remains sunny, with analyst Anita Frazier pointing out: "More than half of industry sales are still to be realised in the back four months of the year. Given the strong release schedule in the coming months, new physical sales could still be flat to slightly up once full-year sales are tallied."
As always, the news may not be bad for the industry as a whole – NPD said last month it was seeing "remarkable growth" in digital sales – it's more depressing news for retail. Frazier expects improvement next month, pointing to the September releases of Madden NFL 12, Gears Of War 3 and Resistance 3, as the industry again pins its hopes on a packed Q4 release schedule.