July NPD: Sales down 26%, NCAA Football leads software

Ouch! Overall video game industry sales are down 26% in North America for July, year over year, with a 29% dip in console hardware sales mostly to blame. New retail software sales saw a less severe 17% drop, while accessories saw only an 8% drop. Unsurprisingly, on the hardware front, "the platforms that contributed a greater portion of new physical retail dollar sales as compared to last year were the Xbox 360 and the PS3," says NPD's Anita Frazier. She also adds that July 2011 is the industry's "lowest month since October 2006." We'll say it again: Ouch!

As has become the norm, Microsoft trumpeted its performance in an email claiming a "45% share of the overall current-generation console market." Six years into the Xbox 360's lifecycle, the console managed to move 277,000 units "maintaining the number-one console spot in the U.S. for 2011." Frazier notes that, while the Xbox 360 may have had the strongest numbers of the three consoles, July "was the first month that the Xbox 360 saw a year-over-year decline since December 2009." Of course, last July saw a strong sales spike "driven by the introduction of the Kinect-ready slim form factor SKU," Frazier reminds us.

On the software front, July 2011 only saw "17 new releases [...] compared to 29 last July." With NCAA Football 12 taking the top sales spot, reflecting a "15% increase in unit sales versus NCAA 11 in July 2010," Frazier postulates that this year's Madden delay might have prompted football fans to pick up EA's earlier offering. Find the full top ten list after the break.

Top 10 best-selling games (US) for July 2011:
  1. NCAA Football 12 (360, PS3)
  2. Cars 2 (NDS, Wii, 360, PS3, PC)
  3. Call of Duty: Black Ops (360, PS3, NDS, Wii, PC)
  4. Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game (Wii, NDS, 360, PS3, 3DS, PSP, PC)
  5. Just Dance 2 (Wii)
  6. Major League Baseball 2K11 (360, Wii, NDS, PS3, PS2, PSP, PC)
  7. Zumba Fitness: Join the Party (Wii, 360, PS3)
  8. Fallout: New Vegas (360, PS3, PC)
  9. New Super Mario Bros DS (NDS)
  10. Mortal Kombat (360, PS3)

This article was originally published on Joystiq.