We're starting to see a trend develop -- a super, super disheartening trend. According to the NPD group, total sales in the U.S. gaming industry dropped 23 percent year-over-year during the month of August; almost exactly the same amount sales declined in July. NPD's Anita Frazier explained, "the bulk of the decline can be attributed to the shift of the annual Madden release from August to September." (The NPD actually counts August 30 as part of September, which seems pretty zany.)

Gaming hardware saw an increase in sales over July, largely fueled by the price cuts endured by the 3DS and PlayStation 3. According to a memo sent out by Nintendo following the NPD report, the 3DS discount moved 185,000 consoles from August 12 through the end of the month. This wave managed to increase dollar and unit sales of handheld hardware to a year-over-year increase over August 2010, which bucks the downward trend followed by the rest of the industry. Hooray for discrete electronics!

Surprisingly, the top-selling game for August was Deus Ex: Human Revolution, which was only on store shelves for five days during the NPD's tracking window. The group doesn't expect the augmented title to rollover its reign into September, instead expecting Madden to reign supreme. Check out August's Top 10 software performers after the jump!

Top 10 best-selling games (US) for August 2011:

  1. Deus Ex: Human Revolution (360, PS3, PC)
  2. NCAA Football 12 (360, PS3)
  3. Call of Duty: Black Ops (360, PS3, NDS, Wii, PC)
  4. Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd (NDS, Wii, PS3)
  5. Cars 2 (NDS, Wii, 360, PS3, PC)
  6. Just Dance Summer Party (Wii)
  7. Just Dance 2 (Wii)
  8. Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game (Wii, 360, NDS, PS3, 3DS, PSP, PC)
  9. The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D (3DS)
  10. Zumba Fitness: Join the Party (Wii, 360, PS3)

This article was originally published on Joystiq.