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Despite The Last of Us, overall game sales down in June

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The Last of Us (Credit: Sony/Naughty Dog)

Joel, Ellie and those terrifying Clickers did their best to boost video game sales in June, but it was just another doomed mission for the duo.

Software sales last month were down 10 percent to $296.1 million, according to The NPD Group. The decline was moderate compared to recent months, though, a bit of optimism in an otherwise gloomy report.

June turned out to be a notable month of surprises, in fact. For the second time in a row, the Nintendo 3DS outsold all other gaming hardware -- including the Xbox 360, which (until last month) had a lock on the top spot for nearly 30 months. Nintendo says it sold 225,000 3DS units in June, while Microsoft moved about 140,000 Xbox 360 systems.

But while Nintendo was quick to trumpet the performance of the 3DS, the company was tight-lipped about its Wii U. Official numbers for the Wii U have yet to materialize, but they’re expected to be low.

Things weren't so good for the new console on the block, either: the Android-based Ouya isn’t proving to be very disruptive.

"June 2012 was the first month of retail sales for Ouya (not counting direct sales through and were relatively light for a new console," said The NPD Group’s Liam Callahan. "This may be due to the lack of a major marquee title driving consumers to seek out the console, low awareness due to Ouya being a new brand, or low inventory volume due to manufacturing constraints."

Total sales for the industry hit $593.3 million, a 15 percent decline from last year's $700.6 million, largely on the slowdown in hardware sales. That’s typical during a new console transition, however, as the industry prepares to launch new hardware and consumers save their money to buy one.

On the software side, Naughty Dog's The Last of Us was the month's top selling game, officially enjoying the second-best launch in PS3 history behind God of War 3. Animal Crossing: New Leaf for the 3DS took second, while Minecraft for the Xbox 360 came in third.

All of those showings are noteworthy, since each was a single-system offering. Typically, the best selling game of any month is multi-console, giving it a broader potential audience. The Last of Us, in fact, was the third highest game to launch during the month of June since NPD began tracking sales in 1995.

Most industry analysts expect slow sales to continue until September, when Grand Theft Auto V is expected to briefly bring the industry out of its continued sales slide. Sustained growth is expected to resume in 2014.

Here are the month's top selling titles:

Rank Title Publisher
1 The Last Of Us Sony
2 Animal Crossing: New Leaf Nintendo
3 Minecraft Microsoft
4 Call of Duty: Black Ops II Activision Blizzard
5 NBA 2K13 Take 2 Interactive
6 Injustice: Gods Among Us Warner Bros. Interactive
7 Donkey Kong Country Returns Nintendo
8 Deadpool Activision Blizzard
9 Battlefield 3 Electronic Arts
10 Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon Nintendo

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