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Video game sales woes continue in February

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Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (EA)

2012 continues to be a real stinker for the video game industry.

Video game software sales were down 23 percent in February compared to 2011 figures, according to the NPD Group.

Hardware sales were down 18 percent, but that's a somewhat deceiving number as last February saw the launch of the Nintendo 3DS, which burst out of the gate before slumping. The Xbox 360 topped hardware sales for the seventh consecutive month.

"While most hardware platforms posted declines versus last year, all current-generation platforms improved sales over January 2012 by more than 50 percent," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier. "There are four days of retail sales reported for PlayStation Vita in this reporting period.  Overall, hardware unit sales increased by 62 percent over January without the Vita included. Including PS Vita sales, that increase is 87 percent."

While Uncharted: Golden Abyss for the Vita boasted strong sales, it, too, was only available for four days of sales in NPD's survey, so the game failed to make the Top 10. Weak catalog sales and moderate sales of new titles, including EA's Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Sony's Twisted Metal and THQ's UFC Undisputed 3 were to blame for the poor software numbers. Modern Warfare 3 once again led the pack.

The February numbers were far beyond the worst-case scenario forecast by Wall St. analysts. Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities, for example, had predicted an 8 percent decline.

"The significant software sales weakness in each of the past two months causes us to revisit our prior opinion that the industry can return to growth, although we remain optimistic that it can due to new hardware introductions and a solid launch lineup," he said.

Here are the month's top selling games.

Rank Title Publisher
1 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Activision Blizzzard
2 Final Fantasy XIII-2 Square Enix Inc.
3 UFC Undisputed 3 THQ
4 Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Electronic Arts
5 Just Dance 3 Ubisoft
6 NBA 2K12 Take 2 Interactive
7 Soul Calibur V Namco Bandai Games
8 Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Bethesda Softworks
9 Twisted Metal 2012 Sony
10 Battlefield 3 Electronic Arts

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