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"Karate's back, (expletive)!" The UFC 2009: Undisputed was truly the undisputed champion in May video game sales, nearly doubling its closest competitor.  (Source: SportsIlustrated.com)
The recession has hurt video game sales considerably

Video gamers are tightening their belts and cutting back on their purchases, and that's bad news for video game manufacturers.  NPD, a leading market research firm, released its estimates for May video game sales and most trends were pointing downward. 

Overall total earnings were at their lowest since May 2007, with less than $1B USD pulled in on console sales and games.  Total revenue equaled $863.3M USD, a drop of 23 percent from last May.

In the handheld console arena, the Nintendo DSi was a sole bright spot, continuing strong sales with 633.5K units.  The PSP sold 100.4K units.  In the home console market, the Wii continued to be on top with 289.5K units, despite seeing its year to year unit shipments drop in half. Analysts speculate that the sharp drop is due to the fact that Nintendo still hasn't cut its $250 price.  Nintendo did, however, celebrate reaching 20 million units sold in the U.S.  

Microsoft came in second with 175K units, a drop of five percent year to year.  Sony, meanwhile, shipped 131K, a thirty-seven percent drop.  However, it also shipped 117K PlayStation 2s.  The PlayStation 2 has been on the market for since 2000, but remains a strong seller.  Overall, it is the best-selling console in history, with over 136 million units shipped worldwide.

The top videogame of the month was UFC 2009: Undisputed by THQ.  Cashing in on the growing popularity of mixed martial arts, the game moved over 679,000 units, nearly twice its closest competitor.  Nintendo software did relatively well, taking six of the top ten spots, with Wii Fit (w/ balance board) coming in at the number 2 spot.

While the recession clearly has hurt video game sales, each of the manufacturers can see silver linings to the clouds.  Nintendo can celebrate its continued lead, stronger software sales, and its hot DSi handheld.  Sony can take comfort in the continued sales movement of the elderly PS2, which helps make up for the PS3's sales shortcomings.  And Microsoft can be pleased that it took the number 1 game sales spot and continues to post decent console sales.





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