March video game sales fell 17 percent to $1.43 billion compared to $1.72 billion in 2008, according to NPD’s latest report, revealing a surprising turn for an industry that so far appeared to be recession-proof. The drop in sales reflects more of a tough comparison with the same month last year, however, which had the benefit of the release of Super Smash Bros. Brawl and also a bump from Easter spending.

Unsurprisingly, Nintendo’s Wii and DS once again topped the list for hardware sales, with 601,000 and 563,000 units moved respectively, but the Xbox 360 was the only system that actually managed year-over-year growth. Microsoft’s console sold 330,000 units, up 25% from March 2008, while the PlayStation 3 sold 218,000 units. On the software side of things, sales were also down 17 percent, with Capcom’s Resident Evil 5 topping the charts selling 1.5 million units for the Xbox and PlayStation 3.