It appears the U.S. console gaming industry has fallen into an autumn slump, generating $250 million less revenue in September than the same time last year. All in all, NPD Group analysts report that revenue was down about 24 percent. This figure includes only consoles, physical games and accessories. What the report does not include are used sales, rentals and digitally distributed games.
Once again, Microsoft's venerable Xbox 360 weighed in as the top console in terms of sales. This marks the system's 21st consecutive month as number one, holding about 49percent of video game system market share.
However, the 360's run is expected to be abruptly cut short next month by the Wii U, Nintendo's upcoming console offering. The Wii U is expected to debut for $299, a price point the company can manage because of its modest hardware. Perhaps the system's most defining feature is its controller though, which will tout a versatile 6.2-inch LCD display.
The reason for the decline is not discussed in-depth, but a substantial drop in hardware sales indicates part of the problem may simply be stale equipment. The report suggests aging consoles have already reached their saturation points as American consumers look forward to next-generation hardware.
In terms of console game sales, Borderlands 2 came in at second place, just behind Madden NFL 13 which occupies the top slot. Considering Borderlands 2 had only been around for about two weeks during September, the folks over at Gearbox will probably sleep soundly tonight.