The gaming industry has certainly seen better days and according to a new report from research firm NPD Group, the trend continued in the third quarter. Americans spent roughly $2.87 billion on gaming products and services in the quarter, down a single percentage point year-over-year.

Specifically, sales of physical goods like PC and console game discs accounted for $1.07 billion, a full 16 percent less than the same time last year. Consumers spent $399 million on used software and game rentals during the same period but it was digital content that had the biggest impact on the industry for Q3.

Full games, add-on content downloads, subscriptions, mobile games and social network games combined to generate $1.40 billion in revenue from July through September. Digital content sales increased 22 percent year-to-year.

As CNET points out, the industry as a whole has been going through some tough times as of late due to a number of factors including but not limited to sluggishness in the hardware and software market. Today's consoles are nearing the end of their lifecycle. Microsoft's Xbox 360 launched in North America exactly seven years ago today while Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii console both hit store shelves roughly six years ago.

Things are expected to pick up in the fourth quarter as always thanks to the holiday buying season. This is the time of year that we typically see the most anticipated games launch and for Nintendo, we're just a couple of days away from the release of their next generation console, the Wii U.