The video game, once considered recession-resistant, and console manufacturing sector are beginning to show signs from the economic strain.
U.S. Console sales fall 8 percent and games slide 23 percent from a year earlier, according to data released by research firm The NPD Group.
For April, the video game industry posted revenue of $1.03 billion, a 16.6 percent drop from the $1.24 billion it achieved in April 2008, NPD Group said.
Meanwhile, hardware sales were roughly $392 million, software and game sales were about $511 million and video game accessories sales were $129 million.
NPD analyst Anita Frasier cautioned in a statement that while it appears the video game market has softened, it's important to remember that April is being compared against a month -- April 2008 -- that realized nearly 50 percent growth over April 2007.
Nintendo’s Wii dropped from 601,000 units in March to 340,000, the Xbox 360 from 330,000 to 175,000 and the Playstation 3 from 218,000 to 127,000.
For the Wii, it was the weakest result since May 2007; for the Xbox 360 since December 2007 and for the PS3 since October 2007.
Total game console sales for the month came in at 642,000 the lowest since April 2007.
In terms of shipments, orders were down by 40 from 1,089,000 last year. All three manufacturers dropped by about the same percentage and there were no clear winners this month, in terms of market share. Nintendo had 53 percent, Microsoft had 27.3 percent and Sony was at 19.8 percent.
Below is a list of the top 10 U.S. software sales, April 2009
1. WII FIT W/ BALANCE BOARD NINTENDO OF AMERICA Wii 471K
2. POKEMON PLATINUM VERSION NINTENDO OF AMERICA NDS 433K
3. MARIO KART W/ WHEEL NINTENDO OF AMERICA Wii 210K
4. PLAY W/ REMOTE NINTENDO OF AMERICA Wii 170K
5. THE GODFATHER II ELECTRONIC ARTS 360 155K
6. RESIDENT EVIL 5* CAPCOM USA 360 122K
7. NEW SUPER MARIO BROS NINTENDO OF AMERICA NDS 119K
8. MARIO KART DS NINTENDO OF AMERICA NDS 112K
9. GUITAR HERO AEROSMITH* ACTIVISION BLIZZARD (CORP) 360 110K
10. THE GODFATHER II ELECTRONIC ARTS PS3 91K