The NPD Group just released its quarterly report on the United States video game industry, showing that Americans spent $2.87 billion on content between July and September of this year.
That's a lot of money, but it's actually down one percent from the same period last year. And if you factor in hardware and accessory sales, it's a little worse.
Altogether, according to subsequent data the NPD Group provided to us in a follow-up conversation, the United States video game industry is down 9 percent for the quarter, from $4.04 billion during those three months last year to around $3.78 billion this time around.
New game sales at retail, as we all know, is in a steep decline
. Other physical sales -- primarily used games and rentals -- are down too, around 19 percent in fact. And as players wait anxiously for the next generation of video game consoles, hardware and accessory sales are taking a big hit.
There is one bright spot, however. The group says that the $1.4 billion in digital sales during the quarter is actually a 22 percent increase from the same period last year, as the industry continues its shift away from physical goods and toward the various pervasive digital models.
That's actually down from the April through June quarter, but only by around 5 percent.
The group says the primary drivers for digital growth were mobile app, digital full game downloads, and downloadable add-on content.