Sales of video game software and hardware plummeted in April, shocking industry observers who were expecting the numbers to be slightly positive or, worst case, down just slightly. That could mean a rough Friday for video game stocks.
On the whole, sales were off 26 percent to $766 million, with software sales (the most closely followed of the numbers) plunging 22 percent to $398.5 million, according to NPD Group, which tracks video game sales. Because April 2009 had relatively light sales (and thus, an easy comparable) industry insiders and investors were hoping to at least tow the line.
It was the industry‚Äôs fourth worst year-over-year decline‚ÄĒand it puts overall sales 11 percent behind last year‚Äôs sluggish pace.
‚ÄúThere are some bright spots if you peel through the data a bit,‚ÄĚ says Ben Schachter of BroadPoint AmTech. ‚ÄúA lot of the weakness was from Nintendo-centric platforms, but the...