Acccording to NPD, US video game sales were down year-over-year yet again in September, from $1.11 billion US to $848.3 million, and console sales fell by over $100 million. While the industry is hardly falling apart at the seams (September's sales were better than August's), it's continued evidence that something's got to give, and soon. NPD points to hope that the WiiU will "reinvigorate retail sales of hardware in coming months." Since there's really nothing else to point to, many may well be pinning a lot of hope on Nintendo this Winter. Given recent news from Famitsu, Japanese gamers - the ones who read Famitsu's website, anyway - are foaming at the mouth for the system, so retailers there, at least, may have reason to pin those hopes on the Kyoto-based console giant.
It's not all bad news for September, though. NPD - which has historically only counted physical video game sales - estimates that their figures only account for 50% of overall sales, with microtransactions and downloads figured in. And Nintendo, whose recently-released New Super Mario Bros 2 is their first (legally) downloadable AAA title, announced that the 3DS' game sales were up 89% year-over-year in September. While that bodes well for Nintendo's newest handheld, DS game sales were down by more than the 3DS' gains, meaning that Nintendo's handheld system game sales are still in the hole.
With worries rampant among the hyperventilating pundit set that smartphone and tablet games are going to relegate the console industry to a niche market, expect a lot more scrutiny of these matters as the new generation of consoles blossoms.