July NPD records worst month for industry since 2006

July’s NPD figures are in and it’s a sorry sight for the most part.

Before we get into ‘who won’ and all that, let’s just reflect on what analyst Anita Frazier has to say: “There is no getting around the fact that video game sales in the new physical retail channel suffered its lowest month since October 2006. Although there was a decrease in each video game category contributing to the whole, the category with the greatest dollar decline versus last year was console hardware, which was caused by a decrease in unit sales as the average selling price for console hardware was essentially flat to last year.”

Ouch, bad consumers, how dare you not buy products, bad!

Anyways, the bread and butter of it is that Microsoft’s Xbox 360 is out on top again, selling 277,000 units. That may account for 45 percent of total hardware sales for the month, but it’s still a year-over-year decline for the system which hasn’t been seen since December 2009. Not that that’s got the company feeling glum, their monthly statement reads: “With Gears of War 3 launching next month and more major launches to follow during the holiday, we expect Xbox 360 to maintain its lead throughout the year, ending 2011 as the number one console worldwide.”

Other companies didn’t provide data for hardware, though Frazier lets us know why Nintendo has kept hush-hush: “Combined unit sales of the 3DS and the DS were about flat to last year.”

More ouch.

As for Sony, director of corporate communications Patrick Seybold’s statement focused more on pleasing sales of the Move and Sharpshooter tech than the actual system. Apparently they’ve contributed to an 18 percent year-on-year growth in peripheral sales.

Let’s move onto games, then, and it’s NCAA Football 12 out on top this month, with also the usual suspects following closely behind. Full list below, see you next month!

1. NCAA Football 12 – Electronic Arts (360, PS3)
2. Cars 2 – Disney Interactive Studios (NDS, Wii, 360, PS3, PC)
3. Call of Duty: Black Ops – Activision Blizzard (360, PS3, NDS, Wii, PC)
4. Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game – Disney Interactive Studios (Wii, NDS, 360, PS3, 3DS, PSP, PC)
5. Just Dance 2 – Ubisoft (Wii)
6. Major League Baseball 2K11 – Take-Two Interactive (360, Wii NDS, PS3, PS2, PSP, PC)
7. Zumba Fitness: Join The Party – Majesco (Wii, 360, Ps3)
8. Fallout: New Vegas – Bethesda Softworks/ZeniMax (360, PS3, PC)
9. New Super Mario Bros DS – Nintendo (NDS)
10. Mortal Kombat 2011 – Warner Brothers Interactive (360, PS3)