Microsoft's Kinect, Sony's Move and Other Accessories Are Videogame Bright Spot

U.S. sales of videogame software and hardware fell in January, compared to the same period a year earlier, according to data released late Thursday by the NPD Group.

In fact, the only sector that grew in January was accessories, which increased six percent to $235.1 million

Accessories have been strong in previous months as well, buoyed by new motion-controlled remotes, like Microsoft’s Kinect and Sony’s Move.

The accessories have breathed new life into the Xbox and PlayStation at a critical time when the consoles have already been on the market for a couple of years.

However, accessories weren’t enough to keep both hardware and software sectors afloat.

In January, U.S. sales of videogame software fell five percent to $576 million compared to the same period the previous year. Hardware sales fell eight percent to $324 million.

In a statement issued by Microsoft today, it released more NPD data, including that it sold 381,000 Xbox units in January, up 15 percent year-over-year. It says it is the only console that showed growth in the time frame.

Microsoft also said it continues to experience some Xbox shortages at retail because of sustained consumer demand for Kinect, but anticipates the problem to improve through February, and is working retail and manufacturing partners to expedite production and shipments.

The top-selling games for the period were Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty: Black Ops, Ubisoft’s Just Dance 2, Electronic Arts’ Dead Space 2, Sony’s Little Big Planet 2, and Majesco’s Zumba Fitness. Making it into the top 10 was MTV’s Dance Central, which teaches people how to dance using the Xbox Kinect.

Photo Credit: Harmonix

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