US retail sales of new video game hardware, software and accessories fell for the ninth straight month in August, according to research firm NPD Group.
Overall sales fell 20 percent to $515.6 million.
Software sales - the video games themselves excluding PC titles - fell 9 percent
from a year earlier to $237.7 million. Sales of hardware such as Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3 fell 39 percent to $150.6 million. Accessories slid 7 percent to $127.3 million.
The study from NPD Group tracks sales of new physical products - about 50 percent of the total spending. Excluded are sales of used games and rentals as well as digital and social-network spending. The research firm estimates that when including these, Americans spent $989 million on games in August.
Despite the sharp decline, analyst Todd Mitchell called August's results a "potential bright spot" for video game software. The analyst with Brean Murray Carret noted that it was hardware that dragged on the month, while software sales dipped just 9 percent. New titles, he said, helped boost the year-long video game slump and teased a "possible inflection point."
"A number of blockbusters are expected to be released in September, which could boost software sales into positive territory for the first time in 2012," he added.
NPD also listed the top-selling games in August:
1. "Darksiders II" (THQ)
2. "New Super Mario Bros 2" ( Nintendo)
3. "Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance" ( Square Enix)
4. "NCAA Football 13" (Electronic Arts)
5. "Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes" (Time Warner's Warner Bros Interactive)
6. "Sleeping Dogs" (Square Enix)
7. "Transformers: Fall of Cybertron" (Activision Blizzard)
8. "Batman: Arkham City" (Warner Bros Interactive)
9. "Call of Duty: Black Ops" (Activision Blizzard)
10. "The Amazing Spider-Man" (Activision Blizzard)