US video game sales drop 21 percent in December

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LOS ANGELES (AP) ? U.S. retail sales of video game hardware, software and accessories fell 21 percent in December from a year ago to $3.99 billion as players bought fewer games for their aging consoles.

Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360 will turn 7 years old this year, while Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Corp.’s Wii will turn 6.

Market researcher NPD Group says December sales of software ? the video games themselves ? fell 14 percent from a year ago to $2.04 billion.

That’s a bigger decline than the 5 percent drop expected by analyst Doug Creutz of research firm Cowen & Co.