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Can PlayStation Move, Natal revive video game sales?

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(Read caption) The Microsoft Xbox360. Sales of video games slumped in February of 2010, a new report shows. Surprisingly, there was an increase in demand for the Xbox360 and Sony PlayStation3 consoles.

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As designers look ahead at PlayStation Move and Project Natal at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this week, the industry as a whole got some bad news.

Americans spent roughly $126 billion on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii consoles, video games, and accessories in February, a 15 percent drop from one year ago. That's the news today from NPD, a market research group that reports on trends in US consumer spending. In an interview with the Associated Press, NPD Group analyst Anita Frazier says she was surprised by the weak showing.

"I had expected the industry to perform somewhat better this month," Frazier says.

It's been a grim year or so for the video game market, which has seen scaled-back interest in so-called casual gaming titles such as "Wii Fit," "Guitar Hero," and "Rock Band." In 2008, for instance, music games generated $1.4 billion in revenue. They now generate half that amount, NPD says.


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