- Associated Press - Thursday, September 8, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - U.S. retail sales of video game hardware, software and accessories fell 21 in August to $649 million, due mostly to a major drop sales of game software, market researcher NPD Group says.

In its monthly report released Thursday, the NPD Group says that video game software sales _ which refers to sales of the games themselves _ sank 34 percent in August to $265 million. This compares with sales of nearly $404 million in August 2010.

NPD analyst Anita Frazier said much of this drop stemmed from Electronic Arts Inc.’s decision to release its latest “Madden NFL” game at the end of August, later than usual.

Sales of video game hardware dropped 12 percent to $249 million. Sales of video game accessories dipped 1 percent to $135 million.

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