Retail purchases make up just 60 percent of game industry’s total

September’s retail sales numbers for the video game industry might have stunk up the joint something terrible, but there’s one bright spot to be found.

The NPD Group, for the first time, has released a new spending report that incorporates not only retail sales, but used games, game rentals, subscriptions, digital full game downloads, social network games, downloadable content, and mobile game apps.

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog

Video Game Sales: ‘Halo’ to the Rescue?

If all goes according to plan, the video game industry could see its first positive sales growth since March in September—but in a year that has been filled with disappointing results, game publishers and developers know any plan is tentative at best.

Analysts expect software sales to be up slightly in September, largely on the strength of Microsoft’s “Halo: Reach,” which took in $200 million in its first 24 hours. No one is expecting a blowout month, though. Wedbush Securities is forecasting a rise of just 2.4 percent compared to last year’s $649 million.

Read more at CNBC.com

Holidays aren’t looking happy for entertainment at retail

Given the economy, it’s no secret that this holiday season is likely going to be a cautious one – but a new survey by the NPD Group shows that entertainment companies might have a rough go of things at retail stores.

NPD has released its annual holiday retail outlook– and while most shoppers say they plan to spend about the same as last year, the general lack of “must-have” products has people less enthusiastic about movies, video games and electronics than they were last year.

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog

Aug. game sales tank – but hope’s on the horizon

No one had real high expectations for last month’s video game sales. And that’s probably a good thing, since it turned out to be the worst August in three years. 

Software sales fell 14 percent last month to $403.5 million, according to The NPD Group – more than twice as much as some Wall St. analysts were expecting. Hardware sales, meanwhile, were 5 percent below 2009’s level, at $282.9 million – and the Wii had its worst sales month since the system’s launch.

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog