Consumer Nation

No 'Halo' Effect for Sliding Nov Video Games Sales

Javier E. David | Special to
In this video game image released by Microsoft/343 Industries, a scene if shown from "Halo 4." (AP Photo/Microsoft/343 Industries)

Brisk pre-holiday sales of key blockbuster games and consoles were little help to the overall U.S. video game market, as sales plunged 11 percent in November from the same period in 2011, according to data from NPD Group.

The introduction of new Nintendo Wii U, as well as record-setting sales of popular titles such as "Halo 4" and "Call of Duty: Black Ops 2" failed to excite a market that saw sales fall across all major categories.

The soft figures may reflect changing consumer preferences, with the rising popularity of mobile device games posing an increasing competitive threat to traditional software and gaming units.

(Read more: Got Game? Videogame Industry Turns to Mobile.)

Although consumer spending held up for most of the year, the lingering effects of super storm Sandy helped curb both spending and income during October, and may have spilled over into November.

(Read more: Consumer Sentiment Plunges in December.)

According to NPD, hardware sales tumbled 13 percent during the month, with software falling 11 percent and accessories falling by eight percent. In dollar terms, total video game sales fell to $2.55 billion, from$2.87 billion in the comparable year-ago period.

Despite the relative disappointment of the headline figures, NPD analyst industry analyst, Liam Callahan put some context around the figures. He said November was the smallest year-on-year decrease of 2012, which boded well for the all important December holiday sales.

"This is a sign of momentum going into the December holiday period."

For the month of November, Activision's Call of Duty topped the Top 10 games sold, with Microsoft's Halo 4 running second. Rounding out the top five were Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed 3, Just Dance 4 and Electronic Arts' Madden NFL.

(Related: Hot Video Games for 2013)