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Microsoft’s Xbox 360 sold 257,000 units in the U.S. in June, topping Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Nintendo’s Wii for the 18th consecutive month, according to NPD Group research cited by the Redmond company. That translates into 47 percent market share among current-generation consoles.

The latest numbers were down considerably from the 507,000 Xbox 360 units sold by Microsoft in the same month a year ago. However, the console industry overall has been struggling, and Microsoft has been able to stay on top in the U.S. because all of the major players have seen a decline compared to the previous year.

Overall sales of video games, hardware and accessories in physical retail channels in the U.S. fell by 29 percent in June, to just under $700 million, according to NPD. The numbers don’t include digital sales. If digital sales, used games and rentals were included, total consumer spending in June was about $1.36 billion.

The overall decline in traditional video game sales reflects a shift to mobile games and digital distribution. Here’s what NPD analyst Anita Frazier said on that topic as part of her monthly summary of the firm’s research.

“Outside of new physical retail software, the second largest channel generating sales of content is in the area of mobile games.  We’ve watched this grow consistently quarter over quarter, and new survey results indicate that 57% of smartphone owners play games on their phones on a daily basis.  What’s really interesting is that when asked where they were when they last played a game on their smartphones, 65% indicated that they had played the game at home.”

PreviouslyXbox 360 tops Wii and PS3 for 1st time in yearly global sales

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