Where have all the video gamers gone?

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US retail sales of video game hardware, software and accessories fell 25 percent in March from a year earlier to $1.1 billion. It marked the fourth month of decline as Sony Corp.’s new PS Vita handheld failed to spark a turnaround, reports the Associated Press.

Market tracker NPD Group said Thursday that sales of console and portable software – the video games themselves – fell 26 percent to $585 million.

That’s roughly in line with depressed estimates. Cowen & Co. analyst Doug Creutz forecast a 22 percent drop, while Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia expected a decline of 25 to 30 percent.

Electronic Arts Inc.’s “Mass Effect 3” was the top seller in the month.

The only PS Vita game to break into the top 10 was “MLB 12: The Show,” which ranked third.

Despite going on sale for the first time in North America in February, Sony’s next generation portable game-player did not unseat the most popular console for the last 15 months, Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360.

Microsoft said that Xbox 360 sales accounted for 371,000 units, or 42 percent of current-generation console sales.

Industrywide sales of hardware fell 35 percent to $324 million. Accessories sales fell 8 percent to $223 million.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.