Sales of gaming hardware are down 40% the week ending January 26th, compared to the previous year, according to data released from VGChartz. Software sales also saw a drop of 35% compared to 2012, in the clearest indicator yet that the current generation of gaming is in decline.

Weekly sales of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 were 102,538 and 75,559, respectively, down 10% from the week before and roughly half from last year’s numbers (192,645 and 167,786, respectively). Software sales for the systems also saw a decline, though far more severe for the 360 than the PS3. Despite the 360’s holiday showing, it has once more fallen behind the PS3, which is likely to overtake Microsoft’s console in global sales later this year. Right now, though, the relative lack of strong January titles, and the impending next-generation, are not doing the aging systems much good.

A sharp contrast exists between Nintendo’s newer offerings, the 3DS and WiiU, and their older systems, the DS and the Wii. The 3DS is once more topping the chart, maintaining an even greater lead over the other consoles than before despite a 20% dip in sales. Meanwhile the DS and Wii have been driven downward by the arrival of their successors. Both maintain a strong level of software sales, in particular the Wii, which moved 25 times more games than consoles. Currently, the DS stands at last place in the console race, just behind the Wii, though the margin between 5th and 8th is only 2000 units.

This also brings to mind the sales of the Sony handhelds. The combined weekly total of the PlayStation Portable and the PlayStation Vita has dropped 42%, though the Vita has actually seen a sales increase. The system sold 22% more this week than last year, when it had yet to see a global release. Similarly, their combined total software saw a decline of only 11%, though most of that increase came from the Vita.

Sales have flagged across the board over the past year, with a significant decrease in both hardware and software. This week kicks off a month filled with highly-anticipated games such as Dead Space 3, Crysis 3, Aliens: Colonial Marines, and Bioshock Infinite, which may help breathe life into a generation of consoles that is nearing its end. In two weeks, the second “next-generation” console is almost certain to be revealed, with another likely to follow in the months after, and many are hoping that it can usher in a return to form for an uncertain industry.

Are you buying fewer games this year? What releases are you looking forward to? Share your thoughts below!

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