NEW YORK – Market researcher NPD Group says U.S. retail sales of video games dropped to $823.5 million in May, down 5 percent last year.

NPD says hardware sales plunged 20 percent to $241.5 million in May.

The lower pricing of gaming consoles was a big reason for the decline. Software sales rose 4 percent, to $466.3 million.

Sales for the year through the end of May were down 10 percent compared with the same five-month period last year, NPD says.