Sales of Electronic Arts' video games for older consoles have tailed off more quickly than expected, the publishing giant said yesterday. Blake Jorgensen, EA's chief financial officer, said there was a "much sharper decline than anticipated in demand for current-generation software," as third quarter sales for EA games on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 dropped 35 percent against the same period the previous year.

The unexpected dip caused a revenue shortfall for the publisher, but Jorgensen was optimistic about the future. He said that the downward trend on Xbox 360 and PS3 software was "partially offset" by positive next-gen results. Jorgensen confirmed EA was the number one publisher on PS4 and Xbox One in December, with overall software sales on the new consoles "well ahead of expectations." Those sales have been boosted by the good performance of the new consoles in the gaming market. Microsoft sold 3 million Xbox Ones to Sony's 4.2 million PS4s in the month and a half from their launch in November until the end of 2013. Both Sony and Microsoft managed to sell one million units on their console's respective US launch days.

Software sales on new consoles "well ahead of expectations"

Despite the dip in sales for software aimed at older consoles, EA appears to have a strong position on next-gen gaming systems. Based on estimates, Jorgensen said the publisher's titles "represented 35 percent of the western world's next-gen software market" in the third quarter of 2013