2012 hasn't been a fantastic year for the video game industry in terms of sales. Year on year, the market is shrinking - August saw a drop of 20 percent, which is understandably worrying for developers, publishers and retailers.

However, The NPD Group - whose job it is to research sales trends in the video game sector - have predicted a little room for improvement.

A recent NPD survey found that of the 3,618 consumers surveyed, 77 percent of them planned to spend the same amount or more on video game goods this holiday season. 10 percent of that total said they would spend more, and the remaining 67 percent said that they’d spend the same figure.

The same survey conducted in 2011 found that 9 percent of those asked said they would spend more, and 64 percent said they’d spend the same - a small change, but a step in the right direction regardless.

However, there's still a hint of pessimism to the news. Here's NPD analyst Marshal Cohen to deliver it:

Watch for more practical purchases this year with consumers buying useful items that they need rather than spending their money on luxury treats. Consumers tell us they want to shop more but without the’it’ item and lack of pent-up demand this could be the Christmas of Contradictions.

Although he doesn't mention the Wii U directly, it's telling that Cohen has ignored Nintendo's new console in his prediction - a clear indication that many within the industry don't view the system as a 'must have' purchase this Christmas. It remains to be seen if this will be the case - Nintendo products have a habit of proving the so-called experts wrong.

[via digitaltrends.com, gamesindustry.biz]