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Video game sales continue 'blistering' pace in November, NPD says

December 11, 2008 |  4:29 pm
Gears of War 2

Shrugging off the effects of a downbeat economy, the video game industry posted a 10% sales increase in the U.S. last month to $2.91 billion, up from $2.64 billion in November 2007, according to market research firm NPD Group, which characterized the pace as "blistering."

The increase is notable because this November had one less week for post-Thanksgiving holiday shopping than last year, NPD games analyst Anita Frazier said.

"With $16 billion realized for the year so far through November, the industry is still on pace to achieve total year revenue of $22 billion in the U.S.," Frazier said. For the first 11 months of the year, dollar sales of game software grew 31%, while hardware grew 14%. The smaller growth in hardware reflects the lower prices this year of Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3.

Among console manufacturers, Nintendo was the big winner, having sold ...

... more than 2 million Wii consoles and 1.57 million DS hand-held consoles, according to NPD. Microsoft came in second, having sold 836,000 Xbox 360 consoles. Sony sold 378,000 PlayStation 3s, 206,000 PS2s and 421,000 of PSP hand-helds.

Nintendo also dominated the list of bestselling games for the month, taking four spots among the top 10. The No. 1 title, however, was Gears of War 2, an action game published by Microsoft for the Xbox 360. The top five games and their unit sales, according to NPD, were:

  1. Gears of War 2 (1.56 million copies)
  2. Call of Duty: World at War (1.41 million)
  3. Wii Play with Wii Remote (796,000)
  4. Wii Fit (697,000)
  5. Mario Kart (637,000)

NPD painted a rosier picture than Electronic Arts, the world's biggest independent video game publisher, which said Tuesday that it would miss its fiscal 2009 revenue and profit forecasts because its games were selling more slowly than expected this holiday season.

-- Alex Pham

Photo: Gears of War 2. Credit: Epic Games   

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