Video game sales break 6-month losing streak, eke out tiny gain in September


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Halo: ODST, released in September, topped that month’s games chart. Credit: Bungie.

Sales of video games and consoles in the U.S. eked out a tiny gain in September, ending a 6-month streak of year-over-year declines.


Fueled by the releases of Halo ODST and The Beatles: Rock Band, last month’s sales of games and consoles grew slightly to $1.28 billion, barely topping last year’s sales of $1.27 billion, according to data released this afternoon by NPD Group. For a more detailed analysis of MTV’s The Beatles: Rock Band performance, check out Ben Fritz’s post on Company Town.

Unit sales of Nintendo’s Wii, Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 edged up as shoppers took advantage of the recently discounted console prices by Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. But on a dollar basis, sales took a 6% hit last month, down to $472.3 million, due to the lower prices.

Sony, which whacked $100 off the price of its PS3 console in August, tapped into pent-up demand to outsell the Wii and the Xbox 360. Sony sold 491,800 PS3 consoles in the U.S., compared with 352,600 Xbox 360s and 462,800 Wii consoles. Sony’s performance ended Nintendo’s long reign as the game console chart-topper, at least in the living room. Nintendo also sold 524,200 hand-held DS game devices last month.

Sales of games, however, grew 5% to $649.3 million, helping to make up for the loss in hardware sales. Here are the top 10 titles sold last month (title, platform, copies sold):

  1. Halo: ODST (Xbox 360) 1.52 million
  2. Wii Sports Resort (Wii) 442,900
  3. Madden NFL10 (Xbox 360) 289,600
  4. Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story (DS) 258,100
  5. The Beatles: Rock Band (Xbox 360) 254,000
  6. Madden NFL10 (PS3) 246,500
  7. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 (Xbox 360) 236,000
  8. Batman: Arkham Asylum (PS3) 212,500
  9. Guitar Hero 5 (Xbox 360) 210,800
  10. The Beatles: Rock Band (Wii) 208,600

Source: NPD Group
-- Alex Pham

Follow my random thoughts on games, gear and technology on Twitter @AlexPham.