The US video game industry continues to lead a charmed life through the recession, with February sales figures released on Thursday showing a 10 per cent year-on-year rise.
The NPD research firm reported total sales of $1.47bn, up from $1.34bn a year ago, with hardware, software and accessories benefiting in fairly equal proportions.
Nintendo continues to dominate with nearly 600,000 units of the handheld DS shipped (its successor, the DSi, will be unveiled to US gamers at the Game Developers Conference here next week). It sold 750,000 Wiis in February.
Microsoft enjoyed its biggest non-holiday sales month, apart from when Halo 3 was released, with 390,000 Xbox 360s sold, up 53 per cent on a year earlier. There was even good news for Sony, whose PS3 saw the greatest month over month percentage sales increase from 200,000 to 275,000 units.
It may have been helped by the release of Killzone 2, a top five game exclusive to the platform, which sold 320,000 copies. Capcom’s Street Fighter IV was the best-selling game, with 400,000 sold on the PS3 platform and 450,000 in the 360 version.
Anita Frazier, NPD analyst, commented: “March should be another great month for software sales between Pokemon Platinum, GTA: Chinatown Wars, Halo Wars, the two MLB titles and of course, Resident Evil 5, just to name a few of the key drivers. The sheer quantity of great content coming to market early in the year should keep industry sales humming throughout 2009.”
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