According to a Reuters report citing research firm NPD, overall U.S. video games sales rose by 25 percent in June to a total worth of $844.5 million – led by the new DS Lite portable console and sales of THQ’s movie license Cars.
Video game software sales alone increased by 15 percent to $444.4 million, with hardware sales rising from $200.7 million in June 2005 to $297.8 million this year. NPD estimates that THQ’s Cars sold 646,000 units during the month, improving on the performance of both Finding Nemo and The Incredibles.
"It's as if consumers woke up and decided to start gaming again," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier. "Normally, we expect good things in June with graduation and Father's Day gifts helping to spur retail sales, but this performance goes beyond typical lift from those occasions."
Interestingly, the figures are again significantly different from those predicted by Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter earlier in the week - the firm noted then that it had forecast sales of $370 million, a decline of 4 percent from June 2005’s $387 million, and significantly different from the eventual results.
Figures from Nintendo claim that combined sales of both Nintendo DS hardware iterations amounted to just under 600,000 in June – a figure with which NPD’s estimates of 593,000 agree. PSP sales for the month were put at 221,000, with no information yet available for the Game Boy Advance – which had previously beaten both new portable formats in the U.S.
NPD has also revealed a figure of 277,000 unit sales for the Xbox 360 – above previous estimates, but still below the PlayStation 2 total of 312,000 units. Xbox sales were put at 24,000 with no figures available for the GameCube.
[UPDATE - 10.57am, 06/14/06 - Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter has added a wealth of detail on the surprisingly positive results, from Xbox 360 software sales to current-gen gains.]