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November NPD Game Sales Up 15% Year-On-Year

November NPD Game Sales Up 15% Year-On-Year

December 7, 2006 | By Simon Carless

December 7, 2006 | By Simon Carless
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More: Console/PC

The much-awaited NPD video game hardware and software sales for the U.S. in November debuted earlier today, with game sales up an impressive 15 percent to $804 million year-on-year, and hardware sales increasing an even larger 69 percent to $771 million.

According to the official hardware statistics released this afternoon, Microsoft's Xbox 360 managed to sell 511,000 for the month in North America (putting its sales through november at 3.4 million units), ahead of the Nintendo Wii, which sold 476,000 units, and the severely supply-constricted PlayStation 3, which ended up with 197,000 units for the month, far short of the 400,000 planned launch units. The PlayStation 2 also impressed, with 664,000 units.

However, it was portable hardware sales that really stood out, especially for Nintendo, who sold a spectacular 918,000 units of Nintendo DS, and the Game Boy also showed well, with 641,000 units. The PSP lagged behind both of these, but also moved notable numbers, with 412,000 units sold during the month.

As for software, sales for November reached $804 million, a 118% rise over October, and a 15 percent jump from sales the year prior, with year-to-date console sales at $4.72 billion, an increase of 7% over the $4.43 billion sold in 2005. Split between current and next-gen software sales, the current generation saw a drop of $112 million, offset by next generation sales up $214 million.

Looking at specific titles, Microsoft and Epic's Gears of War for Xbox 360 sold 1 million copies to lead game sales for the month, followed by Final Fantasy XII for PlayStation 2 with 896,000 units, and then Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess for Wii with 412,000 units sold for the month. Other top sellers included Guitar Hero 2, WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2007, and Call of Duty 3.

Notable this month was the relative accuracy, in raw terms, of analysts predicting game sales increases - Lazard Capital Markets predicted a 10-15% boost, as did Wedbush Morgan, with rarely excerpted analyst Arcadia also relatively close to the mark, with a 20% software revenue increase prediction. More details on predictions for the rest of the year and other analysis are likely from analysts starting tomorrow.

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