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NPD October Surges As Wii, DS,  Guitar Hero III  Rule

NPD October Surges As Wii, DS, Guitar Hero III Rule

November 16, 2007 | By Simon Carless

November 16, 2007 | By Simon Carless
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More: Console/PC

The NPD has released data for October U.S. video game hardware/software sales, revealing the Wii and DS again topping hardware charts, and Guitar Hero III selling 1.4 million copies in 6 days, with Halo 3 atop the single-SKU charts, as game sales surge 39% to $513.9 million.

Overall, the entire video game market - both hardware and software - was up 73% to $1.1 billion in October 2007 compared to the year previous, thanks to the strong showing from new hardware and resultant game sales.

In fact, video game hardware numbers were up a spectacular 127% to $469.7 million, and Nintendo's Wii and DS again topped the hardware charts, followed by the Xbox 360, the PSP, PlayStation 2, and then PlayStation 3. The full charts are as follows:

Wii - 519,000
Nintendo DS - 458,000
Xbox 360 - 366,000
PSP - 286,000
PlayStation 2 - 184,000
PlayStation 3- 121,000

The NPD's Anita Frazier cautioned on the PlayStation 3's lackluster performance in October: "Remember that the PS3 price cut came in November, so we'll have to wait until our data comes out next month to see the effect of that cut on retail sell-through of the hardware."

In addition, video game software numbers were up 39% to $513.9 million, with the two big winners for the month being Halo 3, the number one title by SKU for the second month running, and the Guitar Hero III series, which grabbed three of the top four and four of the top ten slots. The full rundown is as follows:

1. Halo 3 (Xbox 360, Microsoft) - 433,800
2. Guitar Hero III: Legends Of Rock w/guitar (Xbox 360, Neversoft/Activision) - 383,200
3. Guitar Hero III: Legends Of Rock w/guitar (Wii, Neversoft/Vicarious Visions/Activision) - 286,300
4. Guitar Hero III: Legends Of Rock w/guitar (PlayStation 2, Neversoft/Budcat/Activision) 271.1K
5. Legend Of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (DS, Nintendo) - 262,800
6. Wii Play w/remote (Wii, Nintendo) - 239,700
7. The Orange Box (Xbox 360, Valve/EA) - 238,400
8. Guitar Hero III: Legends Of Rock (PlayStation 2, Neversoft/Budcat/Activision) - 231,700
9. FIFA Soccer '80 (PlayStation 2, EA) - 129,700
10. Brain Age 2 (DS, Nintendo) - 116,900

NPD's analyst Anita Frazier particular singled out Activision's music franchise, noting: "Guitar Hero has certainly established itself among the elite video games properties. Very few games sell in excess of 1 million units in their first month in market, but Guitar Hero III did easily with combined sales of 1.4 million units in only 6 days. Since it has broad appeal, it's also the type of game that should continue to do very well throughout the holidays."

In addition, a year-to-date update on overall top-selling games over all platforms was released by the NPD, as follows:

Halo 3 - 3.7 million
Madden NFL 08 - 3.2 million
Guitar Hero 2 - 2.8 million
Wii Play W/ Remote - 2.5 million
Pokemon Diamond Version - 2.1 million
Pokemon Pearl Version - 1.5 million
Spider-Man 3 - 1.4 million
Guitar Hero III: Legends Of Rock - 1.4 million

Additionally, game accessories surged, up 94% to $130 million, with Frazier noting: "Accessory sales increased sharply coinciding with hardware sales as consumers continue to pick up additional controllers to use with their new systems. Because of Guitar Hero, guitar controllers also had a great month and helped drive some of the 94% year-over year increase in accessories."

Overall, the NPD analyst commented of the October results: "This year's sales have already achieved the annual sales number for 2005 - and the two biggest months are yet to come. I think we'll see not only record-breaking revenues but record-breaking year-over-year growth when the final numbers are tallied."

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