October Video Game Sales See 18 Pct Jump

New video game sales figures from the NPD Group show that sales of video games and gear during October 2008 were 18 percent higher than they were during the same month a year ago, giving game developers and publishers reason to hope the 2008 holiday season might be lucrative for them despite the current dour economic climate.

Amongst gaming consoles, Microsoft sold 371,000 Xbox 360 systems during the month, a figure substantially aided by a price cut announced in early September. In comparison, Sony only managed to move 190,000 units of its PlayStation 3 console. However, Nintendo is still by far the reigning console gaming king, having sold some 803,000 thousand Nintendo Wii consoles during the month. And Nintendo is still facing issues with inventory shortages a full two years after the Wii’s launch, although the company has increased production and is much closer to matching demand. Overall, gaming hardware sales accounted for $494.7 million during the month, a year-to-year increase of 5 percent.

Sales of video game titles were up 35 percent year-to-year to a total of $696.8 million during the month, although sales of gaming accessories (like extra controllers and peripherals for Rock Band and Guitar Hero) actually dropped 8 percent to $120.3 million. October’s best-selling game title was Microsoft’s Fable II, with 790,000 units sold, followed by Nintendo’s Wii Fit with 487,000 copies sold.