Video Game Industry Racks Up Sales in February

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Market analysis firm NPD has released its figures for video game console and software sales for February 2008—and if one were to judge by the video game industry alone, reports of a recession have been greatly exaggerated. Video game sales were 10 percent higher in February 2009 then they were in February 2008, and the industry racked up an 11 percent increase in sales compared to a year ago, pulling in $532.7 million in revenue for the month.

Still, the industry did notice the economic downturn. “Unit sales increased even more than dollar sales did, reflecting a slightly lower average retail price for all categories as compared to last year,” wrote NPD analyst Anita Frazier, in a statement. That means retailers are dropping prices to lure in a smaller population of willing buyers.

The Nintendo Wii continues to dominate the video game console market, selling an astounding 753,000 units during the month. Microsoft sold 391,000 Xbox 360 units while Sony managed to sell 276,000 PlayStation 3 systems and 131,00 PlayStation 2s. Among portable systems, Nintendo was still the top player, selling 588,000 Nintendo DS handhelds, while Sony managed to move 199,000 PSPs.

Among game titles, Capcom’s Street Fighter IV had a strong first month of sales, moving 403,000 units on the PlayStation 3 and 446,000 copies on the Xbox 360. Added together, those sales actually outstrip Nintendo’s popular Wii Fit which sold 644,000 units during the month. Other Wii titles littered the sales charts, with the Wii-Remote-equipped Wii Play moving 386,000 units, Mario Kart Wii moving 263,000 units, and Activision’s Guitar Hero: World Tour for the Wii moving 136,000 units.