March 11, 2011

Three Percent Increase For February Games Sales

Consumer tracking service NPD Group on Thursday announced that $1.36 billion was spent in the US on video games, consoles, portable devices and accessories in February, an increase of 3 percent from February 2010.

The increase was helped in part by strong sales of Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360 game system and its Kinect motion-sensing controller.

According to NPD, the Xbox 360 had its best non-holiday-season month ever, and average selling prices of bundled sales of the Xbox 360 console and Kinect helped push up average selling prices among console hardware.

Portable video-game devices however saw a 27 percent drop in sales last month as shoppers anticipate Nintendo's new portable 3DS as well as strong sales from Apple's iPad and iPhone games.

Sales of gaming software titles dropped by 8 percent, however. Game downloads are not included in NPD's monthly sales figures so even if more people are playing games, the numbers can show a decline.

NPD analyst Anita Frazier explained to the Associated Press (AP) that "Ëœpoints cards', or virtual currency used within the games, were 22 percent of accessory sales in February, to the tune of $57 million, a 52 percent increase from a year earlier.

"Full game and add-on content digital downloads, social network gaming and consumer purchases of mobile apps are some of the areas where we've seen the greatest percentage growth over last year," Frazier explained to AP.

Frazier notes that Easter will be in late April this year, and expects to count holiday-related sales in April's report. Last year, Easter was much earlier and holiday-related game sales were mostly counted in March.


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