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'Halo 3' Spurs September Game Sales Surge

22 Oct, 2007 By: John Gaudiosi

Microsoft's Halo 3 lifted Xbox 360 sales and caused a 74% surge in industry sales.

Overall video game industry sales grew 74% in September, spurred by sales of 3.3 million units of Microsoft's Halo 3 and 527,800 Xbox 360 consoles. Overall game, hardware and accessory sales for the month topped $1.36 billion, according to The NPD Group.

While Halo 3 was the main draw, Nintendo continued to sell a lot of Wii (501,000 units) and Nintendo DS hardware (495,800 units). While Microsoft beat out Wii sales for the first time, Nintendo did not have any major releases for its $250 console that month. Sony sold just 119,400 PlayStation 3s, although it enjoyed an increase of PlayStation Portable sales (284,500 units) thanks to the introduction of the $200 Daxter/Family Guy Bundle.

Rounding out hardware sales, Sony sold 215,000 PlayStation 2s and Nintendo sold 75,000 Game Boy Advances. Overall console sales rose 188% to $418,600 in September. Year-to-date console sales are up 118% over last year.

Anita Frazier, video game analyst at The NPD Group, said the impact Halo 3 has had on Xbox 360 sales should carry over throughout the holiday. She added that gamers will buy hardware when there's a game they want to play on that system, and many gamers were waiting for Halo 3 to be released before upgrading to Xbox 360.

“Demand for the PS3 year-to-date is still tracking below our expectations, but we expect sales to pick up with the recent reduction of the PS3 80GB model to $500 and the upcoming Nov. 2 release of the $400 PS3 40GB version,” said Michael Pachter, video game analyst at Wedbush Morgan Securities. “PS3 sales were somewhat disappointing, declining by 11,000 from last month. We also saw an 80% increase in PSP hardware sales driven by the introduction of the new PSP Slim.”

Gamers were also buying a lot of Nintendo titles in September, as Nintendo's Wii Play (282,00 units), Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass DS (224,000), Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (167,000) and Brain Age 2 DS (141,000) led the way.

Electronic Arts had another strong month with Madden NFL 08 for PS2 (205,000) and Xbox 360 (173,000) topping the charts and the new Skate game for Xbox 360 selling 175,000 units. The Xbox 360 hit BioShock, from 2K Games, remained strong with sales of 150,000 units. Rounding out the Top 10 games was Sony's PS3-exclusive, Heavenly Sword, which topped 139,000 units. Overall game software sales were up 64% to $550.5 million.

The sale of video game accessories rose 76% to $157 million and portable game hardware sales were up 28% to $126.25 million. Year-to-date sales through September for game hardware, software and accessories have topped $9.37 billion, and with the busy months of October, November and December upon us, Frazier expects total U.S. sales to top $18 billion by Jan. 1, 2008. That total would be up 45% over 2006's total sales.

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