US video game sales in May were up 37% on 2007 says market research firm NPD. Total spending on video games for May…
was $1.12bn (£574m). Total sales for the year so far are $6.6bn (£3.38bn).
The figures were boosted by continuing strong sales of Grand Theft Auto IV (GTA IV) which was the best-selling title for a second month.
The highly praised game kept the top spot despite competition from other new releases such as Mario Kart and Wii Fit for Nintendo’s popular console.
Seven of the top selling titles in May were for the Nintendo Wii console or its handheld DS game-playing gadget.
Top-selling title GTA IV sold 1.31 million units in May taking its total since its launch in late April to 4.2 million units
However, NPD said the strong sales of GTA IV was not boosting console sales.
“The continued success of GTA 4 is not translating into big hardware sales for either the PS3 or the 360 but there may yet be a lift in June due to gift giving for Father’s Day and graduations,” NPD analyst Anita Frazier said in a statement.
In May Nintendo maintained its top spot as the most popular console and managed to sell 675,000 Wiis. By comparison Sony sold 209,000 PlayStation 3 machines and Microsoft 187,000 Xbox 360 consoles, according to NPD.
The figures mean that total US sales of the Nintendo Wii number 10.2 million – on a par with Microsoft’s Xbox 360 which has sold 10.27 million.
NPD projects that game sales could reach $23bn for 2008 – far higher than the $18bn reached in 2007, which was a 43% jump over 2006.