US video games sales increase 10 per cent led by Nintendo Wii console news
21 March 2009

If there's one industry that can safely be said to be recession-proof, it's the video game industry. With other forms of entertainment becoming rare and costly, consumers are gradually turning their attention, and money, towards gaming consoles to spend their leisure times. (See: Amidst global recession, Grand Theft Auto IV notches $500 million sales in one week

US video game sales rose 10 per cent in February to $1.47 billion, led again by Nintendo's blockbuster Wii console, as gaming continued to show resilience despite an economic downturn that has sapped consumer spending. Video game software sales climbed 9 per cent in the month to $733.5 million while hardware sales rose 11 per cent to $532.7 million, research group NPD said on Thursday.

Stores sold 753,000 Wii players last month, a 74 per cent increase, compared to 391,000 Microsoft Xbox 360 players, a gain of 53 per cent, and 276,000 of Sony's PlayStation 3, a 1.7 per cent decline. Combined with console sales, Kyoto, Japan-based Nintendo accounted for much of the market's growth, said Cammie Dunaway, the company's vice president of US sales and marketing.

Nintendo has sold 18.7 million Wii consoles in the US since it was introduced in November 2006, leading game developers such as Activision Blizzard Inc. and Electronic Arts Inc. to create more titles for the player. February marked Tokyo-based Sony's fourth-straight month of falling US sales for the PS3, which at $399.99 costs $150 more than the Wii and $200 more than the lowest-priced Xbox.

Capcom's Street Fighter IV was the best-selling game, moving a combined 849,000 units for the Xbox and the PS3, while the Wii Fit was No. 2 at 644,000. Wii Play and Sony's Killzone 2 followed that. Software unit sales rose 14 per cent, but the average retail price for games fell 4 per cent, NPD said.

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US video games sales increase 10 per cent led by Nintendo Wii console