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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

August 12, 2010 at 3:30 PM

Video game sales down in July, Xbox flies with new console

Microsoft is crowing over the monthly NPD report on U.S. video-game sales, which show a 118 percent jump in Xbox console sales during July.

That was the most dramatic gain in a month when overall game sales were down 1 percent, to $846.5 million. July’s usually relatively slow but hardware sales were 12 percent higher than July 2009, while game software sales were down 8 percent.

Microsoft sold 443,500 consoles, more than double sales in July 2009.

“It’s a great position to be in and this isn’t really even our busy season,” Xbox spokesman David Dennis said.

Xbox also beat July sales of Nintendo’s Wii (253,900), Sony’s PlayStation 3 (214,500) and even Nintendo’s DS (398,400).

But don’t read it as a new trend. The Xbox sales were helped by a launch bounce that may not happen again until the Kinect goes on sale in November.

Xbox sales in July were boosted by the release of the new slimmer and quieter model (shown, with Kinect). Retailers also slashed the price of the previous consoles, which could be had for under $150 during July.

newxbox.jpg

Sony had the same launch effect last September, when PS3 sales doubled after a $100 price cut and the release of a slimmer model. The company sold 491,800 units that month.

Microsoft also cleaned up in the game accessory category, where the 1600 point Xbox Live card was the best-selling accessory for the fifth month running.

Another bright spot for the month was PC games, which rode the success of “Starcraft II” to a 103 percent gain, dollar-wise.

Apparently anticipating Microsoft’s shining in the closely watched NPD report, Nintendo on Tuesday talked up Wii sales. It said 30 million units have been sold in the U.S. since its launch in November 2006.

Nintendo said that “further establishes Wii as the fastest-selling console in the history of the industry, reaching this milestone 15 months faster than the next best-selling console.”

Sony also issued a statement today on the NPD report, noting that PS3 console sales have posted monthly sale gains for 12 consecutive months. They’re up 76 percent since July 2009 and 45 percent year-to-date in the U.S.

Here are the top 10 games for the month:

NCAA FOOTBALL 11 – 360

NCAA FOOTBALL 11 – PS3

CRACKDOWN 2 – 360

SUPER MARIO GALAXY 2 – WII

LEGO HARRY POTTER: YEARS 1-4 – NDS

RED DEAD REDEMPTION – 360

LEGO HARRY POTTER: YEARS 1-4 – WII

DRAGON QUEST IX: SENTINELS OF THE STARRY SKIES – NDS

NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. WII – WII

CALL OF DUTY: MODERN WARFARE 2 – 360

Comments | Topics: ds, Games & entertainment, Microsoft

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