U.S. sales of video games and hardware jumped 46 percent in August
from a year earlier, with Microsoft seeing sales of its Xbox 360
console shoot up after a price cut.
The top game was Electronic Arts's "Madden NFL 08" for the Xbox 360,
which sold 897,000 units, according to data from market research
firm NPD released on Thursday.
Nintendo's Wii console held onto its title as the most popular piece
of hardware, selling nearly 404,000 units, almost as much as the
Xbox 360 and Sony Corp's PlayStation 3 combined.
At $250, the Wii is the cheapest new console on the market, and its
unique motion-sensing controller and emphasis on new kinds of games
are attracting new players from outside the traditional young male
However, Wii sales fell 5 percent from July and sales of Sony's PS3
also fell, by almost 18 percent, to 131,000 units.
Meanwhile, Microsoft sold almost 277,000 Xbox 360 units in August,
up 63 percent from July. In early August, Microsoft cut prices on
the Xbox line, knocking $50 off the most popular model, down to
That followed a move the previous month by Sony to chop $100 off the
price of the PS3, making that machine cost $500.
Despite its powerful processors and high-definition Blu-ray DVD
drive, the PS3 has struggled in the United States due to its high
price and relative lack of hit games.
Sony noted PS3 sales had climbed 61 percent over the two months
since the price cut. In August, the company also sold more than
200,000 units of the PlayStation 2, an older console that is
enjoying a surprisingly long life due to its low price and huge
library of games.
On the software front, "Madden" for the PlayStation 2 took the
number-two slot on the month's list of best-sellers, while the PS3
version came in at number four.
Take-Two Interactive Software Inc's "BioShock" for the Xbox 360 was
the number-three game, selling 491,000 copies despite launching late
in the month.
Nintendo had four games in the top 10, including "Metroid Prime 3:
Corruption" and "Mario Strikers: Charged."
Activision's "Guitar Hero" franchise rounded out the top 10 with
"Guitar Hero II" and "Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s," both for