Video game software sales jumped almost 23% in August, easily beating analyst expectations of 10% - 15% growth, according to data released by research firm NPD Group late Thursday. Console sales were even more robust, +94%, because Nintendo's Wii and Sony's PlayStation 3 were not yet available last August. Electronic Arts' "Madden NFL 08" series was the best-selling game, with 1.87 million unit sales across the Xbox 360, PS3 and PS2. The Xbox 360 version led all titles with 896,000 unit sales, the PS2 version was second with 643,600 unit sales. Take-Two Interactive's "Bioshock" was third-best, with nearly 491,000 copies sold. Activision's "Guitar Hero" franchise grabbed two places in the top-10, while Nintendo had four titles in the top-10. As for game consoles, Nintendo's Wii dominated rivals with 403,000 units sold versus 276,700 for Xbox 360 and 130,600 for PS3. Sales of Sony's PS2 remained strong at 202,000 units, widely outselling the PS3. The Xbox 360 now has an installed base of 6.3M, followed by 4M for the Wii and 1.75M for the PS3 (39.1M for PS2). Among handheld consoles, Nintendo's DS unit sales were more than double Sony's PSP, 383,300 vs. 151,200, respectively.
Sources: MarketWatch, TheStreet.com
Commentary: Video Game Companies Extend Bullish Trend • Nintendo’s Near Term Outlook Clouded • UBS Notes Trouble In 'Weak Performance' Of EA's Madden ‘08 On Sony PS3
Stocks/ETFs to watch: SNE, MSFT, OTCPK:NTDOY, ERTS, TTWO, ATVI
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