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12/10/2010
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Xbox, Black Ops Top U.S. Gaming Market

Kinect system and Activision's team-based shooter drive videogame sales to new heights in November.

Microsoft's Xbox 360 platform ruled the U.S. game console market in November while Call of Duty: Black Ops was the top software seller, according to data released Thursday by market watcher NPD Group.

Xbox 360 was the top-selling videogame console during the month, outperforming Sony's PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii. Xbox 360 sales were up 68% compared to November 2009, driven by the popularity of Microsoft's new Kinect hands-free control system.

Kinect represented 60% of all videogame hardware accessory sales in November, according to NPD. The Nintendo DS was the top selling portable system, and was tops overall in hardware sales.

Total U.S. videogame hardware sales in November came in at $1.08 billion, up 2% from the previous year. In software, Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops was the runaway leader as it accounted for 25% of all sales in the category.

"Black Ops debuted as the best-selling game in its launch month in history, with Black Ops selling 8.4 million units at retail in the U.S.," said NPD videogame analyst Anita Frazier, in a statement.

"With only one month of sales, it has become the 7th best-selling game of all time, life-to-date," said Frazier.

Total video game software sales, not including downloads, came in at $1.46 billion in November, a 4% increase from the previous year. Sales of videogame accessories were up 69%, to $413.3 million, on the back of huge demand for Kinect.

Sales of Kinect might even have been stronger had it not been sold out in many locations. As of Friday, Best Buy's Web site indicated the system is available for online purchase but is not available in its brick-and-mortar stores.

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