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9/10/2010
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Xbox Tops Gaming Console Sales Three Months Running

Nintendo's Wii had its weakest sales month ever in August to lead an overall drop in gaming sales, which reached its lowest point since 2006, according to NPD Group.

Microsoft Xbox Kinect Bundle
(click image for larger view)
Microsoft Xbox Kinect Bundle
The Nintendo Wii led a big drop in retail sales for the video-game industry, which saw its lowest August sales since 2006, a research firm says. While Wii sales weakened, Microsoft's Xbox 360 contributed to more than a third of retail dollar sales, excluding online, across hardware software and accessories, The NPD Group reported late Thursday. Sony's PlayStation 3 also had a strong month, contributing to a quarter of total sales.

"The Xbox 360 was the top-selling hardware system for the second consecutive month, and the top-selling console system for the third consecutive month," NPD analyst Anita Frazier said in a statement.

NPD's monthly report wasn't so good for Nintendo. Wii sales were the lowest in a single month since Nintendo launched the console in November 2006, NPD said. The Wii's performance was a major contributor to the 10% drop year over year in overall sales for the video-game market.

However, two new family-oriented games are expected to jumpstart Wii sales this year. The Wii Party by Nintendo is scheduled for release Oct. 3, and Disney Guilty Party was released at the end of last month.

Meanwhile, the Xbox 360 is expected to remain a hot seller this year, driven in part by the scheduled release next week of "Halo: Reach," the latest version of the hugely popular "Halo" games. "If hardware sales react in a similar fashion to what was experienced when 'Halo 3' was launched in September 2007, September could be a huge sales month for Xbox 360 hardware," Frazier said.

Of the three consoles, the PS3 was the only one to realize a sales increase over July. Sony saw its 13th consecutive month of year-over-year growth in hardware sales, NPD said.

Overall, August retail sales of video game hardware, software and accessories fell 10% from a year ago to $818.9 million. Sales of the PlayStation Portable and Nintendo DS hardware, software and accessories fell 25% from a year ago.

For the full year, NPD expects overall sales for the video-game market to fall in the range of $18.6 billion to $20 billion.

FURTHER READING:

Microsoft Xbox 360 Outsells Nintendo Wii, Sony PS3

Xbox 360 Kinect Faces Uphill Battle In Japan

Halo Reach Arrives Tuesday

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