(AP) -- U.S. video game sales in November rose 8 percent from a year ago to $2.99 billion, helped by Microsoft Corp.'s new motion-detecting controller, Kinect, and hot sales of the first-person shooter "Call of Duty: Black Ops."
Research firm NPD Group said Thursday that Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360 platform accounted for more than 40 percent of total industry sales, and in just one month, the Kinect became the biggest revenue-generating accessory of the year.
Both the Kinect and "Call of Duty: Black Ops" began selling in early November, and the overall boost in sales of hardware, software and accessories came just in time for the holidays.
"Gains in November offset a good portion of the year-to-date declines," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier.
NPD said year-to-date sales were still down 5 percent to $14.06 billion.
For November, accessory sales were up 69 percent to $413 million. Hardware rose 2 percent to $1.08 billion and software rose 4 percent to $1.46 billion.
"Call of Duty" was the top-selling game, with 8.4 million units sold after its Nov. 9 debut. That was a quarter of all game sales. Its maker, Activision Blizzard Inc., has said the game made a record $650 million in its first five days.
The Nintendo DS remained the top-selling gaming device.
But the Xbox 360 saw a stunning 68 percent sales jump to 1.37 million consoles, partly boosted by bundles that included the Kinect. It was the best November ever for the console and marked its sixth month in a row on top.
"We certainly feel like this is a great wind in our sails," said David Dennis, group product manager with Xbox. "It's the biggest year for us so far."
Explore further: November video game sales fall 8 percent to $2.7B