Video game industry bucks downturn with Feb. sales

Mar 19, 2009

(AP) -- The video game industry continued to defy the recession in February, posting double-digit year-over-year growth with Nintendo Co.'s popular Wii gaming system leading the way.

U.S. retail sales did not grow as quickly versus the year-ago period as they did in January. But revenue from hardware still climbed 11 percent to $532.7 million from $481.4 million, according to market researcher NPD Group.

Americans bought 753,000 units of Nintendo's Wii, the best-selling console. The handheld , which sold 588,000 units, came in second.

Microsoft's sold 391,000 units, up 53 percent from a year earlier, while Sony's PlayStation 3 sold 276,000 units.

Nintendo also had the best-selling game in February with its Wii Fit, an exercise game that sold 644,000 copies. Capcom USA's Street Fighter IV took the number two and three spots with 446,000 copies for the Xbox and 403,000 for the .

Overall software sales grew 9 percent to $733.5 million from $673.3 million.

The was not completely absent from NPD's report.

"Unit sales increased even more than dollar sales did, reflecting a slightly lower average retail price for all categories as compared to last year," NPD analyst Anita Frazier said in a statement.

The average price of video games dropped about 4 percent year-over-year.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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