View Full Version : Video game industry eyeing record year

Smith will Suffice
30-07-05, 05:55
NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Sales of U.S. console and portable video game hardware, software and accessories rose 21% year-over-year for the first half of 2005, putting the industry on track for a record year, research firm NPD Group said.

The gaming sector saw overall sales hit more than $4.1 billion for the January-June period compared with $3.4 billion in first-half 2004, driven by the fast-expanding portable gaming market and software sales gains, NPD said Thursday.

The total game software market expanded 9.2% year-over-year to $2.8 billion for the first half of the year, the firm said. Sony's "Gran Turismo 4" was the best-selling title for the period based on unit sales, followed by Nintendo's "Pokemon Emerald" and Electronic Arts' "MVP Baseball 2005."

LucasArts' "Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith" for the
PlayStation 2 ranked fourth -- its
Xbox counterpart came in 10th -- and Take-Two Interactive's controversial "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" rounded out the top five.

Driven by new portable gaming platforms like Sony Corp (NYSE:SNE - news).'s PSP, the gaming industry recorded an 11% increase in overall unit sales for first-half 2005.

With the exception of the PC game market and the console hardware category, all business segments tracked by NPD showed improvements.

PC game software sales decreased 10.5% to $405.4 million in the first half, NPD said.

Console hardware sales fell 6% to about $594 million, while console software revenue edged up 3%, and console accessories gained 6%.

Portable game hardware, software and accessories saw dollar sales jump 181%, 74% and 81%, respectively, NPD said.

"With this growth already realized for the year, the industry is poised to reach its highest sales levels ever," NPD Group entertainment industry analyst Anita Frazier said.

Despite Thursday's sales news from NPD, most video gaming stocks finished the trading session lower. Shares of EA closed down 0.7% at $58.45, and Take-Two's stock fell 1.7% to $24.63, both on Nasdaq.