US video-game industry sales rose 0.4 percent to US$3 billion last month, as gains in software helped make up for declines in consoles and accessories.
Software revenue last month increased 15 percent from a year earlier to US$1.67 billion, researcher NPD Group Inc said on Friday in an e-mailed statement. Hardware sales fell 9 percent to US$982.4 million, while accessories dropped 34 percent to $273.8 million.
Activision Blizzard Inc’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Bethesda Softwork’s Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Electronic Arts Inc’s Battlefield 3 took the top three sales spots, in a month crowded with titles released to meet holiday shopping. Industry sales rose 2.5 percent in October.
Microsoft Corp led console sales last month with its Xbox 360.
“The gap between 360 sales and sales of the next best-selling platform was the largest we’ve seen since December 2008, when the Nintendo DS was the top selling system,” Anita Frazier, an NPD analyst, said in a statement.
Microsoft has said US Xbox sales totaled more than 960,000 for the Black Friday weekend. The Redmond, Washington-based company also sold more than 750,000 Kinect sensors, both standalone and bundled with Xbox 360.
Nintendo Co sold more than 860,000 Wii home consoles last month, more than 795,000 Nintendo 3DS portable units and more than 350,000 Nintendo DS handhelds, the Kyoto, Japan-based company said in a statement on Friday, citing NPD figures.
In separate news, Microsoft is seeking to hire a television executive to develop original shows as part of a drive to expand its Xbox Live game and video service, according to people with knowledge of the company’s plans.
Two former NBC executives, Marc Graboff and Jeff Gaspin, have been approached, said the people, who weren’t authorized to speak publicly.
The TV service would include content from partners like Time Warner Inc’s HBO, Sony Corp’s Crackle and the BBC.