Xbox 360 leads rebound in US videogame sales: NPD

Sagging US videogame industry revenue rebounded in November as buyers snatched up gesture-sensing control gadgets for Microsoft Xbox 360 consoles, NPD Group reported Thursday.

"The Xbox 360 Kinect was the best-selling accessory item in November," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier.

"With one month of sales, it's the top-selling accessory item in terms of dollar sales on a year-to-date basis."

Overall sales of videogame hardware and software at stores in November tallied 2.99 billion, an eight percent increase from the same month last year.

The figure did not include used videogame sales, digital distribution of software or mobile applications.

Money taken in from sales of videogame accessories such as Kinect surged 69 percent to 413.3 million dollars, according to NPD.

Xbox 360 was the top selling console for the month and Xbox 360 accessories accounted for 60 percent of the revenue in the accessory category.

"The 360 platform accounted for over 40 percent of total industry sales driven by the successful launch of Microsoft's Kinect," Frazier said.

Microsoft reported that it had sold more than 2.5 million Kinect for Xbox 360 devices worldwide in the 25 days after the videogame controllers hit the market in early November.

Microsoft is on track to meet its forecast of selling five million Kinect gadgets by the end of the year, according to Don Mattrick, president of Interactive Entertainment Business at the US-based technology giant.

Kinect uses a 3D camera and motion recognition software to let people play videogames on Xbox 360 consoles using natural body movements and voice commands instead of hand-held controllers.

The standalone Kinect, which works with the 45 million Xbox 360s already sold worldwide, costs 150 dollars. A four-gigabyte Xbox 360 console that includes the Kinect and the "Kinect Adventures" game sells for 299 dollars.

The NPD report did not specify revenue for sales of Move motion-sensing controllers for Sony PlayStation 3 videogame consoles.

Nintendo's handheld DS game gadgets were the top selling systems overall in November, according to NPD.

Activision military shooter "Call of Duty: Black Ops" was the top selling title for the month, followed by Ubisoft videogames "Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood" and "Just Dance 2."

Revenue climbed in every category, prompting NPD to estimate that the videogame industry could take in between 18.8 and 19.6 billion dollars in the United States this year.

Finishing at the high end of that range would result in revenue being about the same as it was in 2009.

"Gains in November offset a good portion of the year-to-date declines," Frazier said.

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